What’s your plan? (02/20/2019)


I am fighting the uphill battle. The Girls spend too much of their time keeping up with their peers by wasting it and substituting reality on electronics devices. Maybe I should be thankful for this; there are far worst vices to be controlled by. 

I spent my youth on the ‘M’ chasing the one-eyed tractor driver (a good story for another time). What I will divulge is that the ‘M’ is a late 40’s/early 50’s Model M, row crop tractor manufactured by International Harvester under the Farmall brand. 

It is still working on the ranch today, even if both are semi-retired. We’d be ‘running rows.’ First it was in sugar beets and then mostly corn and beans in the later years. It would follow cultivating and the idea was to compress the soil so that the irrigation water would speed down the row to the end. Technically speaking (validating my Cal Poly education), it increases infiltration efficiency; saving money and increasing crop output.

Actual irrigating is fun. If you want to impress me, successfully start a siphon pipe! It is a dying art. This would be the reality that I’d prefer to see the Girls skilled at. They would have good memories and plenty of stories to tell on how they got there! There just might be as many styles as to achieving the outcome of water flow as there is those that can do it! The Girls wouldn’t be lacking in enthusiasm but might have difficulty with ability. Their hands are just too small.

I’ve been blessed to learn of a solution to this obstacle. It includes good old fashion, farm ingenuity! It involves the landlord’s daughter, my Dad, and a tennis ball. It was her desire to start those pipes and it presented her with a small challenge. With the help of that tennis ball, the pipe would be filled with the irrigation water and then plugged at the end by stopping it with the tennis ball. Then over the ditch bank and into the row with the siphoning effect moving the water into and down the row. Small hands, no problem!

With a little assistance, there isn’t much that can’t be overcome. Let’s look at paying for college. Tuition is expensive and difficult to pay out of pocket these days. It is commonplace to burden students and/or parents with large loan debt. A scholarship is money to pay for college that a student can apply for and be awarded based on any sort of criteria. The Pioneer Review printed last week that the CattleWomen and Cattlemen are offering a $2,000 continuing education scholarship. These are valuable tools and don’t need to be paid back, they’re free! In their book, “Smart Money Smart Kids,” Dave Ramsey and daughter Rachel Cruze state that the best, safest, most cost-effective way to pay for school is though scholarships. They say to make it your part-time job seeking scholarships and to illustrate the point with an example of one who did so and had the cost of her first three years taken care of by the time she started college. Scholarships are worth putting into your plan.

I appreciated you following me under ‘What’s Your Plan?’ Please leave comments with the Pioneer Review or at Scott@Arenscp.com.. ■