Recipe for longevity: 13 hours each day in a combine during harvest and six days a week in a fishing boat during the off-season — standing up.
Jesse Small reaches the end of a corn row, shifts his cigar from hand to mouth with a grin, and swings his combine around for another pass across a sea of grain. He’ll turn 90 later this harvest season.
Small’s tale stretches back 62 years, when he walked away from a sawmill, bought a combine, and began cutting grain. And since that day in 1951, Small hasn’t missed a season of combining, covering ground from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico."
Old farmers like Jesse give me inspiration. Maybe this diet isn't so bad after all. I am doing things better than before I started it. I am not sure I was ever made to do what he's doing but it's still pure inspiration.
Then there is Lloyd Ratts. "Through the stubble, a John Deere tractor pulling a grain cart races to a nearby combine. Using mirrors he has strategically placed inside and outside the tractor’s cab – “Because I’m not as agile as I used to be” – Loyd Ratts perfectly aligns the cart with the combine’s auger while the combine and tractor continue to move in synchronization.
At 98, Ratts is undoubtedly one of the last Dust Bowl-era farmers still actively engaged in farming his land, a living link to the state’s agricultural history." I think dad and grandpa would be very proud of these two gentlemen, I sure am. Who is going to take over for these fellows?
Ag educators like Matt and myself are doing all we can to encourage the next generation. I just told a friend I've had so many young farmers here this summer I can't remember which one had the problem you and I are discussing. I had to email the young man to fill in details.
Our Ohio showed three young guys from Ridgeway, Ohio who are going to take over the reigns. They are the VanScoys, and they are increasing production per acre rather than increasing acres. Maybe I can meet those young guys and write a blog about them. I love talking to farmers.
These stories are all very inspiring to me today on this cooler and rainy day in mid October. I hope it's a really good day your way.