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Tony Kramer Reflects on Eight Years of the RDO Agriculture Technology Podcast

26 Apr 2023 Author: Tony Kramer Read time: 3 min

Farming roots grown into a career helping growers? Check. 

Professional agronomist dealing in all things equipment, technology and data? Check. 

Podcast host? Yep, also check.

RDO Equipment Co. agronomist Tony Kramer works with customers to find the right equipment and techniques that fit their operations. A part of that job means connecting growers with the latest news and innovative tools, but for more than eight years, Kramer has dug deeper to find the answers to growers’ questions in ever-changing market conditions.

The RDO Agriculture Technology podcast has become a platform to reach growers worldwide. As the podcast approaches 200 episodes, we asked host Tony Kramer to share things he’s learned, experienced and enjoyed about sharing ag tech news and stories. 

If you had to pick, what’s the biggest change in agriculture that’s occurred in the last eight years?  

It would probably be the increased use of sensors and cameras. John Deere’s See & Spray Ultimate, for example, allows operators to target and spray just weeds. We have combines that can make automatic adjustments using cameras and sensors. And with the introduction of John Deere’s autonomous tillage solution, we have tractors that can be run without an operator in the seat, all controlled by cameras, sensors, and a cell phone. 

How has technology affected the way farmers use agriculture equipment?  

It has become a little more hands-off, but the human element is still there. There are so many factors in agriculture that, as of today, cameras and sensors cannot account for. But by allowing the technology to take some of the workload, farmers can focus on other logistics of their operation while still running the combine.

What’s one of your favorite behind-the-scenes memories related to the podcast? 

Uff da! After doing this for almost eight years now, there are so many episodes that could fall into this bucket.

Of course, Episode 86, the interview I did with Millennial Farmer Zach Johnson was fun. I went to his farm, and we sat down at his table and discussed his reason behind starting his YouTube channel.

Episode 60 was another fun one. John Deere was celebrating 100 years of tractors, and I got to chat with Neil Dahlstrom, who at the time managed John Deere’s corporate archives, and man, does that guy know his John Deere history. 

Others that stick out to me are when I’ve had opportunities to partner with RDO’s Northwest and Southwest regions and learn about things like orchard sprayers or lettuce thinners. 

In what ways has the podcast affected the rest of your work? 

The podcast has opened the doors for me to learn and know so much more about the industry all over the world. It has also given me more perspective on our business, like in episode 160  when I sat down with Andy Luikens (RDO Equipment Co. Recruiting Program Manager), and we talked about how technology is changing the landscape on how we target and recruit service technicians as well as other team members. 

What’s your favorite part of doing the podcast? Why is it something you continue to be passionate about?  

I enjoy the learning piece of it from my end, but the biggest passion for continuing to do the podcast is our ability to share the message. Everything we talk about has the ability to help operations all over the world in some way or another. I am passionate about agriculture in general and the technology that continues to be introduced into ag is only making the process more efficient, more productive, and allowing growers to be more successful. 

How is the podcast a valuable resource for RDO team members? 

I often hear the question from team members, “How did you learn about that product or where can I learn more?” All the topics we discuss are relevant to all ends of our business. Most of us have smartphones we carry everywhere we go, and with a podcast, you don’t have to be watching a screen. So, whether it’s listening on your drive to work or during a 15-minute walk, it’s a quick, easy way to learn about the products and solutions we offer. 

Tony Kramer

Tony Kramer is the Product Manager of Planting Technology and a Certified Crop Advisor at RDO Equipment Co. He is also the host of the Agriculture Technology podcast. If you have any questions for Tony or would like to be a guest on the podcast, you can find him on X at @RDOTonyK.

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