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Toy tractors
AGE APPROPRIATE: Here’s the start of Cole’s farm equipment lineup. Color balance is still a work in progress.

Is it ingraining or reliving their childhoods?

Two Hearts, One Harvest: Mike and Sheilah want to make sure their young son develops an appreciation for farming early on with farm toys — age appropriate, of course.

We’re big on training up our young son in the way he should go — farming! He’ll soon be 1 year old. Here’s the latest chapter:

Mike: When I was little, I grew up playing with farm toys. Every trip to any dealership or farm store, I’d beg and plead with my parents to buy me something. Eventually, I realized it wasn’t always feasible.

Once when I was 5, I went with my dad to pick up parts for the neighbors. He bought me the first actual corn planter I’d ever seen made by Ertl — an IH Cyclo 400! I don’t remember what it cost. I’m pretty sure, though, Dad skimped on his lunch that day to buy it.

Sheilah: Like father — like mother — like son! (I loved farm toys, too. Mike doesn’t get all the credit.) It didn’t take Cole long to get his start playing with Ertl toys — infant-appropriate ones, of course. He got a few after he was born. Several came from Ag Progress Days, and we picked a couple more up at the local farm store. I told Mike that Cole was allowed to have toys of all paint colors, not just red.

Mike: One day while cooking supper, I peeked into the room. He had his combine in one hand and the tractor in the other, pushing them back and forth and making noise — “Vroom! Vroom!” No dad could be more proud.

Sheilah: I’m pretty sure the “vroom, vroom” Mike heard was actually “ta ta da ga ga. Aghh.” But to Mike’s ears, that’s close enough.

Every April, we try to attend a farm toy show that my brother, niece and nephews participate in. Mike was excited for Cole to go this year. I told Mike he had a limit on what he should spend. I must have forgotten to tell him what his limit was.

Mike: I was a little disappointed I couldn’t find any of the baby Ertl toys we wanted. But I did come across something I’d been after. Since we had to get a new combine last fall, I told Sheilah I wanted to get a 1/64th-scale toy of it. Guess what I found at the toy show!

I also found some 1/64th tractors for Cole to have when he’s older. They were too good a deal to pass up.

Sheilah: I also forgot to tell him Cole’s toys needed to be age appropriate. I’m pretty sure Mike is just using Cole as an excuse to buy toy tractors for himself.

Mike: I’m just giving the boy a head start for his future display. I’m really looking forward to the day when Cole can add his toy display to the toy show. He’ll grow into them. Until then, I’ll keep making sure he’s prepared.

Sheilah and Mike Reskovac farm near Uniontown, Pa. Catch all their Two Hearts, One Harvest blog at AmericanAgriculturist.com.

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