When a man gets too old to farm, it's time to call in the auctioneer

·3 min read

Wolftown – Terry O’Gorman had no shortage of visitors to his Eganville/Cobden Road farm Saturday morning. For the first time in the farm’s 137-year history, an auction was being held.

At 92, Mr. O’Gorman said it’s time to sell, mostly tractors, farm equipment, dairy milking equipment and 95 acres across the road.

Those attending not only arrived by car and truck, but there were a few horse-drawn wagons from the growing Mennonite community.

Mr. O’Gorman said the farm has been in the family name since 1885, while the house was built in 1905. Saturday was a day he didn’t want to see happen.

“I’ve slowed down a lot in the last year,” he said. “I hate to see the stuff being sold because I worked hard to get it here, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Mr. O’Gorman has three grown sons, but none want to farm.

Looking back, he said this farm has “been in the family name since 1885. It wasn’t a dairy farm until 1957. That’s when we got into the dairy.

“I got out of the dairy about two years.”

The family farm on the north side of the road, where he still lives, is not being sold, and he expects son Michael to take it over. However, the land is rented out to neighbouring farmers.

“I’ll stay here until I can’t walk to the bathroom anymore and they’ll have to carry me out,” Mr. O’Gorman said with a chuckle.

“The hardest part today is seeing the 95 acres sold,” Mr. O’Gorman said. (It was later learned that neighbouring dairy farmers Des Enright and family purchased the property.)

Looking around, he said, “A lot of people come looking for a bargain. Some people want to buy things in good working order, clean.

“I’ve tried to keep all my machinery clean.”

However, like himself on this day, he said many come just for the social time.

Thinking about all the equipment purchased over the years, Mr. O’Gorman said the first tractor was a W4 McCormick purchased in 1949.

But that’s not the tractor he thinks of at this auction.

“I felt pretty good when I made the deal with the McHale lads to buy the Deutz tractor,” he recalled. “It was the biggest tractor I’d ever owned. I bought it about five years ago.

“That’s about 115 horse (power). That’s small in today’s comparison.”

With a chuckle, Mr. O’Gorman added, “They use that tractor to go for the mail now.”

While he’s not able to farm like he did just a few years ago, Mr. O’Gorman is hoping he will still be able to climb into a tractor and work the fields or crop for his neighbours this year, which is what he did last year.

“I’ve slowed down a lot this year,” he said. “I’ll have to see if I’m going to get onto a tractor.”

Connie Tabbert, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader

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