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“They said, ‘I’ve been here for 35 years; I know everything there is to know and it’s not going to work.’ I said, ‘Yeah, with that attitude, you’re exactly right.’” -- Marion Calmer, CEO, Calmer Corn Heads, on the road blocks he ran into with the major-line engineers who we were supposed to mass-produce his corn harvesting inventions.

Marion soon learned that having a major behind your invention wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. Tired of the roller coaster of emotions, empty promises and frustrations from those who didn’t want their conventional wisdom challenged, Marion became a reluctant shortline manufacturer in 2002, who almost didn’t survive the early years.

In 2005, he left is farm shed and moved into an empty Ford New Holland dealership in Alpha, Illinois, and there was no turning back ...

In today’s podcast, Marion Calmer and I sat down at the National No-Tillage Conference, where he (one of the early No-Till Innovators of the Year) had just presented new research on ultra-narrow row corn. In this  bull-session like podcast, you’ll hear his struggles trying to get his own start as a farmer in the 1980s and how that required his own on-farm research, which led to an independent ag research operation. He also shares how he reluctantly arrived at the decision that he’d need to “go it alone” as a specialty equipment manufacturer to see his vision come to life.

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Farm Equipment‘s How We Did It podcast is brought to you by Ingersoll Tillage.

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Music: Josh Woodward - Golden Sunrise (Instrumental Version)