Advice From A Vintage Tractor Collector and His Wife

LESSONS LEARNED: Brian and Channon Ussary sit down with FarmLife and share advice about successfully running their family farm together.

By Des Keller | Photos By Charlie Riedel

FarmLife: What is some of the best advice you’ve received?

Channon: Be diversified. Brian told me that.

Brian: My Dad told me you save money by being able to do your own work. I do our mechanical and electrical work. My Dad showed me how to do everything like that. We used to be more diversified when we had hogs, I guess. We do grow seed beans. The tractor collection is a nice little savings account.

Channon: We just bought and flipped a small house here in Agency. We’ve become fans of the renovation shows on HGTV. We bought it on the courthouse steps and stripped it down to nothing and redid everything.

Brian: We’ve had people waiting in line to see it but nobody has come up with money yet.

FL: How have you changed since you were younger?

Brian: I haven’t changed much. I loved tractors and machinery then and I love them now.

Channon: He will quit working before midnight now but he didn’t used to. I wanted to be in the big city and live far away. Now I love the farm.

FL: How has your lifestyle changed?

Brian: Like most people of the generation that grew up in the Depression, my parents were super conservative. My Mom still is. You would never replace a piece of furniture because you were bored with it. Dad was that way with machinery. I can appreciate the old but my weakness is I like iron, I like having nice new machinery. We trade tractors and combines, the bigger pieces, every two or three years.

FL: What’s your definition of happiness?

Channon: No drama, no problems. I don’t like drama.

FL: What would you like to learn to do that you’ve never done?

Brian: I’ve always been into farming. I’ve never really thought about anything else.

Channon: I’ve told him he should teach me how to play golf.

Brian: I tried because she kept telling me I needed a hobby. I tried for a few years but wasn’t very good at it.