Two determined, dedicated people working together as a team can build a dream
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A determined, dedicated person can do more with a worn-out monkey wrench than an undetermined, undedicated person can do with a shop full of tools. Two determined, dedicated people working together as a team can build a dream. Just outside the small town of Alamo, in the gently rolling countryside of west Tennessee, such a team built their dream.
When she was a teenager, a city girl named Tammy fell in love with a country boy named Stoney. Early on, she recognized that he had been born and bred for one way of life: farming. They became man and wife and started a family.
After managing his dad’s farm for several years, Stoney — with Tammy’s encouragement — decided to strike out on his own. The bank helped the couple set up a partnership, and Stoney and Tammy bought a farm. From day one, Tammy was determined to be a full-time wife, full-time mother and full-time farmer.
Her determination was put to the test the first year. Instead of turning a profit, the partners ended up with a huge loss. The possibility that their farming venture had lasted only one year was demoralizing, but their determination was undaunted.
West Tennessee cotton averaged less than four hundred pounds per acre that year — the worst crop in most people’s remembrance. Stoney and Tammy gathered their meager harvest while wondering how to make ends meet and still be able to hold on to the farm.
Fortunately, their creditors gave them a little more time. Man and wife scraped together enough money to put in another crop. They knew, though, that survival depended on an unflinching resolve to do all the work themselves.
Tammy knew nothing about farm work, but, keenly aware of what was at stake, she learned quickly: She learned to leave home before sunup and quit after sundown; she learned to keep the farm’s books; she learned to haul water and mix chemicals; she learned to service the cotton picker and operate the module builder. And, along the way, she learned why Stoney loved the farming way of life.
Good luck is just another name for tenacity of purpose, for determination, for staying the course, despite seemingly insurmountable odds. Stoney and Tammy now farm several thousand acres, with virtually no help whatsoever. While he jokingly calls Tammy his only “full-time employee,” Stoney is mighty pleased that hiring part-time help is only necessary for a few short weeks during planting and picking time.
While the partnership’s first year was a disaster, succeeding years have been progressively better. Stoney and Tammy have produced many fine crops.
They cherish so much about their way of life, but perhaps what they cherish most is the sense of achievement that comes at the end of each year ... after the last bale has been ginned and shipped, after the equipment has been stored for winter, after all accounts have been settled ... and being able to look at each other and say, “We did it! Hand-in-hand — Just us!”