The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, September 05, 1986, Image 20
Page 4B/The Battalion/Friday, September 5, 1986
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106 E. 26th /Bryan, TX
Farmer controls spending t> ic
to avoid harvesting red ink
EDROY (AP) — Down on Bobby
Nedbalek’s farm, the grain sorghum
crop is in. Cotton harvesting conies
next. But the one crop that Nedba-
lek hopes never to harvest is red ink.
To keep that from happening,
this 45-year-old farmer has his own
approach to agriculture. You could
call it the Nedbalek Farm Policy.
The centerpiece of the Nedbalek
Farm Policy involves spending. He
doesn’t. Not if he doesn’t have the
money. Not if he has to borrow from
In this era of bigger farms barely
making it on wafer-thin profits,
Nedbalek is a small farmer who
manages to get by. He is a survivor
of 19 years of the inevitable boom-
bust cycles that have plagued farm
ers since farming began.
Unlike many farm families that
have gone under in recent years, in
cluding some of Nedbalek’s neigh
bors, he has survived, he believes,
because he is frugal and cautious.
“I have never made a payment on
an appliance or a car,’’ Nedbalek
said last week.
// he buys, he pays cash.
But iu many cases, he
doesn't buy at all. When
he needed an eight-row
planter, for example, he
welded two old four-row
planters together. It
1 One a
If he buys, he pays cash. But in
many cases, he doesn’t buy at all.
When he needed an eight-row plan
ter, for example, he welded two old
four-row planters together. It
If one word to describes Nedba
lek, it is careful. His buzzwords are
He waxes his farm machinery
twice a year. He bought his first trac
tor the same year he had his first son
— 19 years ago. Both still work on
Nedbalek’s caution does not re
veal itself as success by some stan
dards. There is no Cadillac in his
driveway. The family home is an
abandoned house that was reno
His natural disinclination against
spending money, Nedbalek believes,
has given his family a good life in
"We’ve gotten where we are by be
ing as careful as we knew how,” he
Nedbalek said he doesn’t plan
doing anything differently, even
though he expects his farm income
to drop by at least 20 percent next
Farm economists are predicting
that a new government farm pro
gram promises an upheaval for the
family farm in the next few years
that may leave casualties even in
South Texas, one of the last areas to
feel the nationwide farm crisis.
Commodity prices are the lowest
they have been in 10 years, accord
ing to Darwin Anderson, San Pat
ricio County agriculture extension
1 he 1985 farm bill is supposed to
put U.S. crops on the world market
by forcing American prices to a level
competitive with foreign commodi
ties. This in turn should reduce the
amount of surplus crops in y
In the meantime, Anderson sail
there will be a shake-up in the fan
industry — a realigning of piodu
et s and how they operate.
Anderson predicts farmers will!
plowing less often and cutting fee
on the amount of lettilizco .wdht 1
bit ides they use t hf ‘ l<: ‘ l "
“Most people are not buyingMi^r° ar ’
equipment — the little things—thtH,,.
< h i \ c .i pickup fot anotha^ 1 wei1
veai,’’ he said.
Nedbalek measures his words,
Ins dollars, before he spends then
‘Tin trying to comply with
farm bill. ” Nedbalek said.
Referring to the nation's agm
ture. he added, “I look at itasagh
renewable resource, and it has to
managed. Farmers are notinthtp
sition to manage a resource ofi
country, and the government
doing the best it can.”
Fot Nedbalek’s son. John Djii
who liegan driving a tractor at we
entr\ into the business will likdtli
easier than it was for his latheuli
started lai ming some three veatsi
let college graduation.
Bh the s
Nedbalek said, "I wasn’t bt
enough to take that step, am
didn't know if 1 could handleget!
a paycheck once a year. When 11
started farming, we had a carat
ml he hank and a to
merits, Nedbalek took out a F
Home Administration loan,
a tractor and took the leap.
“We made a lot of sacrifice
but those sacrifices were wh;
it possible to stav in the busin
Woman remembers plane’s historic flighi
POTTSBORO (AP) — It happened more than 75
years ago, but to a Grayson County native who wit
nessed the first airplane flight over the county, it still is
a very real thing.
In fact Beulah Dickson has plans to be on hand at the
Grayson Airport on the morning of Oct. 5 when the
replica of t he Vin Fiz sets down in Grayson County.
On the morning of Oct. 17, 1911, the original Vin Fiz
plunked down in Jim Bryant’s pasture about a mile
southwest of Pottsboro. Then Beulah Belle Bennett, 1 1,
and her father, Pottsboro Bank President J. Frank Ben
nett, picked up the pilot. Gal Rodgers, and drove him
into Pottsboro for fuel.
“Everyone who ran out into the field where the plane
landed were given the chance to autograph one of the
wings,” Dickson said. “There were already so many
names on the wings that I had a hard time f inding a
place to write my name.”
The plane was similar to today’s ultra light planes.
This time it will be an ultra light plane, clubbed Vin Fiz
II, that Jim Lloyd will pilot in attempting to retrace the
While he would like to park the plane at the same
spot in the pasture, Lloyd says he will be looking for
more stable landing sites, which is why Gray son Airport
may be his landing spot this time around.
The 1911 plane was supposed to have landed in Den
ison but Rodgers, who was following the railroad tracks,
apparently couldn’t find a landing spot any closer than
The Vin Fiz got its name from an orange drink that
sponsored the trip. Rodgers was seeking to fly from
coast to coast in 30 days or less for a $50,000 prize of
fered by publisher William Randolph Hearst.
His 30 days elapsed while he was in North Texas, but
the intrepid pilot continued until he completed the
journey and drew bigger and bigger crowds after the
time limit had lapsed.
On Sept. 17, 1911, Rodgers lifted off from
Sheepshead Bay, Long Island. On that same day in
1986, Lloyd will take to the air in his ultra light version.
Lloyd will seek out the same stops at nearh the:
times his illustrious predecessor accomplished.
“It is something that I will never forget," Dickxi
called. ’It still is the most exciting day of m\ life.
“My father had a red 1909 Btiitk Overlan
c limbed in and we drove out to where the plane
landed in the pasture. There already wasabiga
“We picked him up and took him to town togets
gas. 1 remember he was in a hurry. He kept rushinj
We got two five-gallon cans and filled them with
and hurried back to the plane.”
She said Rodgers strained the gas a
“Then before he took off again, my
handiul of cigars.” she said. “He shoved one tn I
mouth and the test in his pocket and c limhoi lud-
Author E.P. Stein, who wrote a Ixiok about thefli,
of the Vin Fiz published by Arbor House in 1985,s.
the flight was greater than Lindberg’s flight acrosstk
Atlantic, since 3.()(M) miles in a plane then was like tip
A Vin Fiz box car was on a special train that Rodgci
followed across country, he said. The top of the car Its
marked so Rodgers could spot it from the air. U1
strips were supposed to mark the route hewastofa
low, but more often than not he missed themmai!
had to retrace his flight.
Rodgers literally held the plane together with bak
wire. He used gasoline, alcohol and any kind of k
that he could find that would burn to keep thepk
aloft. He did complete the first cross country (lightHf
was given a medal of honor by President Howard Taft
There is a story that after Rodgers landed in For
Worth, he was handed a telegram telling ol a manta:
shot by his wife in Pottsboro in an argument overwk
direction Rodgers has departed. Dickson discountsik
“Why I never heard anything like that in my lik
she said. “If it had happened in Pottsboro, evervmr
town would have known about it.”
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