Farm equipment auctions

Published 10:40 pm Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It’s a time for past farmers, farmers and future farmers to get together.

It’s equipment, clean as its been in 10 years, lined up like rows of corn for all the world to see.

It’s a dog named “Crackerjack” going around smelling everyone and wondering what all these folks are doing on his farm.

It’s 300 Carhart jackets in one place.

It’s “Onethousand-onethousand-onethousand-who’llgimmetwo?” “Yesssss!” “Twothousand-twothousand-twothousand-who’llgimmethree?” “Yesssss!”

It’s farmers who bought something wondering if they paid too much and those who didn’t buy wondering if they should have kept on bidding.

It’s the local fire department selling good things to eat.

It’s a sprayer on which someone has welded and cut and bolted and fixed up such that there is no other piece of equipment like it in the entire world. And sometimes, that’s a good thing.

It’s a hundred pickup trucks parked by the road and in the field and in the ditch.

It’s old pieces of equipment that came to this farm long ago when they were brand new. And, like an old farmer, they wore themselves out on the land. Then bigger equipment came along and they were parked out back, like a horse put out to pasture, where the Morning Glories and vines grew over them. But now, on sale day, they are pulled out, cleaned up and set out for the highest bidder, as if giving an encore. And there’s something uncanny about seeing all this equipment that had become a part of this farm loaded up by strangers on trailers and trucks and taken away from the land they had served so well.

And it’s one less farmer around to work the land.