grandfather Charley Trew used to shake his head and say, "the changes, they just
keep a'coming." As we modernized our farming equipment and methods after the Great
Depression and Dust Bowl ended, it seems we were making big changes almost every
The same holds true today. The ideas and advertisements in farm and
ranch magazines make my head swim trying to figure out how they work and how to
pay for them.
A visit recently with a long-time used farm equipment dealer
told of a change I had not heard. Seems the high price of scrap metal for the
last few years has finally about cleaned out the old horse-drawn and early tractor
machinery. He said those type of auctions held on old farms are a thing of the
past. Sure makes me proud of my collection of 60-plus horse-drawn implements and
other old farm tools. At least I can show them to my descendants and explain how
Not so long ago, if you wanted to see an arena you had to go
to a rodeo ground to see one. Not so today. When we travel around the Panhandle
we see many nice arenas at ranches, farms, feedlots, in towns, at churches and
other mysterious places.
There must be lot of interest in such arena sports
participation. On the other hand, maybe the presence of so many private arenas
is the reason why rodeo attendance is down.
My brother and I often laugh
at how smart our dad was. Every time we even casually mentioned entering rodeos
to ride or rope, we could expect within the next few days to find new colts, raw
broncs or older horses that "needed a little riding" awaiting us in the corrals.
would be needing more horses in New Mexico or to take up to wheat pasture this
winter. By the time the new stock were dependable we would be fresh out of the
wind power seems to be all the rage today, solar power is slowly becoming the
biggest change in ranching. The
long-time faithful windmill,
dependable if the wind blows, has become so expensive to purchase and maintain,
solar-powered water pumps are becoming more numerous.
For a while the new
pumps had troubles; but the latest models seem to have that solved, and our solar
pumps are working in great fashion, providing water whether the wind blows or
If Ace Reed were still alive and drawing cartoons, he would have
old Jake the cowboy up on a rickety ladder by a solar panel, rag and soap bottle
in hand, cleaning the hoot owl poop off the screen and wishing for days past when
he was checking the oil in a windmill.
Through rainwater harvesting and the use of solar pumps, we have removed
our windmill towers and
they are lying on the ground for sale. It's been two years now and I still have
not lost the habit of looking for the mills to see whether the wheels are turning
in the breeze or standing at the pipe listening for the clicks of the checks as
they slowly jack the water to the surface.
"It's All Trew" October
19, 2010 column
Delbert Trew is a freelance writer and retired rancher. He
can be reached at 806-779-3164, by mail at Box A, Alanreed, TX 79002, or by e-mail
at email@example.com. For books see DelbertTrew.com. His column appears