Klingenberg gets media attention in Germany
According to Derek Klingenberg of Peabody, people in Germany don’t like animal agriculture, but in a recent trip there, he was instrumental in putting a positive light on it.
Klingenberg probably is best known on social media for the video he made using his trombone to attract a herd of cows. Posted in August 2014, it has garnered almost 12,600,000 views.
Klingenberg was invited to Germany in November to attend a big animal farming show and decided to take his trombone along.
When show organizers saw him with his trombone, they asked him to play for the animals. So, with Holstein dairy cows flanking him on two sides, he sat down on a small square bale and played away.
That drew the attention of three local TV stations that were there to cover the show.
“There were people picketing outside,” Klingenberg said, “but when the reporters heard me playing, they chose to cover me instead of the picketers.”
He said a funny thing happened when a camera operator was filming: A cow came up to her and licked her from head to toe.
Reporters from all three stations interviewed him, then roamed around and interviewed other farmers.
“All the news reports that night were positive about farmers,” he said.
This is the third time Klingenberg and his wife, Tara, have been to Germany. In February 2017, he served on a panel that discussed social media.
“Social media caught on slower over there than here,” he said.
He returned a year ago to attend an agriculture technology trade fair.
“I like Germany,” Klingenberg said. “We have lots of friends over there now. They are smart and nice.”
After the show, the couple took a charter bus to East Germany with other people, including Farm Bureau members from Iowa.
“It was educational, that’s for sure,” Klingenberg said. “We learned what farmers have to deal with. The regulations are much worse there.”
He said after the Soviet Union fell in 1990, there was a big land rush in eastern Germany. Land that had been in collective farms was sold to individual farmers.
Farms in eastern Germany are modern and large, with 4,000 to 5,000 acres or more, he said.
The group visited a large hog operation where methane gas from animal waste is used to produce electricity.
Klingenberg said farms often have their own wind towers.
He continues to produce farm videos when he’s not feeding cattle. His videos are posted under “Farmer Derek.”
Last modified Dec. 6, 2018