By Jennifer Whitlock
Do you remember that 80s TV show, MacGyver?
The show of the star, Angus MacGyver, was a secret agent who would get into a fix every. single. week. Yet somehow, he managed to get himself out each time using things like a safety pin and some bubblegum.
I always wondered how such a smart guy would get into such bad situations.
But if necessity is the mother of invention, a farmer or rancher might be called the mother or father of ingenuity.
See, farmers and ranchers are one of the most resourceful groups of people you’ll ever meet. Nothing goes to waste. Baling wire, duct tape, old tires, spare lengths of water hoses and more items used in unexpected ways are common on farms and ranches.
Items others might consider destined for the junk pile are stored away for a time of need.
I’ve seen some very impressive cattle back scratchers made from old shop broom heads and a few common hardware store parts.
Others have put their welding skills to use to make modifications to pickup ball hitches to create custom brackets for feeders and other things they need to haul.
Some of those extra items even proved useful during Winter Storm Uri.
Farm kids grow up inherently using whatever’s on hand to get the job done, and that practicality comes with a whole host of learning benefits.
Problem-solving, hypothesizing, mechanical engineering and sheer grit are all lessons absorbed at a young age and in a hands-on manner.
But the young aren’t the only one who can learn new tricks.
Spend some time with a farmer or rancher, and you’re almost guaranteed to see a handmade gadget or two that help lighten the workload.
Maybe it’ll help inspire you to do a little MacGyvering of your own.
Just maybe skip the bubblegum. That probably attracts ants in real life.