by Julie Carter
The realtor's invention of the 40-acre ranch brought agriculture holdings to town, so to speak. Those that dreamed of being landowners, ranchers and yes, even farmers gained a way to fulfill that fantasy.
I learned the dream is alive and well by what I overheard at a farm and ranch store. A well-heeled couple walked through the door and explained to the man at the counter that they were setting up a big farm and needed to buy some equipment.
Dutifully he walked them through all the sizes and styles of tractors available as well as the assorted attachments. The missus emphasized their requirement for the "heavy duty" stuff so it would hold up to the hard use they planned to give it.
The tractor she picked out had nine steps to get up in the cab — one of those really big monsters.
They also bought discs, hay rakes, balers, blades, plows, harrows and everything else that the dealership offered, taking advantage of the ongoing special — "Buy one, get three percent off the next one." Can't be too cash conscious when you're going into farming.
The next day the couple invited the implement dealer down to see their farm and for him to bring the papers to sign for all the equipment. Jake arrived at what he assumed to be only the headquarters of the farming operation, not knowing for sure just how far toward the horizon the borders of this "big farm" went. He looked around and the lady came out of the house, saying, "Come on, I'll show you around the farm."
He walked with her to a brand new (still with the paper license plate) Grand Cherokee which had a trailer attached. He noticed the trailer had one 12-inch tire and one 18-inch tire on it. She complained that the trailer was not pulling very well at all. Kindly, he explained what he thought the problem to be. But just as if she didn't hear him, in her next sentence she declared that since she is obviously going to have to buy a new trailer, she might as well get a new pick-up too.
Rather than unhook the trailer, she suggested they just walk around the farm. The tractor dealer was a little taken aback in that he really didn't plan on spending all day hiking to look at a farm. It was then he found out the farm was 58.2 acres.
So as not to discourage the sale he was making, he indeed walked around the farm, even managing to keep a straight face. During this stroll around the farm, the lady asked, "What do you think we should raise on our farm?"
Jake's thoughts were, "You couldn't raise hell with a jug of whiskey. This is nothing but a rock pile." But he said nothing, just shrugged and maintained a blank look.
Before he departed, the couple set up a time with him to get some tractor driving lessons, since neither of them had ever been close to a tractor except the day they were at the implement dealership.
He secured permission from a guy he knew to use a vacant 80 acres for the tractor driving lessons. His plan was to put the tractor and driver square in the middle of it and let them practice. He also promised to replace any fences that might get torn up. Later that same day, he saw the missus driving a new Ford King Ranch pickup. He assumed that she is now also a rancher. The possibilities are endless.