John Deere Dreams

 

 

propic11_1This post by L.Leander,

Author of Fearless Fiction

 

 

 

 

With a retired farmer for a husband I know a little about John Deere Dreams. There’s a song by this title by Joe Diffie.

jd tractorIn the Wisconsin farming community John Deere is the highest grossing implement company. These expensive machines are often leased and paid off by doing haying and planting jobs on other farms. This helps pay for a $500,000 debt for a large piece of equipment. We know several farmers who work like this, while also keeping a working farm running at home. The hours are endless during the summer months, when hay, corn, soybeans and wheat needs to be harvested.Barn_HDRhorses

Not so long ago a tractor was much admired and sought after by small farmers who did everything the old way, sometimes with horses to pull an old disc or plow the farmer had rigged up to run the farm. It was only after reaching a financial point so that a new tractor could be paid for, or desperate need to run a paying farm that people actually mortgaged their farm for the much-needed implement. John Deere was the name of choice, but there were many companies to choose from, including Moline, International Harvester, Ford, New Holland, Massey Ferguson and others.P5070011

The plight of the farmer has always been weather. If it’s good and there’s plenty of rain, the farm does well and funds itself for another year. If the dreaded drought or insect infestation occurs, a farmer may have a rough year, try in vain to make up the loss, and sometimes loses the farm. What a sad occurrence to see an auction sign in front of a farm that was once productive, only to see the stoic owners watching their prized, hard work being sold to the highest bidder.auction

We need farms. So many children today don’t even know where our food comes from. Milk is the main source of farming in Wisconsin, and since there are very high standards, a farmer really feels the pinch if he/she can’t keep their grade up to get top money for their milk. When a cow goes “dry” it gets a rest until it calves again, where after she returns to the milk line. Unproductive cows are sold at auction, often to be slaughtered for hamburger. Bull calves get shipped to veal farms, or bought by farmers for breeding purposes. No longer are new calves suckled by their mothers, but are put in calf houses (much like a dog house) where they are bottle-fed. Heifer calves are well taken care of so the farmer can receive top dollar for them when they are of age. They are replacements for cows that are too old to be milked or a diseased cow.THREE COWS_1

When farmers keep their barns and pastures clean, the cows are in better shape, therefore, the milk is of better quality. Once the raw milk is housed in the bulk tank, a large milk truck picks up and delivers the milk to be homogenized and put on the shelves for consumers. Grade A is the best, with Grade B being used for cheeses and such.

I went to a goat farm once and was very impressed with the cleanliness of the milk house and barn. The goats are well taken care of, as they are very prone to disease, and if that happens, the farmer is not able to sell the milk. Most of it goes for goat milk, goat cheese and yogurt. One disease could wipe out a whole herd of goats. They pick up illness much quicker than cows. The particular farmer I visited with my husband was spotless. The goats were fun to see and pet, but they have a very important job to do. The farmer told us that he has ten children to do the barn chores and milk while he works at a regular job in town to make sure they have enough money to run the farm.  Milk machines milk the goats and the filtered milk goes into the bulk tank, where again it is picked up by truck and delivered to the factory.

It is a badge of loyalty for farmers to wear John-Deere inspired hats, shirts, jackets, belts, watches, clocks and logos for their trucks. My stepson has an entire room dedicated to his collection of John Deere items. He’s very proud of his collection and no doubt it will bring a good amount of money someday, should he ever decide to sell it.file0001343978428

This obsession with John Deere equipment can be directly compared to writers. Often, we wish for things that are out of reach, such as high paid cover illustrators, editors, publishers and software. Sometimes we can survive by changing the way we do things and come out with the same results. We have to sell many books to buy the expensive piece of equipment or help we crave. That doesn’t mean we should quit. Farmers are a good example of this. When things are tough they work harder to keep their farms working and productive. Shouldn’t we be doing the same? What do you think? Are there any instances you can think of when the John Deere is out of reach but you climb to the top anyway? I’d like to hear about it if you have.

Books by L.Leander:

Inzared Queen of the Elephant Riders Video Trailer

Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders

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Inzared, The Fortune Teller Video Trailer

Inzared, The Fortune Teller (Book Two)

 

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13 Extreme Tips to Self Publishing

 

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13 Extreme Tips to Marketing an e-Book
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You can also find L.Leander here:

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19 Responses to John Deere Dreams

  1. Nancy Jardine says:

    Hi, Linda. Good post. We have a lot of John Deere’s here, too, but not being in the farming community I don’t know anyone who has a collection of memorabilia, or whether the ‘resting’ of cows is similar here. I imagine it is, though, because that sounds like good farmnng practice and there are strict regulations for our milk farmers. Our milk producing farmers are not a happy bunch just now, though, because they say the cheap milk in the supermarkets isn’t profitable for them to produce. As a consumer I think we need milk to be at the current level of cost to make sure the children in Scotland are being given enough milk. It’s a necessary commodity for their growth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Milk ratings are very important to farmers and it’s how they make their money. Milk prices do fluctuate though. Where I live in Wisconsin it can be as low as $2.89 a gallon all the way up to $3.99 a gallon. I wish you could see my stepson’s collection of John Deere Memorabelia. It’s really taken over a room in his house! The other day while we were garage saleing, someone had a little John Deere Tractor from the 50’s. Ralph said when his father bought him one it was $25, quite a tidy sum in those days. The one we saw at the garage sale? – $225!

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  2. Doris says:

    Good to have you here. Growing up in a farming community, I relate to all you say. Perhaps that is why I usually don’t give up, maybe even if I should. It is ingrained in a farmers DNA. Doris

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Whenever I think of farming, I think of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. I’ve read the book and seen the movie twice. This was interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Neva Bodin says:

    Your post struck many familiar chords with me. I grew up on a farm and we milked cows by hand, sold the cream, drank milk and fed skimmed milk to the pail calves. Dad always let the babies suck 3 days before penning them and teaching them to drink from a pail. That way they got the colostrum and anitbodies. The cow visited her baby for a while putting her head into the pen to sniff it’s head and eventually forgot about him. We visited relatives in Wisconsin once when I was small and they milked a lot of holstein cows. They brought home truckloads of pastries that the bakery had to throw out and fed them to the cows. That was my first visit to a dairy farm. We had Minneapolis Moline tractors and Allis Chalmers when Dad quit usng horses for everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Then you know exactly what I’m talking about, Neva. I’ve never lived on a farm, but all my childhood friends (and many of my adult friends) lived on farms and I was always involved in everything. I remember long hours of backbreaking work during haying time. I’ve milked quite a few cows in my lifetime, shoveled manure, drove the cows into the barn and just about anything else involved with dairy farming. It’s a hard life, but very rewarding, I think. Most of the farmers around here milk Holsteins.

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  5. Wranglers says:

    I have some John Deer memorabilia too. I remember telling my Mom I didn’t want that cow milk, I wanted milk from a store. Love your post and the photos. Farming and raising cattle is hard work. I never was able to milk a cow. We had lots of chickens and rabbits. We aslo sometimes had a cow or some hogs. We had a pony. I think when you have chores as youngins, you work harder when you get older. Maybe that is why we keep plugging away at writing. Great to have you back. Cher’ley

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cherley. I’ve never had John Deere Memorabelia either, but my husband has plenty enough for both of us. He wouldn’t think of going out of the house without a John Deere hat on his head. I agree about the chores. I never really minded them and I don’t give up easily!

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  6. Mike Staton says:

    When I was still reporting a few years back in a rural NC county, I did my share of both feature stories and hard news on farming and farmers. Reporters on weeklies do about everything, but the most fun was covering agriculture including the county fair and the county extension office.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Funny you should bring that up Mike. For several years when I lived in Michigan I was the assistant County Extension Agent and was responsible for classes, presentations and showings at the county fair. I loved every minute of it!

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  7. Joe Stephens says:

    I felt that way several years back when I was encouraged by my colleagues to attempt National Board Certification. I thought I couldn’t possibly be a good enough teacher to get it, but I did. It was a long, grueling process, but even that made me a better teacher and it led to other recognition when, a year later, I received the Milken National Educator Award. Sometimes things are only out of reach because we believe they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow Joe! What a perfect example of work well done and achieving reward for it. Sometimes it’s much easier to let something drop or take the long way around, but if we persevere we reap the rewards.

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  8. Welcome back, Linda! I can relate to your post — as a girl growing up in Iowa there were lots of farmers and lots of John Deere equipment! I remember huge combines traveling our areas gravel roads and my dad often commenting how much in debt those farmers must be in. Your parallelism with writing in your post was great! Yes, many of us, including myself, long for greater recognition and forget the blessings we have with the readers we have and the opportunities we are given. Though perhaps small, they all matter. Thank you for that reminder and may we all continue to dream, to aspire, and to be thankful. Blessings to you, Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We pass equipment every day on the road. Farmers are very kind and always try to pull off to the shoulder so cars may pass. As I said in the post, some of the implements are very expensive. One of my husband’s friends has a huge piece of equipment that cuts, chops and bags. He not only does his own farm but hires out all through the county. During the summer he is rarely home – puts in ridiculous hours, but it’s paid off for him by helping him reduce the debt on the tractor. Funny, but these implements look nothing like those from our youth. Nowdays they have air conditioning and radios, plus windows! Go figure!

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  10. S. J. Brown says:

    It is sad that most farmers today have another job. Some in our area have found that driving a school bus works well for them, but I think that is a hard job as well. I couldn’t imagine spending $500,000 on anything. So I am sure most farmers think long and hard about it before buying a new piece of equipment. I work part time to allow me to travel when sales are down or get a new lens.

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    • I am aghast at what it costs to farm nowdays. My husbad’s father built a nice farm with not much more than work and the yen to be a farmer in America (he came over from Germany). He had a Grade “A” dairy farm and he, his wife, and their adopted son (my husband) worked tirelessly to keep the farm running. Ralph’s mother put in a huge garden every year and sold vegetables to people. She crocheted rag rugs and sold them. She helped in the fields. Ralph was driving a tractor when he was about 10. They did it the regular way – with tractors we are used to seeing-(not the high-priced implements of today). I can’t even imagine spending $500,000 on any piece of equipment. Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

      Like

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