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Friday, April 2, 2010

Farmer interactions

I was looking at the blog, specifically the post: "My Handshake Brings All the Boys to the Boardroom," yesterday.
I commented and then I got carried away. I thought I would bring my post back to the Lazy Farmer and talk about interactions between Farmers.
On the farm we also have our unwritten rules of behavior. Have you ever watched two farmers meet at an auction or a fertilizer company meeting? You almost always have to have a good handshake if names are exchanged. If you know the fellow real well you don't shake hands. If you have not seen the fellow in a long while then there will also be a handshake. Some people do not welcome touching. They acknowledge you with a verbal greeting, keep their hands in their pocket and kind of slouch back. If they are still smiling then they like you. Perhaps they will fidget with their hat.  They just don't like to touch people.
There are a few very shy farmers. They kind of shuffle their feet, keep hands in pockets, and keep an eye out for the exits. I always want to yell boo!
I like the grumpy farmers. They put a lot of effort into having a bad attitude.
Personal distance is kind of a big deal. Most farmers have a good three foot personal distance. Some farmers measure that in meters but is the USA we think those folks are commies and don't talk to them. One old farmer tends get closer and closer as he talks. You keep backing up as he often has egg on his lips and huge globs of snot in his nose. He is pretty much deaf so while this is annoying it is understandable. The other farmer who violated folks personal distance turned out to also be the sort that violates little boys so people kind of a avoid shaking his hand.
Farmers who are way too enthusiastic about shaking hands are also suspect. Those who shake your hand and also pat you on the back are not to be trusted unless they are your uncle from another state. There is a retired fellow from California who comes up and farms in the summer. He is way too enthusiastic, cause he is having a good time. When you are not having that much fun, say when it is 102 degrees in the shade and you've busted your knuckles and the combine is plugged from stem to stern, and you are having problems with anger management, someone being very enthusiastic and suggesting simplistic solutions you've already tried, then giving you a pat on the back and a hand shake, is not so welcome. (that was a long sentence) He also drools when he talks. Long strings of drool, and he likes to ride with you. This is bad when there is a wind and you are on an open tractor. Or if he is between you and the A/C vent on the combine.
Mostly we just hide from him....


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  2. Sounds like farmers are much the same all over. Farm auctions are great places for meeting people and visiting. Not so great if you are trying to watch the auction and bid though. I think hand shaking might have become a little less popular after the H1N1 scare this past winter.

  3. Farm auctions were a great place to catch up on news from the larger neighborhood. Unfortunately with the disappearance of the small and mid size farms around here, the equipment dispersal auction is fast disappearing. The social event is a great loss, but also it used to be how young farmers got started, upgraded. And yes, Budde, your farmer behaviors are familiar to us in the U.S. midwest. The weirdest folks at the end of the auction era were the hobby farmers and suburban estaters who showed up to buy stuff to fill their new pole sheds. Always dressed for a stroll in the park, or in clean, pressed overalls. Tended to be brash, condescending and on at least one memorable occasion, a bit inebriated.

  4. So farmers are pretty much the same everywhere. Not so many auctions in our area either. The farms are getting huge and the young farmers are buying new. Living on credit.
    Collieguy hit the nail on the head with auctions. The era is over and the fellows with short pants and those funny sandals have bought all the steel wheels. They put perfectly good saddles on fence posts. Makes me want to cry and I don't even ride a horse!
    Or they would buy some implement with perfect wood that had been in a barn for 80 years and put it in their #$%^&ing flower bed.
    Perhaps sip some wine and say "how quaint." Well, they probably wouldn't say quaint as they were ditch diggers before they sold the parent's farm, six houses to the acre, and went out and bought their short pants and sandals.

  5. Not so in Sask. The big auction companies put out a fat catalogue of farm sales every spring and I can peruse their online sites as well all winter. Seems like this spring the numbers are down just a little but still plenty to choose from. And you'll find pretty much all farmers there in the crowd too. Check out just one of our bigger auctioneer sites
    On a sunny warm day like today with good food sold out of the garage or farm shop by a local group or concession, machinery of all sorts to look at and discuss with like minded people, its not a bad way to spend a day.

  6. Ralph! There are White tractors at those auctions! There may even be Minneapolis-Moline tractors! Oh my...
    Exactly how far are you from Oregon?!


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