It’s (Not) Just a Tractor

For years we’ve partnered with a calendar company to design antique tractor calendars for our farmer-members. Our fuel and propane drivers hand them out to customers over the fall months, our ag centers keep a stack on the counter so our farmer-members can grab one when they come in to request an order and our Richmond office displays a stack so folks can take one when they’re in to pay a bill.

About eight years ago we decided to do something different and instead of using antique tractors as the monthly photo, we did a calendar with photos of rural America. Month by month, the calendar displayed hidden gems across the US, sunsets in fly-over states, New England in the fall and Utah in the white winter months. It turned out beautifully and we thought our members would love it.

Boy, were we wrong. 

We received so much push back and verbalized disappointment from our customers because we didn’t distribute an antique tractor calendar that year. We had no idea how much our customers looked forward to such a small gesture. We learned that those calendars reminded them of their dad, or granddad, or sweet mother, or their growing up years on the farm. We learned it was not just a calendar. We also learned it’s not just a tractor. 

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It’s not just a tractor. It’s where you learned, and earned, a little bit of freedom out in an open field for the first time.

It’s not just a tractor. It’s a sound that resonates with power, and progress and passion.

It’s not just a tractor. It’s the memory of working alongside your granddad who was – and still is – the most admirable person you’ve ever known.

It’s not just a tractor. It’s the only thing that could get down Marshall Road to the livestock during the Blizzard of 1978.

It’s not just a tractor. It’s the thrill you got when first riding on the fender and watching the hypnotic tire tread roll down the road to a rhythmic rumble.

It’s not just a tractor. It’s how we came to realize that if children were self-starters, mothers wouldn’t have to be such cranks.IMG_0392

It’s not just a tractor. It’s the place from which you dared your sister to jump from the highest step, and she earned her first set of stitches.

It’s not just a tractor. It’s where your good, faithful, favorite, dog rode on the fender with you while spreading manure, making one of the most boring jobs on the farm more enjoyable.

It’s not just a tractor. It’s the pride in making an investment that will serve your generation and the next.

It’s not just a tractor. It’s the machine you used to introduce new technology and practices to the farm, including no-till planting, cover crops and GPS.

It’s not just a tractor. It’s the memory of riding on the platform behind your dad while he lead you into the next great adventure.

It’s not just a tractor. It’s the place where you strap your pride and joy into the buddy seat and feel their head against your arm, or see it bouncing off the window, fifteen minutes later. A tractor is a fine resting spot for youth.

90It’s not just a tractor. It’s the place where your father thought he was teaching you about mechanics, but you also picked up on a whole new vocabulary.

It’s not just a tractor. It’s a vision of restoration come to life, preserving a time capsule of labor and memories for years and years to come.

It’s not just a tractor. It’s a machine that allowed our families to work the ground and plant a seed in the spring, mow and bale the hay in the summer, pull the grain cart in the fall and plow the neighbor’s drive in the winter. It’s a tool for growing and harvesting a lifestyle that can’t be replaced.

It’s not just a tractor. And we’ve learned it’s not just a calendar, either. Stop by your local ag center today to pick one a Harvest Land calendar for 2020.

What has your tractor meant to you? We invite you to comment below.

2020 CALENDAR COVER

 

 

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Hancock County Ag Safety Day

Our story of Cultivating Communities across our trade territory continues, as we attended the Hancock County Ag Safety Day on April 14, which was hosted by Hancock County 4-H.

The children rotated through several stations hosted by various community groups, such at Nine Star Connect, Canine Castaways Rescue, Greenfield Fire Territory and more. Harvest Land employee Vickie Ramsey was instrumental in organizing the day.
The Harvest Land station educated sixty 4-H members about grain safety. Specific topics included grain entrapment as well as auger and PTO hazards.

Today’s Photo Friday includes a few shots from our work with the youth of Hancock County.

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Thank you, Julie Lamberson, Risk Manager, for spending the day with these students.

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These two young men belong to Tarra Youngclaus from our Junction location.

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Many thanks to The Photography Barn for snapping these photos of our work.

 

 

 

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If This Jacket Could Talk

We’re wrapping up National FFA Week, which is a week for chapters and members to share agriculture with their fellow students as well as their communities. Students in our area hosted breakfasts, spoke at conferences, held fundraisers and more. No doubt, the Official Dress and old FFA jacket will be ready for a break after school today.

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If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that it knows Robert – and his Rules of Order- very well.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that you might outgrow jacket itself, but you won’t outgrow the memories or experiences.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that Official Dress really does matter. No jeans, no dirty boots, no zippers undone:

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that many of your greatest lessons in high school happen after the 3:00 bell rings.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you your scarf or tie is hiding in your left pocket.

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If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that when we think of our favorite chapters, we don’t think of a book.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that FFA is one organization that has remained true to it’s core through generations. We all still believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds – achievements won by the present and past generations of agriculturists; in the promise of better days through better ways, even as the better things we now enjoy have come to us from the struggles of former years.

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If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that corduroy has a special durability to withstand the harshest October wind streaming through Indianapolis during convention, pins and embroidery needles that come along with leadership changes and even constructive criticism from judges.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you to prepare yourself for the day that you hang up your jacket, placing it in the back corner of your closet, knowing it’s work is done, never to be worn again. It is a moment that signifies the end of a chapter in your life. But don’t you worry, the best is yet to come.

If this jacket could talk, it would tell you that FFA is more than future farmers of America, but rather future botanists, food scientists, veterinarians, ag journalists, loan officers, chemical salesmen, farm broadcasters, teachers, nutritionists, applicators, mechanics and so much  more.

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Thank you to the advisors who dedicate so much of their time and energy to the students of the FFA organization, to the students who comprise such a promising group of future agriculturalists and to the parents who buy an endless supply of black panty hose and clean white oxford shirts for four years to get those students through. The FFA is an organization that gives us such promise of better days.

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Christmas, As Told by Children

Anyone overwhelmed with attending events, baking, Christmas shopping and meal planning yet?

No?

What about pre-pay, year-end book work and tax planning?

This week we thought we’d step back from the hustle and bustle of the holidays and bring you a three minutes of laughter. Below is the Christmas story, as told by children. Enjoy:

 

Doesn’t everything just seem better when seen through the eyes of children?

 

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