Featured Articles

Farm Life: Balancing Farm Work and Family Life

By Rebekah Gustafson 

Balancing home life and work life is a challenge for every family, but it can be especially hard for farm families. Farming is a 24/7 job. We don’t punch a clock at 5 and head to the golf course. When a cow is calving at 3 a.m., we have to be there.

As all farmers know, there’s seldom down time on the farm. Often, things need to be done at a moment’s notice and now rather than later. This makes planning difficult. Like ours, many farm families have day jobs and spend their nights and weekends doing farm work. With constant farm chores, it can be a struggle to carve out family time. Read more

Farm Life: Every Farmer Has a Voice for Advocacy

By Rebekah Gustafson 

Advocacy is a big part of modern farming and a huge part of my life as I share my farm story with the world as a writer, blogger and speaker. In fact, it was through my advocacy efforts that I received this opportunity to write for Farmers Hot Line.

A farmer doesn’t have to travel far to see consumers’ concerns about their food. They’re plastered on posters, labels, TV, social media and in our schools. Consumers are voting with their dollars, expressing their food preferences through what they buy at the grocery store. Read more

Farm Life:Spring Mud Stirs Imaginations

Over this past weekend, spring weather arrived here in northwest Wisconsin. With warmer temperatures comes melting snow and lots of mud! Leave it to my three little princesses to find the deepest mud puddle in the pasture and spend the entire weekend splashing and digging in it. They would show up at the back door just in time for dinner covered from head-to-toe in mud and complain when I made them take off their clothes outside and send them straight into the shower. I am still trying to figure out how to get the stains out of their clothes. Read more

Farm Life: Non-Food Ag

When consumers—and even many farmers—picture agriculture they think of people providing food such as milk, meat, and bread in our grocery stores that will eventually end up on our tables. However there is a different side of farming that I find to be rather interesting and unconventional: non-food agricultural production. Read more

Back When:1960 Ford 841

Sam and Skip Richter have repaired and restored many antique tractors for customers of the family’s repair business. Since the early 1900s several generations of the Richter family have operated Skip’s Repair in Hamburg,Michigan.Not only has the business spanned generations,but also the desire to collect and restore antique tractors has been passed down to both Sam and Skip. One of their favorite antique tractors, a 1960 Ford 841,is known as the tractor from Hell.

Back When: 1952 Case VAS

In June of 2002, Harley Rath’s son Clifford told him about a 1952 Case VAS that was for sale. The VAS is a Model V Case high clearance row crop with offset front. A VAS is a very rare find since only 1559 were produced and not many have survived.

Harley went to see the VAS and he could tell right away that it needed new tires, lights, steering wheel, and a seat. The paint was nearly non-existent and the steering was stiff, yet Harley could see the value of this tractor in spite of all of its rough points. He purchased the VAS for $300 and used his flatbed truck to haul it home to Mossley, Ontario, Canada. Read more

Farm Life: A New Year Is Upon Us

January is all about resolutions and beginning the new year with a fresh start.

There is no place like a farm to make that fresh start. Each year comes to an end after a stressful harvest and the new year begins with a lot to look forward to. We spend much of our time planning for when the first clump of soil is overturned and the first seed is planted in the ground.

Each year we, as farmers, look forward to the opportunities that may be presented to us. However, we also know that those opportunities may come with challenges and sometimes those opportunities won't materialize. Read more

Farm Life: Building Memories

As you drive through the countryside you will likely see different types of farms scattered around — some sit empty and run-down and others are new, full of innovation and life. In the minds of many people, these may seem like just a bunch of buildings, piles of wood, nails, tin, and screws. However to a farmer and their families, this is their life.

Read more

Feature Article: U.S. Custom Harvesters - Harvesting the Crops that Feed the World

Nothing is more gratifying to a grain farmer than when the crops have been harvested and the fruits of the labor are completed. In an ideal world, this final act would be so simple. However, the cost of equipment, the labor it takes to complete the harvest and the uncertainty of the weather also makes it a huge challenge for a lot of farmers. 

Yet there is a viable option that will take care of all of these concerns: U. S. Custom Harvesters, Inc (USCHI). USCHI (www.uschi.com) is an organization established and chartered in 1983 that serves as a link between the harvesters and the many groups of people they work with, such as farmers, businesses, State and Federal Government. 

What USCHI guarantees is to provide custom harvesters that will take care of everything a farmer will need: Read more

Back When: 1959 Ford 871 Gold Demonstrator

This 1959 Ford 871 ‘Gold Demonstrator’ was sitting in the woods about two miles from home of Dwayne Sells in Kernersville, North Carolina.

The name ‘Gold Demonstrator’ describes exactly what this tractor was originally built for. In 1959, each Ford tractor dealership was sent one gold 871 for the purpose of showing prospective customers what this model could do. It came with all of the options built in so the farmer could decide how he wanted to order his new tractor. Read more