The author and her husband, Duane, own and operate a 550-cow dairy in Cochranville, Pa.

Marilyn Hershey
We are a busy dairy farm with a lot of jobs to complete in a day, but when love is in the air, it sometimes shows up in peculiar places.

Farm work does not wait for love birds who want a bit of time together. I remember when Duane and I were dating, we had several times that farm work bled into the evening, and if we wanted to spend time together it meant that I rode with him in a truck or a tractor.

Our farm employees are no different. When they want time with significant others, the option that sometimes works best for the farm and the cows is to bring their friends along for the ride.

Of course, when two people are so smitten, the comfort of the surroundings is not a priority. Dust, a bumpy ride, and make-shift tractor seats are all part of the experience.

You can be assured that the equipment on our farm offers a lot of opportunity to build character and a relationship as opposed to providing comfort. Luxurious trucks and tractors are not part of the equipment line up on our dairy farm.

Over harvest time, we hire young men who are so excited to drive a truck that they do not mind the challenge of running old equipment. They are just happy to drive.

There is one truck on the farm that not only has been through many years and acres of fieldwork, but it also has several interesting love stories attached to the back end. It is the green Mack, also known as the Green Love Machine.

Now, if you would see the Green Love Machine on the road, you would certainly not turn your head in admiration. Or, you might relook at it and ask yourself, “Wow, that truck is still running?”

The Green Mack came to us many years ago when most mechanics would have classified it as on its last leg. But the truck brought us new life on the farm, and over the years, it has continued to bring hope, enjoyment, and new life to our employees.

The Green Love Machine gained this title because of the history of love birds that have made it from an infatuated ride to walking down the aisle. We started adding up the couples that spent time in the Mack, and it became eye opening to us that something special is happening.

Kyle drove the Mack and even made some creative changes with an extended gear shift, but his ride was not complete until Kelly joined him in the passenger’s seat. The two of them spent many evenings hauling silage in the Green Love Machine. That stint ended when Kelly’s dad, Neal, decided if Kyle was going to steal his daughter away, he needed to drive a truck at their farm. Kyle did not drive more than a year or two for us, but it was long enough for the Mack’s influence to strengthen their relationship.

Kelly’s younger sister, Kristy, also sat in the passenger seat when her boyfriend, Conner, drove the Mack. He worked for us until he got Neal’s attention, too, and the sisters soon brought the boyfriends to the home farm.

Nate and Tori also had a few years in the truck. Nate worked for us since he was 14 years old, and he slowly but surely graduated from four-wheeler to pickup to dump truck to the Green Machine.

Somehow, he convinced Tori to ride with him, and she came back night after night to keep him company. She also brought him food, which was always a huge draw for Nate.

One time I remember a particularly warm day, and I stopped him in the driveway to chat. Tori was not in the passenger seat, but an electrical barn fan was propped by the window and somehow hooked into the truck. Evidently there are various ways to define air conditioning, and he took things into his own hands.

Doug and Abbie were next to take a ride in the Green Love Machine. Their time in the truck may have been shorter than other couples, but the results were the same. Maybe the partnership was stronger before she even climbed into the truck.

Brenden and Susan were the last two to be struck by love in the Mack. The funny connection here is that Susan also worked for us. After feeding calves, she was soon seen in the truck with her new friend.

At this point, we were tempted to call it “The Chick Magnet,” but we also know that the truck itself is not the magnet. The connection and attraction most definitely comes from the person inside the truck. Poor suspension, bad quality seats, lack of air conditioning, and some years later, a window that did not work at all added to the ride.

After all, when two people want to be together, the level of comfort is not high priority. Passengers are not showing up because of the truck — they jump into the Green Love Machine because an exciting person is behind the wheel. When love is in the air, or when love is in the truck, they will make it happen.