Tractor porn

Only in farming country will you come across a scene like this:

We saw lots of tractors during our weekend visit to the Funny Farm. But this was the first time I have ever seen one filling up at the gas station!

Tractors are so much a part of the culture in those parts, Kristin told me about a kid in the nearby town who picked up his prom date last year in — you guessed it — a tractor! We both agreed that would totally be her middle kid, Robbie, if he can find a girl who would agree to being picked up for prom in a John Deere.

Many little boys are fascinated by tractors and pretty much anything else that’s big and capable of big, manly jobs. But I never met a kid that was not only fascinated, but amazingly knowledgeable about tractors until Robbie was old enough to talk and express opinions.

When I tell people about Robbie’s obsession with tractors people will often respond with, “Oh, yeah, my (son, nephew, friend’s kid, ect..) is also really into tractors and wants to climb on every one he sees.” To which I respond, “No, you don’t understand. This kid lives and breathes tractors.”

He can spot a tractor across a field and tell you the make and model and the jobs it was designed to perform. He’s been able to do that since before he could read. The extent of my own knowledge is that the green ones are John Deere. I had never even heard of Case IH until Steve and Kristin adopted their second dog and she was named Case(y), after the tractor. (Robbie named the dog). So you can forget making tractor small talk with Robbie such as, “Oh, look! There’s a John Deere out there.” Because he will come back with, “Oh yeah, that’s a John Deere 617OR.” (And, yes, I totally just did a Google search to come up with an actual tractor model to insert there.)

A few years ago we were at Steve’s Dad’s farm in Iowa and Brian attempted to make small talk with Robbie, who was about 7-years-old at the time. Brian spotted a tractor in the field and said something like, “Oh, they must be getting ready to plow that field.” To which Robbie responded, “Um…no. That’s a 7R Series (blah, blah, blah tractor — I couldn’t tell you what he actually said) and that’s used for planting, NOT plowing.”

DUH!

He even amazed his own father, who grew up on a farm, a year or so ago. Steve had an old tractor he and Robbie were going to refurbish together. So they go out to the garage one day and Steve gets ready to tear apart the engine. Robbie stopped him, then proceeded to tell him exactly what needed to be done.

“Robbie, how do you know that?” his dad asked.

“Some nights when I can’t sleep I look up YouTube videos on tractor repair.”

Some parents worry about their kids watching porn videos online. Robbie’s got his tractor porn. 🙂

And it’s not just the tractors. The kid knows A LOT about farming in general and is eager to learn more. Kristin’s dad’s farm is right by the Funny Farm so Robbie spends most of his weekends at the farm working with his grandpa. He’s up with the sun most mornings walking around the farm, or riding the tractor, just checking on everything and looking for things that need to get done that day.

Most kids, when asked what they want to be when they grow up, will tell you something. But my guess is very few of those kids will go on to do whatever it is they said they wanted to do at the age of 10. (If they did, I would be a school teacher right now — can you imagine?!) But I have no doubt this kid will grow up to be a farmer.

It makes me sad when I hear about the farming industry being in crisis, especially the family farmers. It just blows my mind that an industry that brings us food — you know, the stuff that KEEPS US ALIVE — would be in jeopardy. How is that possible? Well, there are many political arguments that could help answer that question, which I won’t go in to. But I support local farmers markets whenever I can just to do my part to support the “little guys” and help preserve this industry that will help Robbie achieve his life’s ambition.

I think all industries needs passionate people. So when the time comes, the farming industry will be very lucky to have someone as passionate as Robbie. But by then, I’m sure he will be going by “Robert,” which makes me feel old.

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About travelerontherun

I am a chronic adventurer who loves to see and experience new places. What I really love most is experiencing those places after parking my RV and lacing up my running shoes.
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