Oct. 27 2022 08:00 AM

The first tractor that ever worked the land on our farm is at the core of many of my grandpa’s stories.

Way back in the day when my grandfather was farming with my great-grandfather, the land was worked with mules. Times were much harder and getting chores done around the farm took much longer. I could not imagine working the hours my grandfather did.

After many years of working with mules, they decided to buy their first tractor. It was a 1943 H Farmall. They were so proud of the tractor and used it for all types of work. They even used it to do some work for the community through the years. He took so much pride in the tractor that over the years, they rebuilt its engine four different times.

For the past few years, though, the heirloom tractor has sat in a shed collecting dust. The paint was worn and the body was rusted. Cracks and dents collected over the years, and by my time, it looked like just an old, worn-out tractor that no one had used in a really long time.

My grandfather is getting older, and the farm stories from his day are coming much more often from him. Many of his stories include this one tractor. So, my dad and uncle decided it was time to do something with it.

They loaded the tractor up one day when my grandfather was gone from the farm and took it down the road to a friend’s place to have it completely restored. When I say completely, I mean completely. The tractor came back like it has just been sold from the dealer in 1943.

We surprised Pop with it today as an early birthday present. He was so happy when that tractor came chugging around the corner. The look on his face was priceless.

From now on, tours will be trolleyed by the antique tractor, and I am sure a few stories about the tractor will be retold to many of the people who visit our farm in the future.

Caitlin and Mark Rodgers

Mark and Caitlin Rodgers are dairy farmers in Dearing, Georgia. The Rodgers have a 400-cow dairy that averages 32,000 pounds of milk. Follow their family farm on Facebook at Hillcrest Farms Inc.