Patz Blog

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O, Tannenbaum

12-14 tree

The idea of the Christmas tree has existed for millennia. Though the meaning and look have changed, one thing was constant; it is a symbol of wintertime.

Earliest records show that the Romans would decorate their homes with evergreen branches to celebrate the New Year and the Winter Solstice. They specifically used evergreen branches because they remained green and thriving even throughout winter. It appeared a sign of strength and hope.

In the Middle Ages, a legend became popularized that stated the night Christ was born, all trees throughout the world shook off their coverings of snow and ice and had new, green growth on them. As Christianity spread, the symbolism of evergreen branches in this legend were ingrained into history.

 The Germanic culture was the first to supposedly bring evergreen trees into their homes. During the 16th century, trees inside would get decorated with cookies to represent the Eucharist. Some legends say that Martin Luther was the first person to add candles to the tree, saying the candles reflected the twinkling stars in the sky.

In the New World, German settlers brought this tradition of Christmas trees with them, but it was slow to catch on. It wasn’t until 1846, when the popular Queen Victoria and her family were drawn in an article for the London News around their Christmas tree. Her popularity traveled over to the New World, where within the next 30 years, Christmas trees were highly in fashion. Since then, it has become a staple for many homes worldwide.


“History of Christmas Trees.” History

The Helping Spirit of Farmers

12-7 spirit

The Holiday Season always seems opens people’s hearts to be more generous and charitable. However, this is something that farmers do year round. Farmers understand that instinctive feeling of helping someone when they need it most, whether they can afford to or not.

These “feel good stories” are shared on the news Nationwide. Early in the year, wildfires covered wide areas in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado. Farms, homes, livestock, and crops were all lost. Knowing those farmers affected wouldn’t have an income for this year, people in the Midwest collected needed supplies for the families affected. Things like hay, livestock feed, milk replacer, and fencing were gathered up and delivered down to those who needed it.

When Hurricane Harvey hit in September, people jumped into action. Farmers that had previous helped victims of Hurricane Katrina quickly organized and gathered over 60,000 lbs of cleaning supplies and goods that were able to be brought down to Houston. Diaper, formula, towels, sleeping bags, water, and non-perishable foods were the main focus of the efforts accomplished by this generous group.

During late October in Wisconsin neighbors came together to help harvest corn fields of a 76 year old farmer who had recently passed away. The corn had to be harvested quickly to maintain the moisture levels needed to have it feed the cattle throughout the winter.

These are just a few of the thousands of stories that can be found online. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we put ourselves aside and band together to help others. Let’s make an effort to be generous and kind not just during the holidays, but all year round.


Baxley Jr., Ron. “Local Farmers Truck Hurricane Harvey Relief Supplies to Texas.”  The T&D

Hayden, Nicole. “Farmers Pitch in to Help Wildfire Victims.” The Times Herald

“Wisconsin Farmers Help Harvest Corn After Neighbor’s Death.” Journal Sentinel

Stay on Track This Winter When Driving

11-30 drive

Patz Corporation wants our family, friends, and customers not only to work safely, but to carry that into their daily lives. Winter is here, and many of us have already encountered snow this season. We want to share some winter driving tips for farm machinery with you. This information also translates to the cars we drive every day to get to work, the grocery store, and home.

The way we drive needs to be altered in the winter no matter what kind of vehicle you have. Snow and ice can affect the road conditions but also can affect how well machinery functions. Braking is most heavily affected. Snow piled up under the tires or ice will make braking a challenge. Most 2-wheel drive tractors only have rear wheel brakes, which makes it hard to stop, especially if a heavy load is being carried in the front. The key is to maintain a slow and steady speed that will be easy to stop from.

If carrying a heavy load, keep it low while transporting to increase visibility as much as possible. It will also help with the center of gravity for your machine. If picking up hay bales, use grapple jaws to ensure they are gripped tightly and won’t be dropped where they could roll toward the tractor. Tractor stability can be improved with a ballast (heavy counter weight on the back of a tractor – or in the trunk of a car). Solid weights are best in this case.

Keep vehicles under a shelter when not in use to protect from the elements. Make sure the anti-freeze levels are at the proper levels for each machine and check often to make sure it stays at the most efficient level. Always have the batteries fully charged for your machines or vehicles to avoid cold weather related issues. Clear windows completely of snow before each time you drive. Watch for pedestrians or workers when driving – remember that it will take you longer to stop in the winter conditions. Keep machines in a low gear when going downhill to avoid gaining too much speed.

Make sure your home or operation has a good supply of salt, sand, sawdust, or some form of material that will give vehicles (and feet!) traction from the ice and snow.


“Farming Community.” Be Winter Ready

Maher, George. “Tractors Require Extra Caution in Winter.” North Dakota State University