by Abby Coers, Marketing Director, Central IL Ag
"My mom made me,” admitted Chad Colby, now General Manager of Central Illinois Ag and Ag Technology Contributor to This Week in AgriBusiness. Chad’s mother, Bonnie Colby, turned the 4-H Public Speaking registration form into the Bureau County 4-H office in the fall of 1981.
Despite his initial reaction to the project, Chad won many awards in the 4-H Public Speaking competitions which encouraged him to compete at the next levels. Speaking turned into something he became very passionate about, and it soon became natural to incorporate this into his everyday life.
Fast forward a couple years and there was Chad sitting in the combine during harvest and listening to WGN, a radio broadcast out of Chicago hosted by Max Armstrong and Orion Samuelson. The radio show was an opportunity for Chad to pick up his Motorola cellular phone and dial in to Max and Orion to share field conditions and talk farming, straight from a field in Bureau County.
“I think it cost about $1.50 per minute to call the radio and give this report through my mobile phone, but that phone bill was worth it,” Chad remembered.
Chad has always looked up to Max Armstrong and Orion Samuelson as the two most trusted sources in agriculture. He would even dream that someday he, too, could have an influence on the agriculture community.
Each Saturday morning rural Americans from New York, Texas, to California turn on the television to “This Week in AgriBusiness” as their source for trusted ag news. Beginning in 2018, Chad Colby will be hosting an ag technology segment featuring various forms of technology in the field and within the industry. The segment is sponsored by Central Illinois Ag, a fifth-generation Case IH dealership servicing farm operations nationwide.
“I’ve always been eager to purchase the latest and greatest technology, finding the benefit, and share my opinion with others,” said Chad, “It’s fun to educate people with practical applications that are useful for today and in the future.”
As co-host of This Week in AgriBusiness, Max Armstrong is excited to add a segment on technology to the program. This allows another outlet to agriculture as we learn how to improve farming operations to become more efficient as each day passes.
The technology Chad presents will range from innovative techniques ag businesses are utilizing to applications that can be applied to your own operation.
Chad calls himself a ‘technology geek,’ and although some of the concepts may be hard to understand for the common individual, he presents the new ideas in a way most can understand. His approach to sharing this information allows anyone to be involved with learning and applying new practices.
“We are quite proud of this nice addition to our show,” said Max, “when the very first one ran, a long-time farmer friend of mine wrote to me and said, I really like the segment with Chad. I take five national farm magazines, and your show was the first place I have seen this.”
Max has always been a role model to Chad. Through their shared passion of communicating agriculture along with a unique bond between restoring their respective Faramll 560’s, Max continues to be a mentor as well as a friend to Chad.
Little did he know, the 4-H public speaking contest would guide him through a successful career, traveling overseas, and meeting an innumerable amount of farmers and agricultural enthusiasts.