Fixed with baler twine and tarp straps


“We do things our way, every single day on this farm. We speak our own language, perhaps, without giving it a moment’s thought. There are little things needed for survival, certain steps to reach the timely conclusion of chores every single day, that would make not one lick of sense to anyone else. We are like our own factory and we can operate smoothly as a team as long as we don’t run out of important things like binder twine and a healthy hog-callin’ voice.”

– Rachel Peden, 1954

There are a few things nobody could farm without, and these items have not been given the respect they have earned.

Who could hold it all together without the power of baler twine? Who could advance to yet another growing season without a tarp strap or two? I say it’s time we toast our allies in the process we call agriculture.

All over this country we can find schools for technology, institutes of technical knowledge, but somebody should really open the University of Baler Twine and Tarp Straps. For those of an entirely different school of thought, how about Electrical Tape Institute?

We couldn’t secure our fences or fortresses without a tarp strap here and a length of baler twine there. Applied properly by someone with years of experience, it stands far above today’s complicated security systems.

When a wagon threatens to lean to the far right, entire worlds have been changed by liberal application of democratic force, disguised as tarp straps.

Coon hunters will tell you that baler twine must be carried at all times as a hand carrier for taking coon out of the woods. Without it, you are dooming yourself to bad luck. No twine, no coon to carry.

Baler twine has even been known to appear under the guise of a quickly enforced fashion statement. Daughter is needed in the barn, but, can’t you see, the hair is too beautiful and too long to complete requested task?! Grab a length of baler twine, pull that hair back, wrap it quick with the finesse of a rodeo cowboy – voila! No more excuses! Baler twine has saved the day!

Ever heard of baler twine belts? Fashion!

In the horse barn, baler twine has a million different practical applications. It is so vital there, did you know it is actually considered a sin to throw a single line of twine in the trash can?

“WHAT? You are throwing that AWAY?” I once heard a friend of mine holler to the new hired kid. “Listen, this stuff can be used to tie, muzzle, carry, move, hitch, secure, manipulate, activate, give you leverage better than any other newfangled item on the market, you can lasso with it, knot it better than any kind of thick rope you’ll find anywhere else in this barn – do I need to go on? Keep some of this handy at all times and you are going to get a whole lot more accomplished every single day than you can even begin to believe. Didn’t they teach you this at that fancy college you paid such big money for?”

The kid looked like he’d just had his head twisted around a few times, and finally it had been plopped back on just right. He had just been through the crash course of Baler Twine 101, and whether or not he knew it, it was going to change his life.

“Gotta teach every one of them this… and it’s the first thing they oughta know. Do you believe I had one kid who asked, ‘What’s that?’ when I asked him to go get me some baler twine,” my friend told me with utter disbelief. “I shoulda fired him on the spot!”

Some flunk the course, others earn their master’s degree in twine and go on to really shine.

Here’s hopin’ for some good ropin’ on your farm this spring!

(Editor’s note: Cort continues to receive daily I.V. treatments, and after a set-back two weeks ago from having to have a new PICC I.V. treatment line placed, seems to be improving once again. All the cards and good wishes continue to be greatly appreciated.)


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.