This past summer I purchased some Farmall tractors and some equipment from a gentleman who had acquired some property from an estate of his wife’s family. I heard about these from a friend of mine who knows I like IH tractors. So, when he mentioned it to me, I had to go look at them. I contacted 2 of my grandsons, Jonah and Jeremiah - my partners in crime - and we went to look at them. When we arrived, I was overwhelmed with the place. This gentleman and his wife had purchased 5 acres which included the house and all the farm buildings, plus all the equipment from the farmer's life. I believe it had been her grandfather.
There were numerous tractors of almost every color, numerous old trucks, self-propelled combines and a variety of old equipment. Most of them sitting outside and almost all of them in some state of disassembly. It appeared that when something broke down, he just parked it and got something else to replace it. We had a great time wandering through everything. It then came time to look at the Farmalls. They were in an open shed, but at least were under roof. I was told that to the best of anyone’s recollection nothing had been used for 20-30 years. After looking over the tractors I made the man an offer on 4 tractors, a #10 one row pull type New Idea corn picker, and a #14 IH hay rake. The picker and rake were outside, and the picker had a tree growing up through it. The only tractor that was pretty much intact was the F-20, although it had one rotted rear wheel, and the other rear tire was bad. There was also an M, 300 and a 450. There was no sheet metal on any of those 3, but we located most of it in surrounding buildings. We went and picked up 2 tractors on Labor Day. We took my 340 Utility with pallet forks on the rear and used it to move several items out of the way so we could get to two of them. The 2 easiest to get to were the M and the 300 which are shown in the photo with Jonah and Jeremiah after winching them on the trailer and getting them home.
To my surprise and amazement, the engines on all 4 were free. Since the first load, we made a second trip back with the trailer a few weeks later and dug out the 450 and F-20. Thankfully Jonah and Jeremiah’s brother, Nate, stopped by to see the action because we had to use his F-350 4X4 diesel to help the 340 drag the F-20 out of the dirt it had settled into. I have also made 2 trips with my pickup to pull the rake and corn picker home.
Since that time, we have gotten the M, 300 and 450 running which all run great. The TA is out of the two tractors, go figure. We have not attempted to do anything with the F-20 yet. All tractors except the F-20 have good wheels and tires, or should I say they look good and have great tread, however they are dry rotted.
We have had fun playing with these barn finds and will probably play with them more this summer.
Neil's grandsons Jonah and Jeremiah helped dig out these treasures.
As we all know in 1902, the following companies merged to form the International Harvester Company. Companies being McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, Deering Harvesting Machine Company, Deering Harvester Company, Milwaukee Plano and Warder, Bushnell and Glessen.
On July 1, 2021 the only division left from IH, Navistar was bought out by Traton, a part of Volkswagen, thus ending IH. There several ways to look at this. I chose to look at all the great products they build over the years.
1907 - built their first tractor
1924 – built first all purpose farm tractor
1944 – first successful cotton picker
1977 – Axial-Flow combine. The first 5 prototypes were built at the Fort Wayne Works
1978 – 2 plus 2 tractors
First farm equipment manufacturer to build its own line of lawn equipment.
1956 – the Travelall was the first to be 4 wheel drive
1957 – built the first crew cab pick-up with 3 doors then 4 doors
1960 – the world first SUV the Scout
IH was one of the first with cabover trucks
But the end came quick for IH
1981 – the lawn equipment was sold to MTD
1982 – the construction division was sold to Dresser Industries
1984 – Ag division was sold to Tenneco
1986 – became Navistar
2020 – the end of International
Until next time.....................safe travels,
Who will fill my shoes? Who's going to be the next one to plant the seed, and grow the harvest the crops? Who will feed the calves and milk the dairy cows when farmers are no longer here or not able to do so?
Young farmers, that's who. But where do they come from? They could be a first generation farmer like myself or the eighth generation on a farm that was established years ago.
“We are growing families, growing food, growing America and #StillFarming”
For me, it started with a dream. A dream is like a seed that gets planted, then cultivated, and with hard work it finally grows and bears fruit, becoming reality.
Farming is a calling. It gets in your blood. Family farmers are a special breed. We are thick-skinned but tender hearted. We are church deacons and T-ball coaches. We are 4-H leaders and volunteer firefighters. We are the neighbor in time of need. The volunteer in hard times. We are members of our small communities, but feeders of the world.
There are both challenges and opportunities ahead of us. It's a challenge to connect with consumers, to understand their wants and needs. It's also a challenge to earn and keep their trust.
But there is opportunity now more than ever. Recent issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic caused a breakdown in the supply chain. People need to know that those of us in agriculture never stopped. We have always produced food – during wars, pandemics and every trying and difficult time throughout history – family farms are there for you. We produce!
Although time and technology have changed the way we farm, farm families haven't changed.
We still have the same spirit, drive and work ethic. I love what I do! My son followed in my footsteps and learned from me. Today, my grandson is working with and learning from his daddy. That's what farm families are all about. We are growing families, growing food, growing America and #StillFarming.
Don Hartman is a farmer and a member of the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau.
He grows small grains, watermelons, onions and chile peppers.
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