Your Letters: Farmer inventors rock
I might be able to help Alan Linda out.
I am proud to say I am a contributing editor for the magazine he wrote about last week. Farm Show magazine (www.farmshow.com) has a circulation of more than 180,000, is in its 35th year and is published out of Lakeville, Minn. I receive packages of leads for each issue and call all over the U.S., Canada and sometimes overseas to talk to people about their inventions, new products and creative ways they have figured out how to make a living.
I love it, just as I enjoyed writing "Farmer of the Month" stories when I worked at the Pioneer Journal. Most of the folks I get to talk to impress me with their enthusiasm, common sense and innovative minds.
As Alan humorously parodied, some of them are extraordinary recyclers. Right now I'm working on a story about a Detroit Lakes man who made his own firewood processor out of a diesel engine from an irrigation pump, bus frame, military forklift hydraulic cylinders and a John Deere combine fuel tank. He splits 1 1/2 cords of wood an hour -- without a backache.
Then there's the Canadian who is blind and makes wooden toy tractors and implements from poplar cut from his brother-in-law's farm. Bob uses regular shop tools and even a metal lathe.
In Iowa, a roofing contractor may have scored in a prime market -- manly soap. He mixes soap ingredients with things like beer and sandblasting crystals (with a drill press) and has several kinds of soaps with crazy names like Redneck and Heart of the Hunter. He packages his man-size bars with duct tape and funny labels.
For me, farmer inventors rock, and I love telling their stories.
But, I'm open to interviewing non-farmer inventors too. So, Alan, if you've got an idea for me, I'm ready to tell your story.
Just make sure no farklelackets or stationary hydrometric flux valves are involved.