Empire Farm Days are a big deal for many farmers across New York State. 3 days in August filled with shiny new farm equipment, educational programs and heat. What better place to set up a 3d printer and talk to folks as they wander by.
I did something similar last year, at the State Fair, and the novelty of a 3d printer sparked a lot of talk. Farm Days attendees are a different, more focused, slice of the population. But there is some overlap between the two events. Last year, the printer was a genuine novelty. Today, at Farm Days, I talk with more than a couple folks who had seen them in action. Awareness of 3d printers seemed much higher, often as something a school or library has.
The awareness didn’t diminish the conversations, though. And several times the talk brushed against the issue of automation and job loss. There is fascination with technology but also ongoing fears of job loss and other issues. Not surprising, and an opening into deeper conversations.
After spending 9 hours in a hot, often crowded, metal shed I’m a bit tired. But, being able to talk with people about technology is always worthwhile. And I get to do it again tomorrow.