Thursday, June 13, 2024
Chris Judd

Are you ready for tomorrow?

Sometimes we have to look back to appreciate what changes lie ahead. One evening in the 1960s while listening to my grandfather and some of his friends reminisce about changes in farming, my grandfather stated that the two most important inventions in his time were the hay loader and the milking machine.
The hay loader was a flimsy looking machine attached to the rear of a hay wagon that when pulled over a windrow of hay, lifted and conveyed the hay from the ground up onto the rear of the wagon on an endless conveyor made of wooden slats connected by endless ropes. In the 1940s and early 1950s, the hay wagon with hay loader attached was pulled by a team of horses attached to the tongue of the wagon. After the tractor appeared the long horse tongue was shortened up for the tractor to pull the wagon.
My first job on the farm was to drive the little gray Ford-Ferguson tractor pulling the wagon and hay loader while my dad leveled, by hand, the loose hay lifted onto the back of the wagon. At four years old, I had to stand on the clutch with both feet and push up on the steering wheel to push the clutch down. I was only allowed to drive in a flat field with no hills because I couldn’t push the brake. If this happened today, CSST would put my dad in jail and Children’s Aid would take me away to places unknown.

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