If Only Your Tractor Could Talk

Agricultural advocates encourage farmers to tell their story. Maybe the most interesting storyteller on the farm would be the tractor. We’re seeing tonnes of innovation in autonomous and intelligent machines — what if a tractor could tell its own story?

Every tractor would have a very interesting tale to tell. The tractor pulls many implements, drives across every inch of the farm, has different owners through its life, and represents the power — both literally and symbolically — of the industry.

As I sat at the Picture Butte Tractor and Engine Club last month watching their Parade of Power I was struck by the story every tractor holds. You can’t help but guess the year, model, restoration, and owner history when watching an antique tractor parade.

What made this parade great was that they told the story of each individual tractor: who was the original owner, who restored it, and what makes the model unique. Think of the stories a 1930 John Deere D could tell. The droughts, the bumper crops, the struggles and the celebrations.

Some may argue that with farmers flipping tractors more often, the stories of a tractor will be lost, or that they won’t be as interesting or valuable. But although there might be less emotional attachment to your tractors, the number of stories the tractor could tell would be just as great in number.

The adventures of the tractor are just different than the last 50 years. Tractors get traded around the world, cover more crop types, and have more owners than the tractors of the past.

Next time you start the tractor to get some work done think about the stories it could tell.

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