The last time my friend Sam Sowards bought a new tractor was 30 years ago. An Allis Chalmers 185. Oh, he’s added other tractors over the years, but never another new one. Until now.

So when he said the folks at Cope Equipment were getting ready to deliver his new John Deere 7430 soon, I asked if I could be there when they did. I mean, getting a new tractor is kind of like — no, it’s better than — Christmas morning.

One morning last week, I got the call. “They’re going to be here between 3 and 3:30,” Sam said. So I made sure I was there to get it all on film (OK, digital memory card).

Wait, I think I see them coming…!

Isn’t she a beaut! A little wide for the trailer, but Cope employee Sam Kitzmiller handled it with ease.

Backing it off the trailer was a piece of cake. (I think Sam’s done this before!)

Yep, the proud, new owner is grinnin’ from ear to ear… But enough of this posing, he’s thinking, let me get behind the wheel!

And he’s off across the field on the tractor’s maiden voyage…

Wait a minute, I don’t think he’s planning on stopping any time soon.

But he had to stop and show me — OK, and his wife, Callie (pictured). I hopped in the buddy seat and off we went. When we got out, we chatted in his kitchen for awhile, but I could tell he was itching to get back outside. “I haven’t done all my reading yet,” Sam confessed, as he grabbed the owner’s manual.

And as I pulled out of the driveway, I could see Sam in my rearview mirror, manual tucked under his arm, headed back to the tractor. I didn’t check with Callie, but I’m pretty sure he slept in the cab that night.

Farm and Dairy Editor Susan Crowell has been with the paper since 1985, serving as its editor since 1989. Raised on a farm in Holmes County, she is a graduate of Kent State University.
Susan Crowell
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