Saturday, February 28, 2009

Who Fixes The Food Machinery?


Last day of February, sounds like March is not coming in like a lamb but I wouldn't call it a Lion, either.

I have been thinking about the people who keep the wheels rolling. Especially those who keep all the food machinery rolling.

We go to the grocery or restaurant, well mostly the grocery these days and take for granted all of the packages of food products in every shape, size and description.

I have been on enough plant tours to know that just doesn't happen easily. Some people make it look easy.

Design and engineering and testing is one thing but we have food machinery in this country that must be the envy of the world. Who keeps all that machinery running?

As a teacher you could quickly identify those who wanted to go to the shop and build and tinker. That is a special talent. I tried to encourage this talent all I could and get them through school so they could do what they are really good at. Repairing machinery.

My mechanic students are some of my most prized contributing citizens. Several advanced to the top of their trade and even teach others. They are the kind that take something apart just to see how it works. The trick is learning how to put it back together to run even better than it did when you took it apart.

I don't take good mechanics for granted. They are a prized professional to me. Some of the best don't dress or act like a professional like we think of in a highly developed skill and knowledge level but they truly are the best at what they do.

Ask any farmer who has a break down at planting or harvest. Those people are worth their weight in gold. As this economy stuggles, they shouldn't have to because they keep the wheels moving.

I am a little closer to the automotive, trucking, and farm mechanics. Some of my students are even airplane mechanics, very skilled and specialized workers. But what about all those food processing machines that pop out packages faster than popcorn pops?

Those have to be very prized employees. Without them the machinery stops, the product quits rolling and the expenses overtake the income until the system is at full steam again.

Career Techinal Education is heavily funded in the Stimulus as it should be. Perkins got a good boost as Congress at least realizes the value of these skilled professionals.

I just wonder who keeps all this machinery going?

If you know of any, I would be interested in knowing more about them and what they do for a living.

Ed Winkle

Friday, February 27, 2009

Veterinarians


I missed Sable's first doctor visit with LuAnn. I was banking and running errands while she took her for her first check up.

She is getting better at riding in the truck but LuAnn thought Sable was going to lose it just before she got there. She made it with no incident though and Sable huddled close to her side.

The girls there treat dogs like little people and are a friendly bunch. Sable is quite attractive for even a German Shepherd and everyone oodled over her. LuAnn said a lady brought what looked like a 200 lb Shepherd through the door and Sable took one look at that monster and scrunched between LuAnn's legs with her paws over her legs like Save Me!

She said she took her to the examinatiion room right before the big shepherd but their doors were facing each other. The vet in training and her started laughing when Sable kept peaking over to see what the big dog was doing.

Doc walks in and looks right at LuAnn and says don't worry, her ears will stand up! She said that was quite an introduction but he told her that was always the first question from a new German Shepherd owner. He looked her over with no problem since LuAnn, Madison and Brynne had already practiced the routine on Sable.

He said she was well tempered and very smart and would make a great dog. That we had figured out. But she weighed in at 42 lbs! I knew she was heavy the last time I carried her to the truck which she usually runs away from.

Everyone pushed me towards veterinary medicine when I was a kid but I rode with the vets as an assistant in the summer and honestly couldn't stand the blood and guts. That just isn't my thing. My cousin Sue married a veterinary student though and they made a great career from helping animals.

LuAnn and Sable made it home in good shape so I had to ask all about the visit as we drove to the Fish Fry tonight. We are both still tired from a very busy week.

My sister always shouts TGIF and we did too today.

How was your week?

Ed Winkle

Good Day in Ada


I had a very good but tiring day in Ada, Ohio yesterday, home of Ohio Northern University. I spoke on cover crops at the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference. There was a big crowd, about the same size as the National NoTillage Conference in Indianapolis last month. Unofficial total was 895 poeple, a little larger than Indy.

I spoke on which cover crop to choose. My message was simple, planting something. You will soon learn what works best for you. Some like wheat, some like rye, some prefer ryegrass but there is huge interest in radishes. Many are using mixtures.

The cover crop interest was so large they held all of the presentations in the Chapel on Wednesday and Thursday. The main building housed the registrations, exhibits and main topics revolving around reducing tillage and other agriculture topics of interest. One was Jim Moseley from Indiana, once Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Dr. Elwynn Taylor, climatologist from Iowa State, always speakers of interest.

I told them I drove 140 miles from Martinsville to Ada and never saw one cover crop field. That reiterated my point that everyone in the room knows the value of cover crops but few have done anything about it. So my message was just plant some and learn how to manage them and learn which ones work best for you. No one can tell you what to plant but we all have ideas.

The benefits of radishes and the yield increases experienced notilling another crop into their decaying remains makes tham a popular choice. There are so many different kinds of radishes. Even those who plant them are a bit confused.

"What’s in a name?

Radishes have become quite popular the past few years primarily because of consistent yield increases on crops that are planted the following year.

However there is confusion in the some farming circles- particularly in the Midwest about what kind of radish we are talking about. Tillage Radish, oilseed radish, and daikon radish are the most frequent names associated with Raphanus sativus, the scientific name for this species.

All these listed below are Raphanus sativus radishes with many different names associated with different uses. They are different when compared one with another. It’d be like using the generic term, “corn” to describe the many varieties of corn -sweet corn included.

Names for Raphanus sativus:

Forage radish- the name Dr. Ray Weil, University of Maryland, assigned to the Raphanus sativus selection he used in his research relating to cover crops. Forage Radish is also used by those who use it for grazing. Dr, Weil will continue to use this term in order to be consistent with his research the past 8 years. But he is indeed using “tillage radish” seeds in current studies. Tillage radishes are mentioned on an upcoming fact sheet from the University of Maryland.

Oilseed radish –As the name indicates these are Raphanus sativus selected for oilseed production, not root production. Seeding rate is sometimes double because of increased seed size. Roots are less aggressive and the plants are generally harder to winterkill.

Daikon radish- a selection of Raphanus sativus used for human consumption.

Oilseed/daikon radish- confusing if this is really for oil seed or human consumption or something else.

Fodder radish-unspecified selection used as a cover crop

Field radish- unspecified selection used as a cover crop

Sprouting radish-Japanese use as sprouts in salads

Japanese radish-used for human consumption

Asian radish- used for human consumption

Chinese radish- used for human consumption

Tillage Radish- A trademarked name that describes the best selection of Raphanus sativus currently available for use as a soil conditioner and cover crop. Tillage Radishes are backed with 8 years of research at Cedar Meadow Farm in conjunction with the University of Maryland."

I am using the Tillage Radish developed on the east coast. It seems to be the best suited for my growing environment and meets my goals of a cover crop to maximize growth and release nutrients.

Since I was gone all day LuAnn had her first "take Sable to work" day. Sounds like she got along pretty well. Sable is growing by leaps and bounds. I am sure she is bigger than she was Wednesday but she still acts like a pup. Maybe it is the big new collar around her neck. LuAnn couldn't find any collars at Tractor Supply that didn't look like a pit bull collar with chrome all over it. Sable has went from a 14 inch collar to a 22 inch collar in one month!

Today is another big day with potential revelation for our farm. I will write about what we learn today later.

Yesterday was tiring enough and we both look and feel quite exhausted.

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday


It is Ash Wednesday, Day of Abstinence. Yesterday I got more email on this blog than ever before. Can't believe how many of you are reading this. Musings of a simple, well not so simple guy from southern Ohio.

One buddy from Illinois told me to take it easy on the sheep so I write today for him. Sheep. A critter I had no experience with until college. I don't know why Grandpa or dad never got into the sheep business but the packs of wild dogs in our area may have had something to do with it. Mostly, our land was more suited for corn, wheat and pasture and that led to the hogs, cattle and chickens we raised. The chickens more than made up for the sheep!

I was in an Animal Science class with the now retired but famous Dr. Jack Judy at Ohio State. We had to feed and exhibit all the animals being discussed in class. You got stuck with what you didn't know anything about so you could learn. I wanted a cow or a pig so badly but I got the sheep.

I distinctly remember being presented the most ornery big ram I had ever saw. It was obvious he had a temperment and quickly sensed I was afraid of him. I got him out of the pen and into the show ring for the parade of livestock, no problem. But part of showing is stopping so the judge can eye it over while you hold it still.

When Dr. Judy got behind the old ram that sheep lurched up in the air with such power few could have handled him, if anyone could. Surely it wasn't me. About the time he yelled "let go, don't grab the wool" the ram was gone and I was standing there red-faced with two big handfuls of greasy, oily, nasty, ram-smelling wool. The class got quite a kick out of it but Dr. Judy was not at all entertained.

I passed the class though and went on to teach agriculture myself at age 21 with three years of college. I was hungry for a paycheck after nearly depleting my bank account I hoped would get me started farming.

I went to meet the County Extension Agent and introduced myself. He said, Eddie Winkle, WN8RQQ! I about fell out of my seat when I realized I was talking to Ed Fladt, WA8JBG whom I had contacted on CW as a novice. Ed is retired of course and doing well in his home town of Hilliard Ohio.

The first thing they do with a new ag teacher is assign you to a county committee to work with the county fair. You guessed it. They put me on the Sheep Committee! One of the best guys you ever met was the Chair and took me under his wing, Mr. John Bay. I did what I could but couldn't wait to get off the Sheep Committee and onto crops or cattle or hogs.

Over the years I helped a lot of 4-H and FFA members select, raise and show sheep. Then my kids got into 4-H and FFA and they had to try every specie. So we ended up showing sheep. I still remember Becky leading 4 lambs on halters down Rhude Road to build their appetite and their muscling. My proudest moment in sheep was when she showed the Grand Champion Lamb at the Clinton County Fair. That was one good lamb out the many she and her brothers showed.

Still, I don't like sheep. I don't hate them and I don't hate chickens. I just prefer hogs, the smartest animal on the farm. If you can out-think a hog that is determined to go somewhere you don't want him to go, you are pretty smart. Still, he is going to win at least half the time.

What is your favorite farm animal?

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chicken Farmers


My neighbor is selling brown eggs for $2. We used to buy them from a farm down the road then they quit selling them. Then we bought from Mrs. Brown at Brown's Grocery up the road, better known as the Martinsville Mall as some of my neighbors call it.

Mom is a chicken farmer and has been doing that all of my life. Chicken chores was a daily part of our farm. I learned to despise chickens.

I have a vivid childhood memory of her mother helping me kill my first chicken when I was about five. She laid the old chicken's neck on the chopping block and ordered me to chop it off with dad's axe. The chicken jumped out of her feeble hands and I learned what "running like a chicken with it's head cut off" meant.

You had to love eggs on our farm because that was a staple food, unlike today's farms. Mom kept enough to sell at the farm because we lived on a main road, the first farm out of town. I could walk to school until the ninth grade when our school was consolidated and the high school was built 12 miles away.

Chicken and dumplings was never a favorite food for me like some other people I know. Fried chicken Sundays, yuck, I just never cared for chicken. Pork and beef was a treasure compared to chicken. Thankfully we had plenty of pork and beef, too.

Those chickens provided mom with grocery money, us with school lunch money and I don't know what all. Chickens provided us with a better life but one I don't care to remember, at least that part of it. Did you ever clean out a chicken house? You would get my point.

Chickens are the dumbest creatures God ever created. Sheep following the leader off a cliff seems more connectable to human beings. Chickens peck each other to death and we all know pecking order. We could all write a book about that!

Mike's brown eggs reminded me of life on the farm as a child. I will say LuAnn has learned to make a chicken salad with celery, onions, nuts and berries that is really good. She camoflauges it so well I imagine you woundn't even call it chicken salad as it is traditionally known. Put that on a bed of lettuce or a fresh crossiant and boy, what a treat!

Not like that first episode I described at all.

Hat's off today to chicken farmers!

Ed Winkle

Collecting


What do you collect? I guess we all collect something but right now all I see is the colleciton of paper on my desk!

Cleaning my desk was never a strong motivation for me until it got so bad you get comments from others and you start feeling guilty. Or, you look and look for something you know you had and can't find it. I am getting to that point.

Today's email included a tractor a friend of mine sold recently and now another one is on eBay. Made me think about my own toy tractor collection.

I started collecting when I found an original Oliver 77 with the little man in the seat at the Warren County fair in the 80's. That tractor was made in the late 40's, early 50's around the time I was born and that was the first new tractor dad ever bought. That is the one I learned on when dad needed someone to drive the baler.

Matt was little when I bought that toy tractor and we would look at the toy tractor displays and every now and then I would buy one when I had a few extra dollars. By the time he was a teenager we had a sizeable collection so we built a shelf all around the top of the great room in the house on Rhude Road.

Farmers and kids would walk into the foyer from the front door and gasp at all the toy tractors around the top of that big room. It gave us considerable pleasure.

When we moved here they all got put away until the grandkids started coming and I had them all over my office for them to play with. Not including the brand new ones in the original box, though.

The bug bit again last year when I started bidding on eBay. There is usually 10 pages of toy tractors for sale on there each day. Next thing you know, you are the winner and they start coming in the mail.

Then you need a PayPal account and it really starts getting out of hand! You get the credit card bill and start looking at all the "fun" you had and wonder how much enjoyment you are getting for that monthly check.

At least that is how it worked for me. LuAnn got me beautiful shelves she sanded and stained herself for Christmas and I can enjoy that gift every day. But some of the boxes are stacked on top of each other and that makes for a poor display.

So my buying spree has stopped. Good thing, I don't have the extra money to blow right now. After the resolutions, tax preparation, net worth assessment, increased real estate taxes, new farm loan and everything else, there isn't any wiggle room.

My tractor inventory shows I could buy a ton of fertilizer for the value of my collection! I love to watch a beautiful crop growing from it but it's not the same as a tractor collection when your grandchild wants to look at one.

I see the news every day and just shake my head and give thanks for all I have. Pretty hard to look at those situations when you worked hard all your life and still have something to show for it. So many people don't have that.

I did buy another pedal tractor at Christmas for the kids to ride this summer. My friend Steve from Pennsylvania is bringing it to Ada tomorrow so I can bring it home. Can't wait to see one of the little ones ride it.

I wonder if this has happened for most people like me or are people still collecting?

Ed Winkle

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's National FFA Week!


One of the many things I did as FFA Advisor was to guide the officers and members to plan and carry out activities to start the new FFA year with National FFA Week.

The new FFA year begins March 1 as the school year's activities are summarized and members plan their new SAE programs and chapter activities.

One of our favorite activities were anything to do with food and a tractor day. We had such crummy weather some years we delayed that 'til National Agriculture Week the week of spring each year. Usually weather was better for cookouts and tractor days.

Only by the grace of God did no one get hurt during tractor day. Can you imagine driving your tractor or usually one of your dad's tractor in the dark to school so you could be there for the start of school at daylight? Of course they always wanted to drive them during class to show them off so we made it a skill event with tractor training, safety, and a quiz with awards. Remember, there is only one seat on most tractors so no riders allowed!

One year LuAnn subbed for me while I went to an important meeting and the Stahl boys talked her into letting them drive their big Internationals all over the CNE parking lot. When I got back she said that is the craziest thing I ever got her into and she was never subbing for me again! If you haven't seen their combine video, you have to watch it. That one and the one from the Danish crew custom harvesting and baling in Australia are my two favorites.

FFA is a great and wonderful organization. I am proud my oldest son followed my footsteps as I followed dad and grandpa as school board president. Schools are our past, present and future and FFA is a integral part of a child's and school success. I truly believe that and have much proof of it.

If you don't have a chapter, start one. If you have one, go visit and see how you can help make it better.

We are all in this together!

Ed Winkle

February is Slipping


An slipping by real quickly! It's not just the shorter month, it's these fast times, too. Next Sunday it will be March and we are in Lent!

I haven't seen any Mardi Gras coverage this year. Someone said the one in St. Louis is bigger than New Orleans now. We were down there one year right before the big celebration and they had already started.

I guess they are too busy licking their wounds and most have moved away from New Orleans since Katrina. I never saw anything in the stimulus that would help them that much either.

We watched the Weather Channel coverage of Galveston Texas and the 1900 hurricane, the rebuilding of the island and then Hurricane Ike last September. Hard to believe that storm got to Ohio.

I wonder how much damage we had in our state from roofs to corn laying all over the fields? I am afraid we will be dealing with that corn sprouted in our notill beans this year in Ohio.

The corn around here stood pretty well considering but everyone had some stalks down, ears on the ground and all the tops blown out as a minimum. Sometimes the top took the ear with it. Millions and millions of dollars of loss I am sure.

09 weather concerns me, let alone these half priced markets of last year. I guess the bubble burst all over! Stock market hasn't found its bottom and beans haven't either. That is a little too interesting for me on the wrong side.

Of course the big bubble last year was just as bad. Few were able to sell high priced crops because it dropped so quickly by the time we figured it out. Sky is the limit to the sky is falling happened all too quickly for the feeble human mind to comprehend.

I woke up this morning just counting my blessings and thinking about all the souls who are hurting and need help. I don't see the stimulus fixing that but know the church can. Of course you have to be there to partake in that grace.

I will be glad to get the closing completed this week and get my talk at Ada delivered. Ask my wife, I like to talk. Most times that is true, but some times I am in a quiet reflective mood and just sit here and type out my thoughts.

Everyone says our country needs a shake up and wake up call. I think we got it. Are we going to do anything about it or just hang on until it hurts too badly?

Penance is upon us and it is time to give up some of the bad by doing good. I try to do that everyday but this takes a higher, more concerned effort.

What will you give up willingly this year?

I did the financial net worth so it is time for the personal self worth. I like myself just fine but I can always do better.

Ed Winkle

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Today


I see my German Shepherd picture link broke. Don't you love the Internet? Things are great when they work!

I downloaded that URL and now it doesn't show. That is why I prefer my own pictures.

Sable is out there banging her pan, I just heard it. We both just got up and I didn't quite feed her enough yesterday so she gulped this feeding down and now is pushing the pan all over the porch. I see why they make heavy dog bowls, so it stays in place.

Trixy's dog bowl is in the old straw barn with the cats. I may have to go down and get it and wash it real well for Sable.

These markets have our heads spinning. TV is nothing but attack each other. It would be a great time to leave the country for awhile but not much better where you would go, just a different scenario of bad news.

I have to finish my Power Point for Ada today and practice it a few times. My topic is which cover crop to choose for the crop following it. Pretty simple to me, just plant something!

We talk about cover crops but you really don't see that many. You know why? You are too busy taking off the crop before it and the next thing you know it is too late to plant another one!

Some farmers are geared up to plant and harvest at the same time but you have the expense and distraction from harvest... You get the picture. Next thing you know there is no cover crop planted.

It takes a strong committment and belief to do what we really know is best.

Are we that lazy? Some would say we are that comfortable. This applies to our economic situation as it is easy to get in a wait and see mode without taking action.

I can't believe Ash Wednesday is almost upon us.

Next thing you know we will be planting!

Ed Winkle

Friday, February 20, 2009

Net Worth


Anyone calculated their net worth lately? If you have the guts, you might want to.

I had to face reality this morning setting up the bank closing. The appraisal came in strong but a little lower than we would have liked. We bought a good property and iit has maintained value.

Our problem was our property is so unique there are no comps or comparables the last six months. The farm across the road sold two years ago and that is about as close as it gets.

We invested a lot of effort and money to bring this place back into its full potential. Wiring, roofing, painting, tiling, carpentry, bin repairs, the list is long. That makes it better to us but not always as much to the appraiser.

So he used replacement value and income potential to do the appraisal and that worked out OK for us and the lender. I can see where it wouldn't in many of these refinance problems in our country today.

Notice there is nothing in the stimulus to help the mainstream like us who pay the majority of the taxes? I can see why the public is up in arms. One broadcaster said 92% of us are paying our mortgage on time so our problem is the 8% who aren't and are in default.

Doesn't seem fair, does it? They say life isn't fair and it sure isn't going to be financially in this country.

Our cash stayed strong but our investments slipped a bit. We are conservative so it isn't a financial desparity like it is on many of these bad loans.

We were able to reduce our amortization by 11 years and maintain property free and clear of leins. That is what we both have to focus on as we plan to pay off this mortgage.

You know what mortgage means? Debt until death. I wouldn't trade mine for rent any day. Better check your net worth though if you haven't lately. Be brutally honest, the figures just aren't what they were a year ago.

Hopefully you have maintained most of what you have worked for.

Ed Winkle

Thursday, February 19, 2009

One Month!


Sable has been here one month now! Boy those 30 days sure went fast.

She is in full puppy mode now while learning commands. You have to grab her face and look into her eyes and repeat the command sometimes but she is going pretty well.

She has only damaged one old gym shoe but she sure loves to carry LuAnn's stuff around. This morning she scratched at the door after LuAnn left. LuAnn gave her a kiss and I said wow, now the dog is better off than I am! We took care of that too, though...

She eats pretty well now and has grown a bunch. People who first met her get out of their car or truck and say wow she's grown! One farmer had a favorite shepherd and says she is doing good and keeps giving me a few pointers.

She is also getting more protective and really attached to me. I have to take her everywhere, at least I feel like I do. I am going to have to set up strict lines where and when she can participate and when she can't. Overall, I think she is doing well.

It's like raising a child but this one has 4 legs and can really scat. The cats down hang around the porch like they used to, I believe they are really bummed!

Those massive paws proves she is going to be one big shepherd and a formidable foe to anyone who really upsets her. I am looking forward to that but just enjoying the diminishing puppy stage and trying to respond to her learning new things while keeping her at bay.

She had both ears erect on some visits yesterday. They are kind of floppy when she gets up in the morning but I notice more and more muscle tone all over her body, especially her ears.

Dogs are wonderful creatures. God sure put them here for a reason. They didn't earn the title "man's best friend" for nothing.

I would really like to raise pups from her but that is awhile off and we really aren't prepared for that if ever. Neutering was also created for a reason...

It really got cold and windy again so that limits our time outside while I work on paperwork and there are always mounds of it.

Such is farming and running a business.

Have a great day,

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wow, yesterday


The stock market and grain market took it on the chin! Uncertainty abounds!

The "stimulus soup" Budde mentioned to me made him and a lot of others queasy!

I haven't taken the time to check what is going on today, a little afraid to.

I can tell you what happened to the grain markets yesterday:

CBOT CHANGE

CORN - 14.00 CENTS

BEANS - 52.50 CENTS

WHEAT - 20.00 CENTS

Yes, that is minus 52.5 cents on beans! Ouch! They must be fearing record acres of beans already and we don't even have our seed yet!

My local fall 09 high bid was $9.70 and now they are $8.11. That is several dollars on not too many acres!

Another reader follows gold and sent me this:
"Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Gold demand rose 26 percent in the fourth quarter as investors bought the precious metal as a store of value amid a worsening global economy, the producer-funded World Gold Council said.

Demand rose to 1,036.5 metric tons from 821.8 tons a year earlier, the London-based council said today in a report. So-called identifiable investment, which includes purchases through exchange-traded funds and of bars and coins, almost tripled to 399 tons. Jewelry and industrial consumption fell as the recession eroded purchasing power. Supply rose 5 percent.

“The biggest gain has been the retail investment side,” Rozanna Wozniak, the council’s investment research manager, said in an interview. “It’s a reflection of uncertainty. Gold’s role of a safe haven is coming through.”

Investors are seeking to protect their wealth with physical gold as the global economy worsens and central banks spend trillions of dollars to combat the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Assets in three of the industry’s largest exchange-traded funds are at all-time highs, while national mints are selling out of coins.

Bullion averaged $798.84 an ounce in the fourth quarter, compared with $789.31 a year earlier. The metal reached a seven- month high of $974.32 an ounce today and traded at $963.93 by 11 a.m. in London. Gold, which has gained in each of the past eight years, is up 9.3 percent this year."

The eastern European financial markets are the news and have investors REALLY thinking and guessing(from NewAgTalk)

"i really think the @##$ might hit the fan very very soon. king dollar rolling... someone wants out of everything overseas before someone defaults."

So how do we prepare for this uncertainty? We keep going until we can't any longer!

My parents lived through hard times and raised us that way. I still feel fortunate to be who I am where I am.

I think a lot of pockets have holes like my engine cylinder!

Tomorrow might be another story...

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

RFD TV


RFD TV has really changed the ag landscape. I got to see myself on TV last night.

The day before the NNTC in Indianapolis a young man from Osborn-Barr emailed me and asked me if I would do a TV interview about the conference for them for and RFD program to be aired later.

I said sure and did the interview when I got to Indianapolis first thing on Wednesday, January 14. The driving was rough that wintry day but I made it safe and sound although there were cars in the ditch and median along the way.

They sat us on a stool in a dark room with only the lights on us. Another young man asked me questions and I responded. I had never done anything like that before.

I wondered into my first NNTC in the 90's when Leon asked me to go to the Independent Professional Seedsman Association meeting in St. Louis. There were many times the people at NNTC as IPSA so I watched a couple of presentations and talked to some of the farmers there. It was a beautiful warm day in St. Louis and I got a good picture of the arch on my old Sony digital camera.

He didn't know farming or agriculture so he couldn't ask the lead in questions to get me going like he could have. Still, it turned out pretty well and my friends said it was a good show.

I imagine they will air it several times on RFD which is channel 345 on our new Direct TV system. I recorded the event so I can critique myself. The program is called SFP No-Till Notes and was taped at the 17th annual National NoTillage Conference in Indianapolis.

Specialty Fertilizer Products are selling Avail for more phosphorous release and uptake and Nutrishphere for nitrogen. I haven't tried their products but the chemistry makes sense. You can even use them with manure so they may have something.

The neat thing is I have met every farmer and agribusinessman they interviewed on the program. That made the show more important to me.

It has been years since I was on TV when I was teaching and working in Extension. I guess it turned out OK.

Have you ever been on TV for the world to see?

It is quite an experience!

Ed Winkle

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Great Week!


It was a very good week! The only down part was the terrible wind storm Wednesday night. We got home and found two barn doors blown off again. Yes, again. Both have been repaired once and the big one was replaced after the tornado here on Good Friday of 2006. My insurance company has been very good to me and I would recommend them to anyone!

The farm machinery show was amazing and uplifting. I know so many people from across the country now it is difficult to walk far and not run into someone I have met. The agricultural community is that small now and mine has gotten so big since retiring from teaching in 2002.

Farmers were spending money and asking questions. They can't blame this economy on us because most of us had a good year and we spend every nickel we get our hands on!

LuAnn and I were thinking how much money we have handled in almost ten years and it is staggering. Money is just a tool to live and manage our business but the TV and Internet makes you want to go hide it under a rock.

What are we leaving our kids and grandkids in this society? It really makes you wonder so we just keep on enjoying them every chance we get.

Yesterday was fun. Jason helped me get a load of wood next door from a neighbor's tree trimming Friday and we were able to get a big truckload loaded, moved, split and stacked in the old barn for future use. A pile of wood like that just spells security to me.

Then the grandkids came and we had a blast. We are trying to teach Sable how to treat the little people so they won't get hurt. The two little ones are a little afraid of her because she is bigger and stronger than them even though she is only 4 months old. We let them run the house and they just had fun running from the living room and Scooby Doo on TV to LuAnn's office where kids always like to go. It is a friendly place.

Normally they hang out in my office with all the toys but they were happy to run the 60 feet from one end of the house to the other. Just skipping, playing, talking and interacting with each other, very rewarding for us to just sit and watch.

Today is President's Day so no banking or mail to deal with. That kind of throws me off and leaves 4 week days to get it all done this week. I have so many projects going on I need to focus on a few and get them done.

It is kind of like feeding 10 fires at once while I am feeding two real stoves with two real fires at the same time.

It got down to 25 degrees Fahrenheit last night but the day is clear and sunny.

I wonder what I will get into today...

Ed Winkle

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Doctor Visits


One thing many farmers and non-farmers share is the dread of the doctor visit.

About a year ago my blood pressure got a little too high and I went through all the tests and physicals. Yuck.

A year later I can tell you I am glad I went and listened. I modified my routine and today my blood pressure is back to normal for me, 110/70. I lost 8 pounds over the winter too, still too heavy but a lot better than I was. I didn't like how I looked and I knew I didn't feel my best.

That fear of change and looking at our mortality is frightening to say the least. It is tolerable when you are of sound mind and body but when you aren't, you don't make good decisions.

My dentist said one time you have a couple of white spots on your lower lip and you need to have them looked at. I did. They were precancerous and I had them taken off. Seemed like a big deal then but doesn't now. He said they were from my teen years and too much sun and I remember exactly when I had too much sun baling hay and swimming with my band members at Rocky Fork Lake.

My eye doctor said he saw those little spots inside my eyes that might indicate my body wasn't functioning normally which tied to the weight and blood pressure. The Chinese have a word for it that escapes me right now. It was another indicator so I listened and confirmed it and did something about it.

The body is a wonderful but almost mysterious organism in itself. When we aren't treating it right, it responds. Alittle change in the right direction though and it respons to that, too.

So I guess the message today is if you aren't feeling quite right, you know exactly what to do. The tools are out there to help us. You just have to commit to it if you want change for the good.

Farmers are coming upon our busy season and if we aren't up to par we are really going to suffer. The biggest thing is now for me is I have tendonitis in my elbows so bad I can't lift as much as I used to and I get tired quicker. I have had to hire help to get done what needs to be done and become more of a supervisor than the main laborer. That in itself is a big role change in running a business.

It got down to 28 degreed Fahrenheit last night so both stoves are burning. I will be glad when that is over but that means I will be outside more and won't take the time to keep this blogging up like I have the last two months. Maybe I will make it my early morning routine.

People ask me why I started one and I tell them it was time to share my life experiences as much for me as for any good one might get reading them. I have enjoyed this and now it is part of my history.

We all have a story to tell and this is one method I found to tell it that I enjoy.

I hope you are feeling good and enjoying what you are doing, too.

Have a great Sunday,

Ed Winkle

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Farm Auctions


I like to go to farm auctions. I used to buy and sell machinery as a hobby and a way to make a little money. I learned more than I made compared to the few who do make a living from this activity.

Today is the Hillsboro FFA farm machinery auction. The weather looks rainy but I will trek over there to see some people and see what the unwanted machinery is bringing.

I went last Saturday to the Lynchburg Clay FFA farm machinery auction and it was one of the first nice days to be out since the snow and ice storm. You could tell lots of people were out for the same reason.

Items sold pretty well I thought, not outrageously high but lots of money and items were changing hands. The interesting part was the loads of hay and straw for sale. I wouldn't want to sell my crop for those prices so I guess I reinforced my love for cash row crops and don't intend to start selling hay or straw anytime soon.

We have a beautiful barn we restored that is ideal for this activity. The crop would keep the fields green and prevent erosion. But so does no-till and cover crops. With hay and straw you are storing forever it seems and have to build a group of customers and become privy to their whims.

With grain I can forward contract and deliver out of the combine or fill the bins and wait until the market needs the grain and bids appropriately. You load the semi, send it off to the city and wait for your check. That is a lot different than selling hay or straw out of the barn.

I don't really like selling all the mass off the field either. I like just harvesting the fruit of the grain and leave the residue there to decompose. There is a lot of nutrient in a ton of crop residue.

Different strokes for different folks they say. I don't miss the livestock but I miss the manure. Cheap fertilizer right now. You make more from the manure than the animals that produced it today but livestock is full time and we like to travel.

I guess I am not the animal husband dad or grandpa was. They liked to grow crops and cut hay but were tied to the farm because of livestock.

The crop doesn't bawl so loudly when I am gone. The cows used to bawl so loud when I was a kid they made my head hurt.

Now when I take off and come back and it my crop is still there. I just let God take care of it while I am doing other things.

Not much of a farmer, am I? Guess I am the Lazy Farmer too.

Ed Winkle

Friday, February 13, 2009

Disappointing Legislation


We have yet to meet one sensible person in all our contacts who have faith in the President, Congress and their proposal to help our economy with this bill today.

LuAnn printed off the 700 pages of the first published proposal and there is more pork in there than a ship headed for Europe in WWI.

Now the bill is up to 1,000 pages and no one has read or interpreted the whole thing. Congressmen admitted they were voting without reading it? The Democratic Senate is awaiting the arrival of Sherrod Brown from Ohio(after his mother's funeral) to vote yes for the 60 votes they need to pass the bill and send it to the President? Whoa....

I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime and doubt you have either.

Everyone talks about the legacy we are leaving to our grandchildren but I don't think it will take that long to feel the repercussions.

This economy is so shaky that no one feels that cranking up the printing presses again with "our good name" and nothing to back the debt is going to work.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is considered not effective by my friends and neighbors. You can't go anywhere without someone bringing it up. It is the talk of the town in southwest Ohio where jobs are ending faster than any Congress could start new ones.

I met another man losing his job soon at Airborne Express and he has no idea what he will do. He is trying hard to stay afloat and find new work but you could see his concern like the many I have talked to since this news hit last summer.

Will it work?

My Vocational Organizations have just listed the educational highlights of this bill:

"House Passes Economic Recovery Package, Senate to Follow

On Friday, February 13, 2009, the House passed the finalized version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The bill includes final funding allocations that were negotiated between the House and Senate earlier in the week and the Senate is expected to vote and approve the legislation late Friday night or over the weekend. President Obama will sign the bill into law once it is approved by the Senate.

The bill includes a total of $787.2 billion dollars for all programs, including approximately $130.2 billion for education programs and funding for numerous workforce-related initiatives. Almost $300 billion in tax cuts are included in the bill, while the rest of the package contains spending measures that are intended to stimulate the American economy and provide relief to states facing budget shortfalls. The Congressional Budget Office has stated that 74.2 percent of the bill’s funding and tax breaks will go out by the end of Fiscal Year 2010.

The legislation includes many provisions that are expected to positively impact education and workforce development. Among the provisions in the bill with a direct relationship to CTE programs and students are:

$3.95 billion for job training programs including formula grants for adult, dislocated worker and youth services through the Workforce Investment Act; $50 billion for YouthBuild; and $750 million for new competitive grants for worker training in high growth and emerging industry sectors (with priority consideration to “green” jobs).

At least $40 billion in state fiscal relief to local school districts and public colleges and universities distributed through existing state and federal formula grants. Once these funds are awarded to local school districts, they may be used for any activities authorized under the Carl D. Perkins Act, IDEA, Title I of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the Adult and Family Literacy Act, or for school modernization, renovation, and repair of public school facilities. These funds are intended to address state budget shortfalls.

$500 million in grants to train primary health care workers.
Additional resources for Title I of NCLB ($10 billion), School Improvement grants in NCLB ($3 billion) and IDEA ($12.2 billion). These funds may not go directly to CTE programs, but will help fill gaps in state and federal budgets that have siphoned local resources from CTE programs.
$650 million for the Educational Technology program.
$15.8 billion for the Student Financial Assistance account in the Higher Education Act, including $15.6 billion for Pell Grants (a $500 increase in the maximum award per eligible recipient) and $200 million for federal work-study programs."

No one knows if this will work but no one thinks it is our salvation around here. I guess the best we can do is keep operating as smart as we can financially while positioning ourselves for even worse times.

This legislation looks like my 2007 crop in the picture above. It is off to a bad start. Click on my links above and look for yourself.

On a sad note our prayers to the souls and families affected by the air crash in Clarence NY last night. One of our friends is an air controller there and that was not his voice from the Buffalo Airport. I bet LuAnn knows someone affected by that crash.

That's the way it is here on the farm today.

What do you think?

Ed Winkle

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Wonderful Show!



Wow, my feet hurt! So does the feet of many thousand other farmers and friends. LuAnn and I walked the National Farm Machinery Show today and my friend Allen Dean and I walked it yesterday.

We saw so much it is difficult to pick out any one thing. The big wind storm last night never dampened our spirits, especially watching the Super Stock Diesel, 7200 Mod's and Pro Stocks last night. The track really came into its own in the modified class with many full pulls. That fellow from Oklahome even moved the concrete barrier when he tore into the sand pile with his pull.

The exhibitors were very busy both days so far and will be tomorrow and Saturday. They will go home "plumb tuckered out" almost like us visitors. They were taking orders and describing their products. Few exhibitors weren't busy and you had to wait in line to talk to many of them.

It was good to see the Martin's, Marion Calmer, AGCO, CNH, Deere, Caterpillar and most every company very busy. It was great to see all the friends from all over too! It was nice to put a face with a name like Reid Hamre, Brand Manager for AGCO who put up the new Long Live the Family Farm website. I had to buy the T shirt!

I looked at planters, drills, combines and sprayers mostly. I found a real simple liquid seed treater from Clarks Ag Supply from Clarks, Nebraska. That should be an easy way to put on the new soybean inoculants and other products as farmers deliver seed to their planters and drills.

Even our bed and breakfast host Nancy wrote about it on her blog from the Aleksander House on 1st Street in Old Louisville just minutes from the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center. This week is always busy for her.

We really enjoyed the show so far and the time away from home. That makes Home Sweet Home even nicer when you get there.

It will be interesting to see what everyone else learned after they get home and share their experience on NewAgTalk. Every year I meet more and more followers of the best ag page on the Internet.

If you ever get a chance, stop and visit the show. Wednesday is usually the quietest day there but was very busy yesterday but not overly crowded. I think the parking lot was full by 10 AM this morning and the show opened at nine.

Hope you didn't get too much wind from this storm, lots of people were hurt again by this storm.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hybridization of Corn


One of the most important things I learned in school was Gregor Mendel's studies that led to the hybridization of corn.

If you plot the population of man since the birth of Christ the curve is realitively flat until you get to the late 1800's and early 1900's. Then the curve goes straight up as the population of man exploded. This is a very short period of time compared to earth's existence.

I have always contended that the hybridization of corn is key to this growth as food production doubled in a very short period of time.

Then the use of fertilizer and machinery became very important to grow, manage and utilize the increased crop. It is difficult to understand the change in society in such a short period of time.

Norman Borlaug is credited for the Green Revolution but it all started with Gregor Mendel. This is basic science I feel all people need to understand about their existence.

Would we be here without these discoveries? I doubt it. I give thanks for it and try to do my part in sharing what I have learned for the benefit of all.

This is why school is so important. Learning is key to the advancement of man. I learn something every day and do my best to share it. This blog has been my latest effort to do just that.

Still, we have to use some judgment. Not all discoveries or knowledge is good for man. Greed and power can ruin all advancement. Man's history shows that as much or more than the advancement of good.

Our Native American's had a good thing, a simple life. They picked the best ears of corn like my grandpa did to plant the next crop. These inbreds led to crossing these genes for the hybrids we have today.

Thanks to hybridization we can feed and fuel our population beyond our dreams. Corn isn't just subsistance any more, it is expansion of existance.

The next time you consume a corn product from the beverage you are drinking to the gasoline mixture you are pumping into your car, remember the Indian, Gregor Mendel and the American Farmer. Thanks to them we are here and enjoying a comfortable life compared to others.

We live in America, home of the Native American and the Corn Belt "where corn is grown and future farmers meet."

Valentine's Week


Really National Farm Machinery Show week but I have to put my Valentine first!

She does what I like to do and I try to like what she does but antique stores and flea markets get old! Thank Goodness she likes to travel and learn new things and talk to people like I do.

Waiting for the appraiser to get here, really curious what they will think. Should be no problem in re-financing this place at a lower rate but you never know. We have done so much to this farm in 5 short years. Nothing really to compare it with around here, it is quite original.

I would sure like to see this are settled and these three farms built. This one sits on the highest knoll, second highest in the county by a few feet. Built around 1880 and four bricks thick. They call them cannon ball walls so they couldn't shoot a cannon ball through it, Civil War you know.

This soil is great for farming but they should have imported the bricks instead of making them here. This soil is just a little too crumbly to make bricks from. The old brick pit is still down by Little East Fork of the Little Miami River.

This farm sits on a unique glacial moraine. This farm is on the Wisconsin Glacial Till but the fence line to the west and south is Illinoian Glacial Till. Hard to imagine the old Illinoian is buried deep under this glacial outwash.

I am surely no expert but taught soils as a part of my career all my life as a student, teacher and farmer and now consultant. Soils are important to us and we like to dig. Every summer we try to dig down and see how are soil is responding to our management practices. I guess that is the largest legacy I will leave, the love and understanding of soil and how to nurture it to make a living and feed the world.

It feels like a blustery March day today, not like cold February a year ago. The seasons pass, the time changes and we all wonder what it will be like tomorrow.

The biggest challenge will be getting Sable over to the grand daughters this afternoon on our way to Louisville. She gets quite uneasy in the car and got sick her first ride. We have taken one ride since and she did OK but it was a short trip.

I never had a problem with car sickness but sure appreciate those who do! Boats and jets don't bother me but heighths sure do in recent years. I use to skin tall maples to where it wasn't safe to be and now get uneasy on a stepladder!

My how times change and go so fast! I try to appreciate each and every single day but they are just coming ang going too quickly!

Hope your time is going slow if you are having fun but it is probably going too fast like mine!

Have a great day,

Ed Winkle

Monday, February 9, 2009

Top Ten Counties To Raise A Family


This caught my eye this morning on DTN Ag News:

"Top 10 Counties to Raise a Family
Wed Feb 4, 2009 12:44 PM CST

The Progressive Farmer has compiled its list of the best rural counties in the U.S. in which to raise a family. The list was based on certain criteria: home and land prices, crime rates, environment, education, economic factors, access to health care and others. Counties were first ranked using a proprietary formula based on these statistics, then arranged again based on editorial opinion after the magazine staff travels to selected counties.

Here are this year's top 10 counties to raise a family:

1. Hamilton County, Neb.

2. Chippewa County, Minn.

3. Ida County, Iowa

4. Harvey County, Kan.

5. Clinton County, Iowa

6. Fayette County, Texas

7. Oconee County, Ga.

8. McPherson County, Kan.

9. Obion County, Tenn.

10. Madison County, Va.

We have visited many of these counties and they are also nice places to visit. It is no secret we love Iowa and looked at property there. Reminds me of Ohio when I was a kid.

But we stayed in Ohio and all of our kids and grandkids are still here. I hope they don't have to move away because of career advancement but you never know.

I can't believe Akron Ohio made MSNBC's list. I think I will stick with Progressive Farmers list. You can even design your own Top Ten list there!

Here is how my Top Ten came out. I knew I should have taken that teaching job I was offered in Illinois in the 70's!

1. Edwards County, Illinois
2. Marshall County, Illinois
3. Mercer County, Illinois
4. Lyon County, Iowa
5. Chickasaw County, Iowa
6. Sioux County, Iowa
7. Schuyler County, Illinois
8. Grundy County, Iowa
9. Iowa County, Iowa
10.Cuming County, Nebraska

Iowa would still be hard to beat and Washington, Stockton, Dyersville and Farley are some of my favorite towns.

How did your county fare? Ohio never even made the rankings. Where would you move if you had a chance to start over?

Ed Winkle

National Farm Machinery Show


The Big Show is this week. They reported just over 300,000 people there last year. I don't know how they count that many with the parking booths etc. Probably a close guess though.

This is the 44th annual with the big indoor pull around since the late 60's. 1.2 million square feet will be filled with farm machinery and related items, 800 exhibitors and all exhibit area filled. I call it 40 acres under roof.

It is the biggest show east of the Mississippi and one of the largest in the country if not the biggest. It gets quite crowded Friday and Saturday as lots of FFA chapters bring busloads of kids besides the bus loads of farmers from around the continent.

Lots of farmers from Ontario Canada attend as it is not that far from them. I always end up talking to some of them at the show.

This year I am looking at sprayers, planters and drills. Everyone likes to see the new tractors and pick up trucks though. Some people hunt down tools and parts but travel light is my byword so I don't do that myself.

I always run into someone I know at Marvin Gordon's little booth in the enlarged South Wing. Marvin builds mod's for combines and hosts the Harvesting website. Lots of us from NAT meet there around noon every day. With the new NAT wear it will be easier to spot another poster or lurker from NAT. The ag world just keeps getting smaller, or larger depending how you look at it.

That show and the FFA Convention have a huge impact on Louisville's economy. FFA moved to Indianapolis as they bid out their convention but this show will always be at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center and the pulls will be in Freedom Hall.

Farmers have spring fever here as the weather is warmer and yesterday was beautiful here. Really makes you think about the 2009 crop! I am sure that fever will spread through Louisville and adjoining communities this week as it would be hard to find a motel room within 25 miles or more.

I wonder how many people learned about this show when they tried to book a room in the area this week?

See you at the show,

Ed Winkle

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunny Day


We welcome a streak of warm weather and a break from filling and maintaining the stoves!

First garden seeds ordered, crop seeds ordered, inoculants ordered, now have to nail down the herbicide and fertilizer program.

It was frozen enough I could get onto the field and pick up some of the cut up fence row yet warm enough to not freeze!

Tuesday is Mass for the anointing of the sick. This sacrament goes back to the early days of the church.

"If I asked you to close your eyes and picture the Sacrament of Anointing, what image would come to your mind? I think many Catholics would picture a priest standing at a hospital bedside. For an increasing number of Catholics and Protests, however, the mental picture would be different. They would picture a parish gathered for Sunday Eucharist, with 30 or so people-some visibly ill, some apparently perfectly healthy-coming up the aisle to be anointed, some with their spouses or caregivers.

Although the sacrament began as a ritual of healing, over time the emphasis shifted to the forgiveness of sins on the deathbed, when such forgiveness would be the final preparation for heaven. The Second Vatican Council returned the original meaning to the sacrament by emphasizing that it is not only for those who are at the point of death, but for anyone who is seriously ill, including mental or spiritual illness. It also helped move the Anointing away from a private service and back toward a community-based one.

Today we are all aware that tensions, fear and anxiety about the future affect not only our mind but our body as well. These illnesses can be serious. They can move us to ask for the healing touch of Christ in the Sacrament of Anointing. Persons with the disease of alcoholism or persons suffering from other addictions can be anointed. So can those who suffer from various mental disorders. The anxiety before exploratory surgery to determine if cancer is present is a situation in which Christ's power can be invoked in the sacrament.

In these cases the person does not have to wait until the illness is so grave that he or she is in the hospital or institutionalized to celebrate the sacrament. Sacraments, after all, are community celebrations. It is preferable to celebrate them in the context of family and parish even before going to the hospital. The sick person has a better opportunity to appreciate the prayers and symbols of the rite when in her or his customary worshiping community."

Click here to read a full article on this topic.

Every church has its own view on anointing of the sick but the message is clear.

Seek help!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Long Live The Family Farm


AGCO has a new website called Long Live The Family Farm. It is a great place to look at the new AGCO products while viewing the ones that kept the company here.

I was raised on Oliver tractors. I still have three in the barn and farm with them. The 1655 Oliver with 283 cubic inches, 66 Certifed Horsepower(remember that?), 6 speed transmission with Over Under Hydraul shift is still one of the best tractors around for its size.

I pull a 6 row planter, 15 foot notill drill and 8 foot BushHog with mine. They are great on the augers loading and unloading grain. Very nimble, powerful, easy to operate tractor!

Oliver Tractors trace their routes back to Hart-Parr and Oliver.

Charles Walter Hart and Charles H. Parr met at the University of Wisconsin, and while working on their Special Honours Thesis, presented in 1896, created their first engine.

After graduation, the Hart-Parr Company was organized on June 12, 1901 at Charles City, Iowa, and Hart-Parr Number 1 was completed in 1902. The "traction engine" was not an immediate success, but in 1906 W.H. Williams, Sales Manager, coined the term "tractor", and from then on Hart-Parr was known as the "Founders of the Tractor Industry".

Oliver Chilled Plow Company

James Oliver was born in Scotland on August 28, 1823, and in 1834, at age eleven, he immigrated to Garden Castle, New York with his family. The family moved west to Indiana, but his schooling ended in 1837 with the death of his father. He went to work for the owner of a pole-boat, but not liking the rowdy life of a river man, he quit to learn the iron molding trade.

James married in 1844 and worked at molding, coopering, and farming. In 1855, while in South Bend, Indiana on business, Oliver met a man who wanted to sell a quarter interest in his foundry for the inventory value ($88.96). Oliver happened to have $100 in his pocket at the time, and thus he became an owner in the cast iron plow business.

As a farmer, James knew that none of the cast iron plows he had used were satisfactory. James made the chilled plow a practical success; it's very hard outer skin was able to scour in heavy soils.

On July 22, 1868 the South Bend Iron Works was incorporated to manufacture the Oliver Chilled Plow, and in 1870 the famous Oliver logo was designed.

James Oliver died in 1908 at the age of eighty-five, and Joseph D. Oliver became head of the company. Joseph had tremendous organization and marketing skills, and the company continued to thrive and expand, and it was Joseph who led the company into the amalgamation with Hart-Parr and others in 1929, to form the Oliver Farm Equipment Company.

Oliver Corporation

By 1929 the Hart-Parr Tractor Company, the American Seeding Machine Company, and the Nichols and Shepard Company were producing machinery that was becoming obsolete, and they lacked the capital and expertise to continue further progress. So, on April 1, 1929, these three companies merged with the Oliver Chilled Plow Company to form the Oliver Farm Equipment Corporation. This full line manufacturer shortened its name a few years later to Oliver Corporation.

The Oliver Corporation continued to innovate, with diesel engines and, in the 1948 to 1954 period, a new series of Fleetline models.

On November 1, 1960 White Motor Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio, a truck manufacturer, acquired Oliver Corporation as a wholly-owned subsidiary. White also acquired Cockshutt Farm Equipment of Canada in February, 1962, and it was made a subsidiary of Oliver Corporation.

(In 1928 Cockshutt Canada had marketed tractors made by Hart-Parr, and from 1934 through the late 1940's had marketed tractors made by Oliver, only changing the paint colour red, and changing the name tags to Cockshutt).

In 1969 White Motor Corporation formed White Farm Equipment Company, and gradually began transitioning to the White name. The Oliver 2255, also known as the White 2255, was the last purely "Oliver" tractor. With the introduction of the White 4-150 Field Boss in 1974, the White name was used exclusively; the Oliver name was no more. In 1985 the White Farm Equipment Company was placed in involuntary bankruptcy. Today the patents are the property of AGCO.

Don't forget the Minneapolis Moline! I never owned one but I have driven a few and they are tough.

You can help keep Long Live The Family Farm, too! Become a member and share your pictures!

We all love to see them!

Ed Winkle