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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Good quote from "other site"

I couldn`t find the writer back to give him credit, but here it is "The quickest way to go broke is to do things the way dad did.  The second quickest way to go broke is to not understand why dad did things the way he did." .  Every time farming got tough (a majority of years) I would ask myself "maybe I should do things the way we used to, in order to get through this?" .  What that would entail is buying $40/bag seedcorn from the Seedhouse that we would pickup in early May after we took a load of hogs or lambs to Wilsons in Albert Lea.  Well, Wilsons is gone, the Seedhouse charges $200/bag now.

We used to cultivate with frontmount cultivators on M Farmalls 3 times, put on 400lbs of 9-23-30 starter with the planter.  The M`s we`d get overhaul kits from Tractor Supply along with mower sickle guards and 7 foot sickles for the No 5 mower.  Today Tractor Supply is too busy with "kids story hours" to carry actual tractor supplies.  

No, when I put a pencil to it, as much as I Love Dad, I would go broke doing it the way Dad it. 

Just a littler Monday morning reminiscing.   πŸ™‚

7 Replies
k-289
Esteemed Advisor

Re: Good quote from "other site"

I  don't  think  -  OR  RECALL  ( latest  response under oath ) ,  of  Wilson's  ever  being  involved  with  100's  of  Million  Dol-liars  price  fixing  lawsuit  $ettlements  either = = =

Is  that  why  they  are  no  longer  in  business ,  or  they  don't  speak  the  Mandarin Language  = ? = ?      

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rsbs
Esteemed Advisor

Re: Good quote from "other site"

Excellent quote , BA, on the value of learning from your ancestors, and also the value in making necessary changes.

Maybe my ancestors never gave me a "pail calf"  type operation, but one thing I did get was the importance of managing money and knowing where the payment money was going to come from before purchasing anything. I still operate that way. If I don't know where I am going to get the money to make the payments, I don't make the purchase.

The reason my Dad and Grandfather operated that way was they were first hand witnesses to the great depression, and were underwater in debt. They didn't get sold out because the local banker believed in them, believed that some day they would pay off what they owed, and that they were not gamblers, drinkers, smokers, etc.  It is no great feat to get rid of money....any fool can accomplish that. It takes character to pay your debts.

A lot has been lost in the era we live in where if you are big enough, you don't get sold out. If you owe $10,000 and don't know where you are going to get the money, you still have a bit of a problem. If you owe a million, or ten million and don't know where the money is coming from, the bank now has the problem.

Thanks Dad, and Grandpa for living within your means and staying solvent. 

k-289
Esteemed Advisor

Re: Good quote from "other site"

 

It  takes  character  to  pay  your  debts πŸ˜‡  , although  some ,   high  rollers  don't ,  and  they  are  not  always  farm  community  = = = 

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: Good quote from "other site"

The problem Wilsons packing plant had was they were too small (4,000/hd hogs a day) and in their hay day they paid good wages and let`s just say they hired local Norwegians & Bohemians.  Wilsons sold out to a local guy who bought it on a late evening phone call and it operated as "Cornbelt Meats".  For a time Seaboard owned it, then I think it went to a individual owner, towards the end, they wouldn`t/couldn`t bid up for hogs ... then oopsey daisy one night the plant burned to the ground, that was a very convenient fire, sure hope the week leading up to it, they were able to get everything of value out, wink wink. 

Locals were happy to see it gone, though like every town that lost a packing plant, they never get back to the same, just ask Ft Dodge.  Estherville had a Morrell plant for awhile and Golden Sun Feeds too.  Hormel in Austin thrives.  Every time I drive by the still empty Wilsons plant (the city dumps snow there) it seems so small.  There wasn`t much room they could`ve expanded.  They were right next to Albert Lea Lake ... for some reason to this day there isn`t any/many boats out there  πŸ™‚   It`s a good size lake, my Wife insisted that we go canoeing out there, against my judgement, "Well, alright, just don`t dump the canoe or we`ll be glowing in the dark" .  I stuck the paddle down in the middle of the lake and could touch the mucky bottom, they are trying to dredge the lake. 

But, I look at the empty lot and can still see the corner Dad and I would round, looking how many semis we`d be behind to unload, and the little building where we`d get our check.  Then we`d go to the Big Bear farm store, by then it`d be 10:30 and McDonalds would start cooking dinner, I`d get the Big Mac meal plus an extra Big Mac for the road.  If we got seed at the Seedhouse, ol` George the owner was my Dad`s age and every spring he`d ask Dad how old he was πŸ™‚  and being the owner, George would round down the seed bill of everyone who he dealt with.  The Albert Lea Seedhouse  pretty much specializes in organics and hay seeds now and are thriving.  

rsbs
Esteemed Advisor

Re: Good quote from "other site"

Good post about Albert Lea, BA.

You know I have dealt with the second generation owner, Mac, for most of my farming career and would have to say that he is one of the most decent guys around, and runs a high quality organization. I still remember when my oldest son was about five, and he went with me to pick up a trailer of seed , and while I was going over the order with Mac, my kid grabbed a sweep broom and started sweeping the floor in the store. Mac looked at him, smiled, and wanted to know if the young one wanted a job....that he was the type of self starter that an employer was always looking for. 

Mac called me up a few years ago for a photo shoot so that we would be in one of the catalogs, but I kind of dodged it, and told him he could maybe take a picture of my photogenic family but that I really didn't want my own picture in any publication. I had a post a few months ago here about being the type of "peacock" that wants to be displayed and how I was more of a "nose to the grindstone" operator. To each their own.

As far as the rest of Albert Lea, I think I ate at the Dairy Queen there once, and saw an awesome performance by Kenny Rogers at the county fair. One of our little ones was just born then, and since we had a stroller we were allowed to go right up front row, standing, 100 feet from Kenny. I think you and your missus were at that performance too. Patriotic start to the show, color guard, pledge of Allegiance stuff.....Real America! Still a fond memory.

I would never have guessed that the lake is shallow. Looks like a great lake from the driveby.

God Bless America, and Albert Lea! and Albert Lea Seedhouse.......good people!

k-289
Esteemed Advisor

Re: Good quote from "other site"

BA  -  speaking  of  dredging  -  I  haven't  found  any  documents  relating  Wilson's  to  ever , a  PRICE  FIXING  law  suit  =  =  =     BIGGER  - MEGA   outfits are  on  the  other  side  of  that  equation ,  although  they  all-ways  claim  they  can  do  it  cheaper =  =  =

AND, now  we  have  GOV.  $$$$$ ,  pretend  programs ,  to  re-vite - A lie -Z  small  facilities = = =

The  saying  used  to  be  90  miles  / hour  down a dead  end  street , replaced with 25  miles  / hr.  down the 70mph  expressway ===       

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: Good quote from "other site"

Yeah K-289, the mid sized packers didn`t have the clout needed to "price fix" as the Big 4 have.  

The price fixing from the prices packers pay, the music has stopped long ago on that end, you either got big, found a niche market or got out.   One of Wilson`s previous hog buyers is now a bigshot in the Church and was giving a speech and anecdotally mentioned that as a Wilson`s hog buyer "we used to bid more for hogs east of Austin, just to keep them from going to Hormel" .   Sure they pulled that crap, but they didn`t hurt Hormel and after I had enough, I started going to John Morrell and ultimately to IBP (Tysons) where I still sell sows,  they actually go to Heinold.

Iowa Beef Processors (Tyson) were always more than decent with me.  Apparently a George Soros type dude was invested in IBP, Armand Hammer.  Dad used to say are we going to take hogs to "Arm and Hammer and Sickle"?   πŸ˜€   But I`m sure that communist was removed from the meat packing operations of his empires.

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