Thursday, July 7, 2016

Selling a Farm

An old farmer reached the point in his life where he knew he could not continue. His farm would have to be passed on. With no offspring, no close relatives, he wondered ... who could he hand this farm over to? He had spent years, his entire life, caring for every spec of land. His long hours of loving labor were in every fence post, every clump of grass he looked at as he pondered this dilemma. Who would care for the fruits of his life's work?

The day came, the farm on the market. Interested parties started coming by to view his home, his life, ready and anxious to take over.  How was he to choose?

Old farmers carry a lot of wisdom....

He made it a requirement to personally show the farm, to spend plenty of time with each applicant walking from end to end. Some seemed sorry that the farmer had not had the time nor energy to clean up. There was bits of trash here and there, items obviously out of place, left where they were last used instead of stored away.  But oddly, all the pictures displayed of the farm showed a different story, an immaculately neat and organized operation. Had the old farmer given up? Was his health failing to the point where he couldn't even bring himself to pick up trash?

Every time another interested party came, they would take the same tour. Some complained of the condition, some didn't  even notice, some talked of all the grand ideas they had, some really had no idea at all.

The farmer continued... waiting... unwilling to compromise his life work.

Then one day a young man came, interested. As they took the familiar tour around the land and buildings, this young man talked, looked around,  but but also discretely pulled the odd weed here and there without comment.  He picked up old dirty bailing twines left out and carried them in his pocket. In the workshop, as they talked, the young man silently hung a tool or two in its obvious place.  The old farmer watched every move, ever gesture the young man made.

At the end of the tour, the young man offered that he loved the place, but just was not sure he could afford it.

The farmer told him, "It's yours, pay me whatever you can".

Astounded, the young man replied, "What do you mean?"

"Son, I have walked dozens, maybe hundreds of people around this place. Many had money, many had grand ideas, a few even made ridiculously high offers.  I turned them all down.  Not a one of them pulled a weed, or replaced a tool. Only you.  .... I will not hand this place over, after spending my life building and caring for it, to a man that hires others to care for it. I will only hand it to one who will get his own hands dirty, pull a weed, and care about the soil and animals as much as I did. In your pocket right now are 7 bailing twines. Earlier this morning I laid out 8 myself, strategically placed along our tour.  You picked up all but the last one... which I now hold in my hand. Take this bailing twine and the place is yours. "

How to sell a farm...

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