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By Jack Hackley
I got a lot of comment from people who agreed with an article I swrote that the early combine Gleaner made was the best combine ever built. Some said it was virtually maintenance free.
Four former employees of Gleaner in Independence contacted me. None of the four were happy with the way AGCO treated them when it purchased Gleaner and moved the company to Hesston, Kan.
I received an e-mail from my oldest son, Dr. Steven Hackley, who is a psycho-physiologist and professor in the psychology department at MU. Steve lives in Columbia and calls his Mom and me every Sunday night. It is unusual to receive an e-mail from him, however but he sent this one about the Gleaner column. It read:
I enjoyed your last column, Dad. In 1973, I attended a talk by the science fiction writer, Arthur C. Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey). During the question-and-answer period, someone from the audience asked the famous author what he considered to be the greatest invention of the 20th century. Most of us assumed he would say “the Moon rocket” or “penicillin,” but no, without hesitation hee said, “The mobile combine, because it has fed so many people.”
I read in the paper the other day Massey-Ferguson, which is owned by AGCO, the same company that owns Gleaner Combine had just manufactured its 25,000th big square baler. Apparently, it makes a bale 4 feet by 4 feet by 9 feet that weighs as much as a ton. It sells for $125,000.
This baler can also bale tin cans and newspapers. When I was in high school I got 1½ cents for each square bale I put on the truck and helped haul to the barn. Now I ask you, how much would you have to charge to load one of these on a truck, much less stack it in the barn?
Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.jackremembers.com