The A’s, B’s, H’s And M’s Of Farming
I haven't lived on a farm for, oh, getting on close to a half-century now.
I was raised on a farm, or maybe I should call it a farmstead. It was 80 acres of rented land a mile south of Leota, Minnesota, over in Nobles County. My dad loved the place. While he did other things to help make a living, he loved working in the field, out there in the corn and beans.
Things back there, 'back-in-the-day', were a little more casual, a little more haphazard perhaps than they are today. Now, my Grandson Lane is taking Precision Ag in college. And while I'm not exactly sure what 'Precision Ag' technically involves, I'm sure things are a lot more precise today than they used to be.
So essentially, I'm sure I would be totally lost if I tried to exist on a farm today. But what I do remember from those long ago growing-up years is an alphabet soup of tractors!
On our little farm, we had an 'A'...John Deere. It's a warm memory when I think of turning that green flywheel and hearing the 'plup, plup, plup' when it finally caught. And then we also had a 'B'...Farmall. A smaller tractor, it was quicker, more mobile than the 'A', and perfect for pulling a grain shovel across the Minnesota snow with a 10-year-old kid hanging on for dear life.
Our neighbors, the folks that farmed for a living, had a bunch of letters on their places too. You'd see them working in the fields with an H, maybe an M or even a Super M. There were tractor letters of all kinds and while the colors in those days were overwhelmingly green or red, there were others as well, the Minneapolis Moline's and Oliver's and Massey Ferguson's. And most of them carried a letter (or maybe a number) on their side.
They're antiques now, collector items. I wonder how many, if any, still do some of that fieldwork? I'm proud of my Grandson Lane and the Precision Ag courses he is taking at college. But I do hope maybe one day he might find himself standing next to an old 'A' John Deere and takes his turn at the flywheel.