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Friday, March 29, 2013

Most important tool on the farm?

Big Green Tractor

Big Green Tractor

As an alpaca farmer, there has to be the one tool you could not live without...
What is it?
I cannot say I have used all the tools out there, but I would like to take a few guesses:

THE RAKE- it's teethy grin, grabbing at alpaca beans, scattering them in all directions but where you want them to go...I once thought the only purpose of a rake was for cleaning up autumn leaves, but I now know it is also for scraping the cold frozen ground in winter, or the muddy puddles of spring or stirring up dust in the dry, hot summer... yes, the rake is there for you for all seasons.

THE WHEELBARROW - always ready for more, the wheel barrow is the silent hero of the farm, accepting whatever you dare ask it to transport; either hay, manure, or a farm visitor looking for a race... it takes a licking and keeps on ticking... or transporting,anyway... The wheelbarrow makes heavy jobs seem lighter, long distances seem shorter... it's three wheels steadily earning it's keep and enjoying a daily hose off until tomorrow

THE SHOVEL- One cannot consider himself or herself a farmer (or manure-ologist, as we like to say) unless he has a favorite shovel to well, shovel with. Perhaps you prefer the straight edge, aka spade, or the pointier style, either metal, wood, or plastic not much can be done on the farm without a good "scooper".

THE JOHN DEER aka "BIG GREEN TRACTOR" - Now I know there may be a few fans of the Massey Ferguson, International Harvester, Case, Kubota, Toro or even Yamaha... BUT- ADMIT IT- Nothing runs like a DEER ;) the tractor is a HUGE investment, but gives many returns. The tractor is BIG, the tractor is STRONG, the tractor is a MACHINE! It has POWER... you just need to know how to get it to do what you want. Attachments like the bucket, the loader, the plow, or tiller, blade, spreader... it can do the job of so many tools, and so much faster and easier!!

THE COMPUTER- (including the Internet) one has to agree, without a computer and the Internet, I wouldn't be writing and you wouldn't be reading this. The computer and Internet get my vote for one of the top voices for most important tool. If I never researched alpacas on the Internet... well, my life would NOT be as awesome as it is now, thanks to the alpacas of course ;) in addition to research, we all know how useful the computer can be for various marketing and communication tasks. Registration of alpacas and sales contacts occur via computers and herd health records are kept on the computer too. Even alpaca sales and auctions occur on the Internet, thank you Openherd ;)

Does money count as a tool? We all know it makes the world go around, and is probably the root of all evil... it also keeps alpacas fed, healthy and business well, in business. It is such an important tool on the farm that we all seem to want more of it, never have enough of it and can't do some of the farm related tasks without it.

Other ideas: alpaca shears, hose and bucket, fly predators, a good pickup truck, halter and lead, WD-40!, Swiss Army Knife, cell phone, camera, your eyes, a syringe of ivomec, the vet, business card...

Final decision time: the most important tool on the farm has got to be...The one YOU use to help your farm succeed !!

comments welcome;) email me!

-This blog entry is by Laura. Check back for entries from other Scotia Acres Family members!