GO
Loading...

The Detroit Auto Show of Farming

In Boone, Iowa, this week, I attended what you might call the Detroit Auto Show of farming.

A husband and wife team staging a demonstration called "The Crossbows of Death."
Photo by Jane Wells for CNBC
A husband and wife team staging a demonstration called "The Crossbows of Death."

The annual Farm Progress Show is where Deere , CaseIH, Massey Ferguson, and every other major agricultural equipment company unveils their newest models.

Combines, tractors, balers, sprayers, decked out with bluetooth technology in the cab, lower emissions in the engine, hands free driving — even a portable cooler.

Farmers come to "oooh" and "aaah" over equipment painted in shiny red or green and costing upwards of $300,000. (Read More: Some Farmers 'Will Make More Money' in Drought.)

Then there's the entertainment.

To give you a taste, watch the video for the highlights of the stage show CaseIH put on to reveal its 2013 lineup.

For me, the real draw wasn't the hands-free driving of its new Magnum 340-horsepower tractor. For me, it was the show put on by the Hartzells, a husband and wife team who stage a demonstration called "The Crossbows of Death."

When I covered the auto show in Detroit back before General Motors went bankrupt, the entertainment was provided by Mary J. Blige, Kid Rock, and Adam Levine.

The Hartzells, on the other hand, gave farmers an old school thrill shooting arrows at each other. There were a few delays and hiccups, but every arrow met its mark. It was cornier than this year's decrepit crop. What's more, as the couple bickered over where hubby should aim his crossbow blindly behind his back, I actually became concerned someone might die.

Their finale, which you'll see in this video, boasts the Guiness World Record for most crossbows used in one stunt: a domino effect which ends by nailing an apple on top of each Hartzell head.

I won't lie. I didn't think it was going to work. But it did, though Mrs. Hartzell may have gotten a little haircut.

This is the sort of fun you don't get in the big city, or even at the Detroit Auto Show. (Read More: Highlights From the Detroit Auto Show.)

I think I'll take the Hartzells over Kid Rock.

—By CNBC's Jane Wells
@janewells

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

Featured

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

Humor