Farmhand Hay Loader Models Stack Up

Paul Radabaugh's miniature Farmhand loaders tell hay stacker story.


| September 2007



FarmallM.jpg

A 1/16-scale Farmall M with Farmhand hay stacker; 1/43-scale John Deere with Farmhand hay basket; and a 1/64-scale Oliver with Farmhand hay basket. Far right: As a youth working on the farm, Paul says he was always the guy on the haystack, like the figure at right working with a John Deere 52 hay stacker.

What do you get when you mix parachute cord, steel washers, brass rod, earphone wire, cigarette lighter O-rings, adding machine gears and a couple of surgical hemostat clamps? Why, a model Farmhand hay loader, of course.

At least, that's what 57-year-old Paul Radabaugh, Dubuque, Iowa, gets. "It all started with the need to get a 10-speed bicycle," Paul says. During a family visit to North Dakota, Paul's mom coaxed the then-teenager into staying a few weeks with his cousin, Paul Musland, and his wife, June, on their farm.

Paul's dad wasn't convinced the 13-year-old would be able to do it. "Dad said I would be homesick and wouldn't last five days." Paul countered: "If I stay five days," he asked, "would you get me the 10-speed bicycle I want?" Paul's dad agreed. "He thought it was a safe bet," Paul recalls.

Five weeks later, Paul came home to his new 10-speed bicycle. He brought a new love and admiration for farm work and machinery … especially Farmhand hay loaders manufactured by Farmhand Inc., Hopkins, Minn.

A North Dakota farmhand

One of the first things Paul and his cousin did that long-ago summer was make hay. "He said he was going to get the Farmhand and we'd make hay," Paul recalls. "I thought he meant another person: a farm-hand."

But this Farmhand was a hay loader mounted on a Farmall M tractor. From that moment, Paul was hooked. For the next eight summers, he returned to Edgeley, N.D., for a stint working with the Farmhand. "I was always on top of the stack when we were making hay, working against the Farmhand," Paul says. "If my cousin wanted me to work fast, he brought the hay faster."