Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 8: Old and New

In our operation, the farmers pride themselves on using cutting edge technology to best apply, plant, harvest, manage, market, etc. It is something the guys believe in, invest in, and continue to update. One could say our machine shed is full of pretty high tech stuff.

And then, deep within the sheds, amongst the track tractor, the combine that drives itself, and the GPS equipped planter, are little gems, little pictures into the past, ones that require a jump start or a tow when they need to come out of the shed.

Like this one:

I should have taken a picture of my dad using his John Deere 4020 to pull this little guy down the road. It was a sight, but it was also cold and rainy, and I was comfy and warm, so there you go.

Anyway, this is a John Deere 70, which some of you will know more about than me, and can certainly correct me, but this little guy was a jack of all trades. While it was generally considered a 4 plow tractor (which means it had 4 things that turned up the soil), my Grandpa Bud bought it in either 1954 or 1955 in Yates City (which is funny because there's only a convenience store and bars to purchase things in Yates City now) to basically do everything on the farm. While we have a machine shed full of tractors, each more specialized than the next, this little guy did everything on their farm during the mid-50s. Plowing, cultivating, pulling the baler, hauling did everything.

The thing that strikes me about this little tractor is that it is, in fact, little. All of our tractors, even Joe's smallish chore tractor, have not only bells and whistles, but SIZE. The new tractors require steps to get into their heated and air conditioned cabs, while this dude has none...well maybe one. This is truly a little engine that could.

The great thing about it, is that this is going on a spa retreat. This 70 is going to a neighboring farmer, who also does our custom spraying and scouting for us and leads the local 4H club. Mr. Emken will work for weeks, possibly months, cleaning, painting and restoring this 70 to its 1950eque glory. While we won't be using it to pull a baler or haul manure, it may make an appearance in a parade pulling a float a few times a year.

I think this is really fascinating, this juxtaposition of high tech and old timey. This is the beauty of farm life and lineage. We are constantly combining old and new, high and low tech, generation to generation.

That is something you just don't get everywhere.

30 Days of Life on A Prairie Farm Series
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four 
Day Five 
Day Six
Day Seven

And, Holly Spangler, the Queen of the Prairie, and her motherpost to all the other bloggers she convinced to do this with!!!

1 comment:

  1. The 70 has a hand clutch that will crack you knee if you are not aware. I look forward to your "after" pictures.