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Identify tool from farming days gone by

Hoosier Perspectives: In this edition of Forgotten Tool: How would you use this device?

Tom J. Bechman

November 30, 2023

1 Min Read
A long thin pole with an iron arrow tip
WHAT IS IT? A farmer found this long, slender pole with an iron tip on one end in a lean-to on his dad’s farm while sorting through things. Question of the day: What was it used for?Photos by Tom J. Bechman

Take a good look at the tool pictured here. It’s not just a long piece of wood on a handle. The metal spike on the end and the metal ring that attaches it to the pole gave this tool purpose in earlier days in farming. What was that purpose? Pitching hay? Moving ear corn in a crib?

Here’s the only clue to pass along. A middle-aged farmer in northern Indiana found this device in a lean-to shed attached to an older barn on his father’s farm. His father farmed many years ago. The mystery item was just leaning up in the corner of the shed. Likely it had been resting there since the last time it was used. It was a typical, old-fashioned farmstead with wooden corn cribs inside the barn, plus a haymow.

A close-up of an iron arrow attached to a wooden pole

If you can identify what this tool was originally used for, you will be eligible for a gift card. If more than one person sends in an accurate answer, one winner will be drawn at random. Email your guess to [email protected] or mail to 599 N., 100 W., Franklin, IN 46131. Please include your mailing address!

About the Author(s)

Tom J. Bechman

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman is editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

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