Victor farmer: Selling off, not selling out

Steve Straight learned farming from the seat of his grandfather’s Ford tractor, one of numerous vehicles, pieces of equipment, tools and accessories Straight has from a lifetime of farming.

At age 65 and ready to retire — at least from full-time work — Straight’s farm machinery collection is up for auction. Barring severe weather, the auction begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Green Farm along Route 444 in Victor. Pirrung Auctioneers will be selling off most anything one may need for farming by manufacturers such as International Harvester, Steiger, Krause and others.

“Equipment is getting old, as well as me,” said Straight, who will stay in the field part time working in heavy equipment at Will-O-Crest Farm in Clifton Springs. “I have to support my farming habit.”

For years Straight has leased land to fulfill his passion. “I was never able to buy land in Victor because of development prices,” he said. The land he has been leasing at the Green Farm will remain farmland, but will be leased to someone else, he said.

Growing up in Victor, Straight remembers helping at his grandfather’s nearby crop farm. He also heard about his family history, about how his grandfather and his grandfather’s brother for years had operated a meat market in Victor. That was until the Great Depression drove them out of business because people had no money for meat. So his grandfather turned to farming. Then the profession skipped a generation. But Straight picked it up again, beginning with an agriculture degree from Alfred in 1973.

“I started small back then,” recalled Straight, who eventually farmed hundreds of acres.

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