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Shopping dilemmas of a farm mom

By Holly Martin

By the time you read this most of you will have come down from the Christmas cookie high and will have waded through the wrapping paper to find the TV that is tuned to an endless stream of college football bowl games. That means it is safe to publish a column about the pre-Christmas shopping dilemmas of a farm mom.

It all began several weeks ago when our 8-year-old was working on his Christmas list. Number one? Farm toys. Again. I could be wrong, but I’m sure for the last 13 or so years there’s been a Christmas list at the Martin household with farm toys listed as number one.

What is there left to buy? I wondered. What more could there be?

And here’s where I suspect the farmers reading this will say something like, “You can always use a new (fill in the blank).” Exactly. That’s where it starts. This is also why those tool tents at farm shows are probably the most profitable spot on the grounds.

Similarly our other son has requested a pocket knife every year since before he was old enough to have a pocket knife. I guess what these farm kids lack in imagination, they make up for in passion.

Being an experienced farm mom, I asked for some specifics on the general term “farm toys.”

“I really need something to feed my round bales,” he said. “I think a pickup with a bale bed would be good.” Right. I’m no farm toy shopping rookie, you see. I didn’t ever recall seeing a pickup with a bale bed in the proper 1/16-scale requested.

So I went on a search to find something that would help the boy feed his cows big round bales. I shared my dilemma with a farm mom friend who lives in Illinois. Her elusive item was a batwing sprayer.

As we are texting each other from our respective farm equipment dealers, she asked me, “What have our lives become?”

Well, my friend, they have become “awesome.” Because what farm mom wouldn’t want to fuel that kind of passion for agriculture? These boys dream of driving tractors, hauling hay and spraying corn. There are fewer Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle items on the list to Santa and more John Deere green.

And honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Holly Martin can be reached by phone at 1-800-452-7171, ext. 1806, or by email at

Date: 12/30/2013


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