One day last week, Kate and I braved a bit of sleet to pay a visit to Bluestem Farm & Ranch Supply in Emporia, Kansas. Bluestem Farm and Ranch Supply is our favorite place to get the things we really need. That day, we needed some steel hog troughs for the Mulefoot pigs, electric fencing supplies (insulators and the like), a manure fork, and some gate latches. We also just needed to take an excursion with one another.
The drive to Bluestem Farm & Ranch Supply takes us through some of the loveliest east central Kansas landscape, and Emporia is a fun town to spend a bit of time in.
Bluestem Farm & Ranch Supply was founded by Lee and Marjorie Nelson in 1961. The store was moved to its current location on Highway 50 in 1968. The move increased Bluestem Farm & Ranch Supply’s floor space by roughly 15 times; that space is now well stocked with just about everything you need. I say if you can’t find it at Bluestem Farm & Ranch Supply, you don’t need it.
While we were there, Kate and I visited with some folks about the merits of different types of gate latches and discovered some beautifully crafted cedar bluebird houses for the nearly impossible price of $9.95. We grabbed all they had on hand.
I know that many farm and ranch stores like Bluestem are still alive and well around the country. Why not tell us the name and location of your favorite farm store or feed and seed. If I get enough responses, we’ll compile a list of them and post it here.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.