Farming: Where's the beef? : LUSENET : Millennium Salons : One Thread

The "Y2k bug to blight the countryside" article below points out (again) that farming is a largely neglected area in terms of highly visible y2k information. When compared to the attention paid to almost all other major segments of our world - what the situation is, what those in the particular industries focused on should and can be doing about it - you'd think farmers are either immune to the problem or those thinking about y2k think we can eat electricity, checks, phones, and spare parts, and wash it all down with a nice hot cuppa oil. Not to drift too far afield, but it always reminds me of the old song Ry Cooder sang and played so well about 25 years ago - "The Farmer Is The Man":

The farmer comes to town in his wagon broken down,
He's livin' on his credit until fall
Oh what would we do if the farmer laid down his tools?
We'd see that it's the farmer who feeds us all.

The banker says he's broke, 'cause the merchant's up in smoke -
They forget that it's the farmer that feeds us all.
It would put them to the test if the farmer took a rest -
They'd see that it's the farmer who feeds us all.

Amen. If you've got any tips, pointers, etc., on where the farmer can go for guidance, please post them here or add links and descriptions to the (mighty lean) "Farming" page in the Shared Resources section of the Millennium Salons (under "Tools & Resources").

If you're one of those people who feeds us all, or you're in touch with any of them, you may want to look at or let them know about the "Y2K and Agriculture: Are Canadian Farmers Ready?" thread in the Millennium Salons forum. It provides an overview of what some of the y2k ag thinking in Canada is, as well as a reference to the web site mentioned there that contains a year 2000 online booklet farmers can use to help them deal with the problem. That booklet is located at:

Here's that article from the United Kingdom (where cows are cows, crops are crops, and chickens are chickens, just like they are about everywhere).

Posted 11/03/99 1:34pm by Linda Harrison at:

Y2k bug to blight the countryside

The Millennium bug yesterday singled out its next victim - our agricultural community. Yes, farmers may have to stay sober this New Year's Eve to cope with the threat of Y2k.

The bug could see already hard pressed farmers milking cows and feeding chickens by hand.

This unusual sector of the technology industry doesn't often make the IT press, but the Daily Telegraph today highlighted the dangers involved.

The latest blow to farmers came when the government claimed they were not taking the flesh-eating millennium bug seriously and were consequently endangering the countrys food supplies.

As if farmers didn't have enough to worry about, what with the price of fertiliser these days, but their animals may go unmilked and unfed and fruit and vegetables go off if computer run machines are not protected.

Milking machines, feeding systems and cold stores are often now run on automatic machinery. Battery hen houses and pig rearing units could find ventilation and feeding systems disrupted. In addition there may not be enough manpower to do the work by hand, what with all those 1 January pounding heads, defunct cash machines and public transport up the chute.

Lord Donoughue, the farming industry minister, said: "This is an issue which the whole industry needs to take seriously. Some people are already working to beat the problem but it is vital that everyone takes action now."

The Daily Telegraph tracked down a Hampshire broiler farm owner, William McKenzie. "We are taking no chances. Both my brother and I will be stone cold sober on the night of the Millennium just in case something goes wrong," he said.

Naturally, Team Register will be also be staying sober so that we can fill our site with stories about the Y2k bug bringing IT systems to their knees.

-- Bill (, March 31, 1999


(A start from Ag Online. For complete list see:

Articles About Y2K and Agriculture

Five-part series: Y2K, Food and the US: Looking for a New Theme Song (10feb99)

Y2K and Our Food Supply: Who's Minding the Government Store? (11feb99)

Y2K and Our Food Supply: Moovin' From Farm to Fork (18feb99)

Y2K and Our Food Supply: The Whims of Farming With Computers (23feb99)

Y2K and Our Food Supply: Recognize It (25feb99)

Y2K and Agriculture: Potential Effects and Consequences (15apr98) & nbsp;

Ark Instistute Food Supply Updates

Y2K Food Supply Prospects Paint Frightening Picture (14dec98)

Seed Terminator and Mega-Merger Threaten Food and Freedom

Trains, Grains, Bugs, Brains--and Y2K!

Analysis of NASS Year 2000 Computerized Systems Readiness Report & Secretary Glickman's testimony (25feb99)

Agriculture, Congress, and the Year 2000 (03sep98 @gInnovator) & nbsp;

(see also & nbsp;

CIO magazine: Computerization of American Farming (01oct98)   

Farm Bureau - Millenium bug approaching: are you ready?(14sep98)  

Y2K presents problems for ag industry (27aug98 @gInnovator)

Gartner Group rates ag in Y2K "danger" zone (21oct98 @gInnovator)  

Economist projects Y2K recession, raises questions for agriculture   

Y2K: Global ticking time bomb? (13jul98 @gInnovator)  

What are you doing about the "Millenium Bug" problem?  

How to deal with Year 2000 issues in your business & nbsp;

8 Myths about the Millennium Bug

Millenium Mayhem (April98 Successful Farming) index.html

Farmers and Y2K (21aug98 @gInnovator)  

Case Study: A farmer prepares for the Year 2000 (Sep98 @gInnovator)< br>  

Case Study (Part 2): A farmer prepares his family for Y2K) (Oct98 @gInnovator)

Extension and University Sites

Iowa Y2K Outreach - ISU Extension (03sep98 @gInnovator)  

Iowa Year 2000 Workshop Series

Iowa Manufacturing Technology Center

University of Minnesota Y2K resources

Ohio State University: Year 2000 Problem

SDSU - Y2K compliance for ag products (17nov98 @gInnovator)  

University of Florida Year2000 Info Center

Texas A&M University  

USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service

Oklahoma State University: Is Your Computer Ready For The Year 2000? (27jan99)

Oklahoma State University: Be Financially Prepared For The Year 2000 (27jan99)

Government Agencies (Federal and State)

USDA Food Supply Working Group (04sep98 @gInnovator) (address change) phone 202-690- 0048

The Y2K Problem and the Food Supply Sector (14dec98)

USDA Chief Information Officer Y2K page and

USDA National Information Technology Center

USDA APHIS Year 2000 home page (14dec98)

USDA FSIS Y2K Fact Sheet (16dec98)

USDA - Y2K Frequently Asked Questions and (16dec98)

NRCS Y2K -Hardware and software compliance tests (11mar98 @gInnovator)   

U.S. Senate Special Committee on Year 2000 Technology Problem  

U.S. House of Representative's Task Force on the Year 2000 problem or

U.S. Federal Government Gateway for Year 2000 Information

State Year 2000 Coordinators (03sep98 @gInnovator) and

Small Business Administration phone 800-U-ASK-SBA

Dept of Navy CIO Year 2000 Challenge

Federal Y2K COTS product database

National Ag Statistics Service
Year 2000 Computerized Systems Readiness Report (February 8,1999) y2kr0299.txt or

Testimony of Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman before the
Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem
(February 5, 1999)
Year 2000 and the Food Supply< /a> and

USDA Community Outreach

FEMA: Contingency and Consequence Management Planning for Year 2000 Conversion -
A Guide for State and Local Emergency Managers (19feb99) and

Y2K problems can be avoided

Embedded Systems

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (16dec98)

Year 2000 Support Centre (UK) (16dec98)

GPS and Related Issues

GPS, EOW, 1999, and Year 2000 (March98 SF Tech Insight)

Hey buddy, got the time?  

US Coast Guard: GPS Date Rollover Issues (USCG site)

Joint Program Office on Y2K and GPS EOW:

This link will bring up the search results of the query "Agriculture and Y2K" in AltaVista (for the most current listings).

-- Bill (, March 31, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ