Sara Rubinstein

When Joe Siwek isn’t working part time at the Minneapolis area lumber business his father founded in 1933, the self-proclaimed farming enthusiast can be found on weekends feeding cattle and hauling manure at his 400-acre property in Corcoran, where he also stores a large collection of antique farming equipment and industrial toys.

Country Charm
I used to have a cabin, but it didn’t keep me busy enough, so I bought a farm about 40 years ago. It’s a slower pace. It’s relaxing.

Animal House
We have about 50 beef cattle and calves. We feed them out and then sell beef in big quantities. We also have some sheep.

We cut the hay ourselves and feed that to the cows. Right now, we’re putting out about six or seven bales of hay every week. We also have a collection of antique machinery and trucks that we have to maintain.

Treasure Chest
I’ve collected most of my stuff in the last 30 years. I have at least a few dozen old trucks, a bunch of antique tractors, a license plate collection, and more. We also have a toy collection with a lot of farm tractors and  re trucks.

Selective Sales
We don’t advertise my collection, but people do come and look at it. Sometimes people hear that we have something they are looking for, and once in a while we will part with a piece. I have about 100 horse- or tractor-drawn plows and recently I had some Amish come because they wanted to buy some horse-drawn manure spreaders.

Animal Instinct
Dealing with animals and dealing with people is the same thing. They have to eat, just like people. We deal with a lot of farmers in our area and sell a lot to the Amish people. They like dealing with somebody that’s knowledgeable about farming because that’s their livelihood.

One Man Show
It’s more work on a farm. Most farms don’t have extra help, so you have to do everything yourself. If you are by yourself and your tractor breaks down, you have to fix it. —As told to Erin Ansley