John Deere made it to Congo!

You can take the boy out of the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the boy. In this case he keeps going back to what he started doing: driving tractors.

Pete driving the tractor

The Congo Ministry of Agriculture gave the CEUM four tractors last May with the objective to encourage farming in the area. (see our May blog post and the web article in May for more info) One tractor was placed in Gemena to serve this area. The development department is planning to plant 5 hectares, about 12.5 acres, in an improved variety of manioc that they got from an ag station near here.

Tako driving

They asked me (Pete) to teach them how to plow, so the farm boy took off to test out a new plow and tractor. It was fun. We had to make some adjustments to the linkages of the 3-point hitch and we’re in pretty good shape now. The soil here sure plows more easily than the heavy soil in Iowa! We were just rolling along.

Dangers in Fields - don't want to run over these!

One of the challenges for field work here is obstacles: large termite hills, tree stumps and the nasty short trees that were cut off and an easily puncture a tire. Those will have to be dug out of the area they intend to plant.

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2 Responses to “John Deere made it to Congo!”

  1. John Aiken says:


    Just was at Newell with your brother and his daughter who was part of the Moody Women’s Choral that gave a performance this past Saturday. What I’m writing you about though is the tractor bit. I was really surprised that not only the CEUM but also the CECU had evidently received some tractors from the government. Soon, there is going to be a visitor from the EFC that will be coming to Gemena to help the church with maintenance techniques and practices.

    In the past, any such gift has been a big problem because of the difficulty with allocating who will get the use of such machinery. Too, it is costly and not part of the “Peasant” life. But, what is your take on this and what is the plan that you have, and that the church has for utilizing such equipment?

    Anyway, hope that this works out well and I wait to get some more info from you.


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