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Bluestem Farm and Ranch Supply: A favorite Farm Store

By Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief

Tags: farms, feed and seed, stores,

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.

Bluestem Farm and Ranch Supply is a wonderful farm store.

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 .

dan weeda
3/14/2012 1:05:45 AM

I love these old places....they have it all. We have a K and K Hardware. It isn't a true farm store, but they are a good cross over tool and supply store that carry some farm products. Gotta love the old days.

hoyt mcguyer
12/10/2011 4:17:05 AM

We had Landers Mercentile in Mesquite Texas till it burned down. Like Bluestem if you couldn't find it, you didn't need it. In the country at one time, the city grew out around it. Rodio gear and tack of all sorts, stove blacking,clothes for the farmer in your life, tools to twine. I do miss the smell.

1/6/2010 3:00:32 PM

If anyone remembers the farm store that used to be around the western Tennessee area about 30 years years ago, I sure would appreciate their name and to find out if they are still in business. I remember they carried a considerable range of supplies for the small homesteader. I even believe they had a catalog.

hank will_2
1/5/2009 1:58:10 PM

Hey Paul -- Yes, we need to patronize these places, even if it means paying a few cents a pound more for feed. Bluestem has great pricing though. We got the hog feeders for $7 less apiece there, than at the national chain ... That and the fact that the folks who work there actually know what you are talking about when looking for a low-impedance charger or wonder what the protein source in the range cubes is.

paul gardener
1/5/2009 1:49:35 PM

Don't you just love the farm stores! Here in Syracuse UT I regularly go to Dallas Green Farm supply for whatever I need before I'll go anywhere else. They still have the screw bins where you can buy only what you need, bulk screws/nails, feed and fertilizers and great information. If we don't patronize them, they'll go away. Thanks for the reminder. P~