Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Busy Spring is rolling...

The craziness of spring on our farm got into full swing this weekend.  It started at our seed store with getting deliveries done.  Then the elevator spread fertilizer on our fields which meant the field cultivators were on the move.  At last, the corn planter started rolling and got a few fields of corn planted.  Sounds pretty easy, right?  Well...this managed to keep JM and I on the run all weekend.  We made parts runs, delivered seed, got groceries so we could take meals to the field, went on a seed run to another dealer to have extra seed on hand, and managed to get a few things done at home.

JM and I took a few hours to clean up the yard.  We had some large branches and sticks down from our last ice storm to get picked up.  The yard got raked as well as cleaning out the window wells and around the retaining walls.  JM and I got to play with the big toys (a.k.a. the payloader, log chains, and skid loader) since the boys were all out in the field!

Before we had to make supper to take to the field, JM and I took some time to make a fairy garden for our front porch.  It was a really fun project for us!

The field cultivator gets a rest tonight since we are waiting for some more adverse weather to come our way.  We are expecting rain and snow for the rest of the week.  At least the seed that is in the ground will be tucked nicely in the ground until this weather event is over.

We also took the opportunity tonight to move some more dirt around our house.  Hopefully, we will have a lawn to mow yet this year.

Although I love this time of year, it does get a little crazy for our family. Some days it is hard to keep up with where everyone is or needs to be.  It just means that our family meals may be with the three of us sitting in a tractor.

Monday, April 8, 2013

4-H Field Trip

Last Thursday evening, Roger and I had the pleasure of accompanying JM's 4-H group on their field trip.  We traveled south of Hartley about 15 miles to the town of Sutherland to tour JTV Manufacturing.

JTV is co-owned by a friend of ours, Brent Thorn.  Brent was our gracious host for the evening's tour.  We had a fairly large group of  kids for the tour as well as some of the parents.  I think the big kids enjoyed the tour just as much as the 4-H members.  Brent talked to the group about how their company began.  They began as 3 partners manufacturing their products and have grown to have about 80 employees.  JTV makes parts for companies such as John Deere, Case IH, and AGCO.

 JTV manufactures parts from steel.  They use these big lasers to cut the parts from the sheets of steel.  It was very interesting to see the lasers in action.  The lasers that JTV use can cut through sheets of steel that are 1 1/2 inches thick.  They also have plasma cutters and a torch system that can cut through steel up to 8 inches thick.

The parts are cut with great precision, and there is very little waste on from a sheet of steel.  All the little "left over" pieces from the cut sheets is recycled and may return in a new sheet of steel.

JTV has computer programmed "metal brakes" that bend the steel parts to whatever angle is called for.  They also have the capability to machine the parts as needed as well.  Welders can also weld parts together prior to delivery. JTV has semi trucks to deliver the parts or they can ship out by UPS.

Mr. Thorn answered the kids' questions after the tour concluded.  His company makes and ships thousands of steel parts across the country every day.  Everyone appreciated the opportunity to see how JTV operates.  We are proud to have a successful company like JTV Manufacturing in our area!

JTV Manufacturing, Sutherland, Iowa