Reasons to Patronize the Local Farm Supply

Adrian Farm Supply, farm equipment shop

Normally I hate to go to the store, preferring that someone else go, but the local farm supply shop is different. I LOVE to go there! By “Farm Supply” I mean a place of business that sells and repairs farm equipment, but even if you don’t have a farm, there are good reasons to patronize the local farm supply. Here are five good reasons to patronize the local farm supply store:

These shops/stores know their products.

If they’ve been around for long, they generally remember previous products and the history behind the change to what they now carry.  After years of dreaming about getting a tractor, I finally “sprung” the money last spring and purchased a 50 year old Long 445 diesel tractor. I hardly knew what I had, other than that it was a tractor. The first time I sought help with it at our local farm supply, Bob Adrian, the owner, smiled and informed me: “Yes, that’s a good tractor. It was build in Romania. We sold them back in the 70s,” and “I know every leak that tractor has.” It is a good tractor, and sure enough, it does have some chronic leaks!

proprietor, Bob Adrian, farm supply owner
When I ask Bob about a part on my 50 year old Romanian built tractor, he has the answer and, off the top of his head can tell me what size wrench to use!

Anther noticeable advantage to this kind of shop is…

They stand by their products.

These privately owned shops work on what they sell. They don’t just tell you to call the manufacturer. They stand by what they sell, and, in a sense, they also stand by other’s products. By this I mean they will work on stuff they didn’t sell, often getting clients out of a fix. I once chatted with Jacob, an  employee at Adrian Farm Supply He mentioned that while some folk around here will travel to a larger town to buy and expensive piece of equipment, when it breaks down, they usually end up at Adrian Farm Supply to get it repaired. Some high volume businesses aren’t as interested in service as in sales.  A good privately owned farm supply actually supports its clients. Bob Adrian once told me that he runs his shop as a God given ministry to the community. I believe it.

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Farm repair shops encourage creative, economical solutions.

I decided to get a front end loader and bucket for my tractor. The problem is that they’re not making them for that tractor anymore. Even if they did, I bet it would cost to ship over from Romania. With some time, elbow grease and ingenuity, Adrian Farm Supply came up with the hardware and adapted everything to work on my tractor. It works great!

tractor front loader, lifting
The tractor and front end loader have revolutionized our farm work!

Patronize the local farm supply. It may save you a whole lot of money! Recently I was using our six year old wood splitter and the main hydraulic cylinder seal gave out. We had purchased it at a chain store and I knew 1) that they stopped carrying that brand within the last 6 months and, 2) even if they still sold them, they wouldn’t service them. My first thought was, “Oh no! We’re out over $1000 to replace this machine!” Then, because I had been learning from Adrian Farm Supply, I thought, “I wonder if I could fix the cylinder?” I checked and decided it was a bit above my abilities. I could remove it, so I investigated what it would cost to replace the cylinder. That was about $400: better. But then it occurred to me, “If Adrian’s  put a hydraulic system front end loader on my tractor, maybe they can fix this hydraulic cylinder.” I called Adrian’s and they said, “Sure, we’ve already fixed two this week.” Twenty-four hours later I paid $78 and picked up my repaired piece. We were back in business in a little over a day.

tractor with wood splitter, wood splitter
Now I use both the tractor and wood splitter when processing firewood.

An implement shop can be very creative, and not just with farm machines. Here’s photo of two of my favorite gardening tools.

hand hoes, homi, Japanese hand hoe, Korean hand hoe

Both are of very high quality, but came with fragile wooden handles. I had one handle replaced at a shop in central Mexico. The other was done at Adrian Farm Supply, almost 15 years ago. I had metal handles welded onto them.

Farm supply stores and shops provide community.

Going into one of these places isn’t like regular shopping. Sure, you can drop in and leave quickly if you want, but one of the beauties of this kind of business is that it is a gathering place for farmers, ranchers, homesteaders and gardeners. When I go to a place like this I LOVE to linger and hear about the trials, triumphs and solutions that others have encountered. There’s a lot of collective wisdom coming through those doors!

cat at counter, farm store
If you wake Adrian’s mascot she’ll descend from her perch and demand that you scratch her chin.

Beside providing products and services, this is the kind of place one enjoys on account of the wit and wisdom of those on either side of the counter (or on top of it, if it’s the cat).

These small privately owned stores are a source of education.

I almost never go there without learning something really helpful for homesteading. The people working there are happy to explain and even demonstrate, whatever it is that I need to know. Because of their decades of experience they really do know, and when they speak, it’s not just “book learning.” They know because they and their clients have been there and done that.

Do you patronize a store like this?

We’d love to hear about it. There are plenty of people who don’t realize what a tremendous resource such businesses can be.

farm implement yard
Farm implement businesses get new and old equipment, work on it, fix it and adapt it so that the farmer or homesteader can “get’r done.”

Related article: Homesteading is for almost anyone


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