The 4040 is dead. It caught on fire yesterday afternoon - probably due to something electrical - and although we were able to put the fire out, the tractor is sitting a blackened, immobile hulk out in the middle of a field. (Many thanks to the New River Valley Regional Airport, and the Dublin and Newbern Volunteer Fire Departments. You guys are the best.)
The tractor will probably continue to sit there, useless, for some time. The ground is very wet because of all the rain and snow we've had, and there's no way to tow it at this point without creating a mud quagmire. (Ever see My Cousin Vinny? That kind of mud.)
The CEO is understandably bummed. The thing's insured, but not for anything near its replacement cost. Also, that tractor is one that's typically used every day to feed hay to cows in the winter; one of the other tractors will have to be modified with a hay carrier. This means: a lot of extra work, a lot of cash out of pocket, and a lot of worry.
The good news is that no one was hurt. Which brings me to the Other Important Stuff: please, if you haven't already done so, consider donating to organizations offering relief to Haiti. We only lost a piece of equipment, not our home or our hospital, church, school, police department, food, clean water, neighbors, or family members.
Here are a few reputable organizations who've been doing good work in Haiti for decades, if not longer, and who could use a little help right now:
Partners in Health (over twenty years of service to Haiti - highly recommended by givewell.net)
Medical Benevolence Foundation (affiliated with Presbyterian Church, USA)
World Vision (a Christian humanitarian organization)
UNICEF, the American Red Cross, and Doctors Without Borders you've probably heard of as well. All are well-regarded for their everyday charitable work and for fiscally responsible behavior. I have personally donated at one time or another over the years to all of these organizations and am satisfied that none of them are scams.
Image is 1982 John Deere 4040 tractor at fastline.com. It's not our tractor - ours is a lot older, and a lot dirtier. I just couldn't get out to the field to take a picture of ours. Plus, it would probably depress me.