Latest commercial by my brother Jonathan…….. (that’s him driving the car.)
My grandfather passed away on August 16. He was a life long farmer who lived to farm. He just loved farming, and farmed up until 2010. He was 93 years old when he passed away in his sleep. He didn’t go to the doctor nor did he take any medicine.
The man taught me everything about farming that they dont teach you in the textbooks or at all these meetings I attend. You know…. the important stuff.
In the video section you can watch a short clip of him running our bulldozer at age 91, clearing some brush.
I am the most blessed farmer in the world, having had the privilege to farm with him for 35 or so years. The following is my tribute to him and his life as a farmer:
When he was a kid it took him two days to disc 35 acres behind a team of horses and he got paid $0.25 for his work. A quarter less than the other kids because he was smaller.
On that same 35 acres in his life time with a team of horses he spread lime out the back of a horse drawn wagon. He used commercial fertilizer shoveled out of a rail car into a wagon and then into a spreader driven by the wheels of the wagon. He would then go on to use a tractor to spread fertilizer and apply anhydrous ammonia. He would use GPS to spread fertilizer and lime variable rate.
On that same 35 acres he used his first tractor, it had steel wheels. He would trade up even having to buy a chest freezer during the war because of rationing to be able to buy a tractor off the International dealer. He went from 13 horsepower when he started to 350 horsepower when he made his last pass across the field. His implement size went from 3 foot to 35 foot. His planter went from two rows to 12 rows.
On that same 35 acres he went from guiding a team of horses with reins in hand to watching his grandson and great grandson only touch the steering wheel on the ends when they turned because they had GPS auto guidance.
On that same 35 acres he picked corn by hand and threw it in a wagon. He went from a horse drawn wagon to a corn picker run by a tractor to a two row combine. He went from a two row combine with no cab to a four row combine with a cab to a six row combine with a cab and air conditioning. He shelled corn in a combine that had a GPS yield monitor to map the yield. But he already knew what it would make and where it would make it before the GPS told him because he had been over every inch of that 35 acres so many times.
He saw the development of the gas tractor, the diesel tractor, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, hybrid seed corn, cyst resistant soybeans, insect resistant corn, Round Up and Liberty Link soybeans and corn, GPS, yield monitors, variable rate planting, variable rate fertilizer and auto guidance.
He went from hoping to make 50 bushel corn to shelling whole farm averages over 200.
He drove a tractor and a combine until he was 91 years old.
He could fix anything.
He could teach. At 91 he taught his 13 year old great grandson how to weld.
He was married for almost 73 years.
He had more faith than anyone else that everything would be alright and work out.
This is a mighty big yard stick to measure a life by. As a farmer he saw every major invention, advancement and development in agriculture in his lifetime. He adapted, changed and thrived. He got to farm in fields with 4 generations of his family at the same time.
Wow, what a life lived!
We are sad that he is gone, but there is no reason to be sad at the life he lived.
If I make it to 90 in this fast paced world, and the yard stick is laid down to measure my life I hope that it can be compared to the same yard stick of accomplishment. If I make it to 90+ year old I hope my grand kids and great grand kids will look back and shake their head and say “Wow, what a life lived”!
This morning all I can say is WOW! WHAT A LIFE LIVED.
Roy Faughn Payne 7-18-1919 – 8-16-2012
Kelly Robertson, Grandson.
Love this clip from the Andy Griffith show. I never liked the color episodes for some reason. Barney is a bigger kid than Opie and his gang………
Happy 4th of July!
Lots of anhydrous going on this week around the area. Side dressing corn is my second favorite part of growing corn. Number 1 is shelling it! But I love side dressing corn almost as much as running the combine.
There is just something about how the corn reacts a few days after the tool bar opens up the soil and the plant grabs the nitrogen that makes me know we have a shot at a big crop. I say shot because it all comes down to rain and weather in the end, but I always feel that I gave it every chance when I side dress.
Anyway here is a picture that Randy Anderson posted on Facebook of him finishing up on Friday night. A very good picture. Randy is one of my soil testing clients and also a fellow Farm Bureau member and Crop Watcher for the ILFB Farm Week. You can follow his reports from Saline Co, IL here if you dont get the Farm Week.
Here is a few pictures I took. The first is my tractor and tank applying anhydrous behind the house when I got started on Tuesday night.
This last picture I took when down at Cornersville, IL pulling some soil samples on ground farmed by David Hale. It had just been side dressed and they have closers on the tool bar that made the little mole mound. I really like this picture also.
We cooked 360 New York strip steaks at Immanuel Baptist Church last night as part of our revival services. It has been an awesome week seeing what God had done in the lives of so many people the last three days.
But I think I have a welding burn from cooking over this hot grill………..
Monday night we had an event at our church called Touch a Truck. Various church and community members brought different vehicles to the church parking lot for the public and kids to see and “touch”.
Since it rained I cleaned up ole green and drove her up to the church for the event. Thought I had better get a picture of her all clean as she may not be this clean again for a long time!
Nephew Jack liked the smaller tractor another farmer brought much better than his uncles big green one it appears by his smile.
Lately I have seen a lot of discussion on Mossbergs new 464 “tactical” lever action rifle. Frankly the discussion goes all over the place and most of it (discussion) is about useless. I look at it and say why? I mean is there really a market for that?
I have yet to think I needed a lever gun with a muzzle break, picatinny rail fore grip and a M4 style stock.
Then again I went to a recent gun show with my friend Randy and he spotted a double barrel shotgun with a picatinny rail under the barrels. I didn’t even look at the thing let alone find out who made it. Really? A picatinny rail on a side by side coach gun?
What Cowboy Action is now shot in low light?
Again I don’t get it.
I guess I do get it, I mean in the age of marketing “tactical cool” you need a rail on everything. I am sure there is somewhere an espresso maker made to mount on the rail of an M4. If one where a true “operator” then I could see the need for such. Rail, not espresso maker. Yes I can even see the need for a light on a rifle or pistol but not all the other junk that folks hang there.
That being said Matthew and I went shooting Sunday for a while and we took our “tactical trail gun”. The old short barreled Winchester 94 Trapper in 38/357. No rail, no espresso maker, no light, no nothing. Just fun to shoot. And it didn’t even intimidate the cows in the background! The old gun is a shooter. I traded for this gun some 15 years ago. I had a Smith and Wesson 617 9 shot in stainless with a 6 inch barrel and the other guy had this gun. He wanted what I had and I wanted a Winchester 94. I miss the old S&W 617 but have got more use and had more fun with the 94.
For a trail gun it works for us. Its light enough to carry on a hike, can be loaded with bird shot or magnum loads and it sure seems quieter than the 617 when you shoot it. And with out a rail and such it doesn’t look tactical………meaning it doesn’t draw much attention except for the few guys who slobber over it because its a 94.
I guess I will just take my lever guns plain, no “tactical cool” please.
“The more complex the mind the greater the need for simplicity of play.” Capt James T Kirk
Its been a few days since I have had time to update my blog so I thought I would do so with a long post so “be warned those who enter here!” With the level of activity and constant variety of jobs to be done I feel the need for simple play but there is no time right now it would seem. Nor is there anyone who wants to play either. This rain would normally indicate a time to stop and rest, but rain isn’t welcome right now because of the list of things that must be done is not getting any shorter.
The new shed/warehouse/shop has a concrete floor now. The final pour happened yesterday and it looks truly beautiful. Concrete will be a welcome departure from rock and asphalt. The heat in the floor will be a welcome wonder for winter work that doesn’t seem to get done now because of the cold in the other shed. There is still a lot of work to be done on the shed but its getting closer.
I got in one good day of soil sampling on 2012 ground this past week before I had to pull out and head to a Pioneer meeting. The ground is sampling nice for the most part but is kind of funny in a way for March. With the lack of snow and shallow freeze/thaw that we get here in southern Illinois in a normal winter the ground is very “fluffy” in a lot of areas. That is dependent on if there was fall tillage done, but there is a good 3-4 inches of fluffy ground on most fields I have been on.
Everyone says they are ready to go to the field and plant corn, or so they say. Yet I can gather that most don’t have their seed corn yet and they keep forgetting that its March and not April. This very mild winter has got everyone mixed up and if it keeps this up till April I suspect we will see a lot of corn go in the ground sooner rather than later.
I did manage to slip in getting another field chisel plowed yesterday evening after I got back from my meeting. The ground is hard in these wheat fields and its no wonder why. The wet conditions last summer resulted in ruts from wheat harvest, double crop bean planting and from the bean harvest. Its ground is packed tight!
A side note is that while the big tractor is working in the field, out of no where come these seagulls. I have no clue where they came from. They are not hanging out around the farm anywhere, and the lake is several miles away. Yet they seem to show up within minutes of the tractor going to the field and disappear just a quickly when I shut it down. They don’t hang around. Strange birds for sure.
BTW in case I didn’t gripe enough its week 2 without any acetylene yet………….
If all that wasn’t enough, we have also been trying to get details on the new business finalized. That also isn’t getting done as fast as I want but it is going forward and we will be ready to go live soon, I hope. I guess if I wasn’t so busy with everything else I could get that done as well.
Speaking of simple play. What has happened to my “gun” shows on the outside channels? I mean even my favorites are not worth watching as of late on TV. It seems that every show is now doing the same topic week after week. I mean come on guys show me something new or original, not the same thing program after program with the same bad “experts” talking about and using the trendy words or latest fad in “tactical cool”. I have no interest in hanging an espresso maker off my AR’s rail.
Worse yet some have fallen into this “prepper” mentality as well. All I need is another show with the end of the word being preppers or bunker preppers or salt and preppers or what ever, with some gun play involved. First off your guys don’t have a clue, second you make gun owners look bad and three you can’t be for real. I mean anyone who is so scared of the EOTWAWKI would not be on national TV or even a gun show showing the world what you have laid in for an emergency.
Nothing on TV at all anymore.
Simple is what I need, simple play.
Just returned from the Illinois Project Appleseed IBC. IBC stands for Instructor Boot Camp. The IBC is a training event to help mentor IIT’s (instructors in training) or Orange Hats to become qualified instructors or Red Hats. There are five stages of IIT from IIT0 to IIT4. I am currently an IIT2, so I have two more IIT progressions before I go for my Red Hat!
The weekend consist of reviewing and teaching the history and events of April 19, 1775 as well as polishing up on the marksmanship skills necessary to teach the shooting portion of an Appleseed weekend. To become an IIT you first have to have attended at least two Appleseed weekend shoots and shoot Rifleman, a minimum score of 210 on the AQT (Army Qualification Test) that has a maximum score of 250. Shooting Rifleman is not an easy task as a lot of experienced shooters think it might be. It took me three Appleseeds and a lot of practice in between them to master the skills necessary to score above a 210.
Instruction was done by Dond, Master Shoot Boss and State Coordinator for Illinois. Dond has a very unique way of approaching a COF (course of fire) for an Appleseed weekend that results in very high scores for the shooters by the end of the day. Small group sessions were done by Red Hats or instructors and shoot bosses to help polish up the things that were taught by Dond.
I had the privilege to be in small groups with Red Hats Wurstmacher, Castle Mountain, Shooter 30-06 and Tornado. These are not there real names but their “forum” names that they go by at the shoots. All of these folks are very passionate about the history and shooting that goes into a Appleseed weekend.
Castle Mountain reviews some of the history and teaches how to deliver the important points during a breakout session
Shooter 30-06 goes over the retreat of the British Regulars from Concord or the “Third Strike” using his “battle road map” during small group time.
Woodl practices explaining the AQT and how each stage of the AQT is to be shot during a breakout session.
It was a great time, made a lot of new friends and learned a lot to help me be a better IIT and one day a Red Hat!
I guess we can let the cat out of the bag now and make the first of two major announcments that I alluded to earlier in January of some changes here on the farm.
Not only is this a shed we are building, but it will also be a warehouse for Pioneer Seed. Robertson Farms is now officially a Pioneer seed dealer. We will be servicing farmers mostly in the western part of Franklin Co. It is a natural fit for us. We have enjoyed a long and productive relationship with Pioneer as a seed customer and seed grower, mainly because I have felt that their agronomy and sales staff have always had my success at heart when offering me products and services. So when the opportunity presented itself last fall we began the process to become dealers for Pioneer. We have a lot to learn but are eager and ready for the challenge!
The end of day 5 on the new shed…………….now we are ready for metal! The nice sunny days have allowed for quick progress, but the bottom has fallen out of the ground around the site. We had to pull their forklifts and tellehandler out today. The telehandler was setting on the frame with the last truss suspended in the air………fun!
Meanwhile, while the last truss was going up, we spotted smoke accross the field and found that our neighbors old barn was on fire. By the time we got over there the major part of the black smoke was gone but the flames were still going as high as the silo tops!
The old barn has been a land mark on Rt 14 east of Benton and the silos are also the site where the original farm owner killed himself back in the 40′s or 50′s…………more on that later………
Well, it’s 2012, or something like, that and January is going to start off with a bang so to speak. A very busy month ahead for Robertson Farms. First up is the Farm Futures Management Summit followed by the KARTA meeting shortly there- after. Throw in a IEMA meeting, K9SIL meeting and some other training meetings and the bigger part of the month is gone.
In between those meetings I hope we see the start of the new machine shed as well as getting the new (to us) NH3 bar home so we can put the VRT controller on it. There is a planter to rebuild as well as the backhoe and dozer to work on. So we need to hit the ground running and not look back.
Plus if the weather allows we need to pull a few soil samples, grain to haul and some scraping to do.
Fun and busy!
If that wasn’t enough……..there’s more! First thing in the spare time is a revamp of the website. I have been wanting to a major revamp but have not had the time with all the other stuff going on this fall. The revamp will coincide with two new business ventures we are going to be entering into here on the farm. Can’t say much about them right now but I think some folks will be surprised at what we have planned. These will bring new opportunities for us in agriculture as well as begin to pave the way for the next generation of Robertson’s to enter the the operation.
Hopefully we will be making some announcements in the next 30 days or so……………..
Don’t be alarmed if I miss a day posting this month with all that’s happening.
It looks to be an exciting and busy winter!!!
Instead of the “Year in Review” recap that is typical this time of year, how about something different…….
My Top 5 Blogs of 2011
My Top 5 Categories Viewed in 2011
#2 Soil Testing
#4 Ham Radio
2011 was a record year for krfarm.net
Almost 27,000 unique visitors who made 77,000 visits this year with 835,000 page hits while they visited. December, November, September and May were the biggest months for visitors and page content viewed.
Thanks for visiting! Thanks for commenting! Thanks for telling your friends about us!
We are going to try and ramp it up a notch for 2012…….stay tuned!
We have been doing a fair amount of shooting when the weather allows, with our .22 cal rifles. Targets at 25 meters for the most part. The result of four shooters shooting ten rounds at a time has proven a need for lots of ammo. Its not uncommon to shoot 500 – 1000 rounds in a day or afternoon.
This quest for ammo has taken me to search out “good cheap .22 ammo“. That animal doesn’t exist anymore. I have purchased several big box store bulk packs lately and while some are better than others, most of it is junk. You can tell this by two ways.
First is the inconsistent “crack” when the round goes off. Some are a loud crack while others are so weak that you wonder if they will make it to the target just 25 meters away. A couple of brands are worse than the others, but I have found that the Winchester bulk pack has the most consistent cracks it seems.
Second is the stove pipe jams or failure to feed. With the Ruger 10/22 rifles we are shooting, some of the bulk pack stuff, including the Winchester, produces lots of failure to eject or feed, resulting in a jammed gun. This is very annoying if not also an impediment to honing ones skills on a timed shoot.
Even after changing some springs, extractors and doing an action job on the rifles, they still will not shoot some of the bulk pack stuff. What is really sad is that I have some bulk pack Remington from back in early 1990′s that was rat holed away that shoots EVERY TIME with consistent cracks and no failures to feed or eject whatsoever.
20 year old ammo is better than the new stuff.
The new bulk pack stuff also groups poorly in comparison to the old stuff. Another sign that is not manufactured to any great tolerance or specifications.
I have tried some of the higher priced “premium” .22 like CCI and it is much better but the cost per round is scientifically more. The cracks are consistent, the feeding problems go away and the groups are pretty tight so you are getting what you pay for.
Even better than the high priced hi velocity ammo is the sub sonic made by Winchester I picked up at the local gun shop just to try out. Just a bit higher in price than the bulk packs, lower noise signature and it shoots, feeds and ejects and groups as good as, if not better than the premium .22.
That being said, its not .223 or .308, so its not like I have to take out a loan to buy 500 rounds. It’s still a very cheap day of shooting for all four of us. And if nothing else, all those failure-to-feed and eject problems are making for good training on how to quickly clear the gun and get back into action.
For .22 ammo as with everything else, you get what you pay for.