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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Recalling Some Fatherly Advice

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By Vestal Hutchens

In 1985, after purchasing the home farm of 110 acres from my parents, my dad gave me the best economic advice on making a living on the farm that I’ve ever heard. He said: “Son, if you want to make a living on the farm, don’t go to town. When you go to town, you will spend money. Wait, and when you go to town, take something to sell, and come home with more money than you went to town with, and you will always have plenty of money.”

After building up a 40 plus cow/calf operation, in about 1993, on December 25, I had five momma cows give birth in the 24 hour period of Christmas Day. Feeling magnanimous, I told my wife she could have any one of those calves as an additional Christmas gift. When I shared that with dad, he said: “Son, I gave your mother a cow one year for Christmas. The next year, I had to give her another one. First thing you know, she had more cows than I did.”

In 2001, after five years of a custom hay baling operation with only a Ford 2000 tractor, I decided to buy an additional larger Ford 3000 model tractor. (More horsepower for mowing and bailing, less changing of implements). When I told my dad, he responded: Son, you need to think about it, you can only ride one tractor at a time.” I now own three tractors, and guess what? I still can only ride “one at a time”.

I lost my dad in May of 2020, the day after my 70th birthday. I miss him. One of the last things he ever told me, and the most important, was: “I love you”.

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