There is a story behind every tractor. The 1950 Farmall M purchased by Jarett Hensley is no exception. Jarett, Franklin, is a freshman at Franklin Community High School and an FFA member. He says this tractor’s story isn’t so much about who bought it originally or any family ties, but instead how it got from its previous owner to where it rests in the toolshed today.
Jarett keeps the tractor in his grandpa’s new shed. Jim has some equipment of his own from days gone by that deserves to be stored properly. Jarett’s Farmall M now has a place beside another M, a 1961 Ford truck, an antique farm wagon on steel rims and many other items.
“My dad and I made the deal for the tractor, but it was quite a ways away,” Jarett recalls. “We didn’t have a good way to haul it, and we could go through back roads, so my dad, Andy, decided that we would drive it home.”
Farmall Ms were known as dependable tractors, one of the classics of the early days of tractors and the post-war era in the 1940s. However, they weren’t especially known for speed on the road. Jarett remembers it was a pretty long trek to get the tractor from where they bought it to his grandpa’s farm in eastern Johnson County.
While it’s his first tractor, Jarett doesn’t expect it to be his last. Not everyone has their life mapped out in their freshman year, but Jarett has a good idea where he is headed. If he could fulfill his dreams, he would become a fireman at a paid department, working that job full time and also farming. Several firefighters in rural areas around the state also farm. The 24-hour on, 48-hour off schedule of many fire departments makes it feasible to also manage a part-time to reasonably larger farm operation.
Jarett's Farmall M will likely be part of whatever he does in the future. “It runs well,” he says. “Once in a while the float sticks on the carburetor, but once you get past that, it starts and runs well.”