Saluting Farmers: On the range with the Ford Ranger

Nova Scotia has seen more than its share of tragic events recently. However, as a Bluenoser born and raised, I know that Nova Scotians are resilient. You only need to look to how our doctors, health-care workers and first responders are bravely tackling the COVID-19 pandemic for proof.

Then there are the Nova Scotia workers – the grocery store clerks making sure there’s still food on the shelves, gas station attendants helping us get where we’re going. And farmers? Well, they work brutally long hours to ensure we are able to enjoy a nice meal at the end of a stressful day.

Farming has been the lifeblood of Nova Scotia for hundreds of years, for many, a family tradition that simply cannot be abandoned no matter how difficult life gets.

I know this first hand as my wife, Elizabeth Harrison, along with my mother-in-law, Anne Crowe, operate a small but mighty dairy farm. Incorporated by my late father-in-law Ensley Crowe in 1952, this farm has been in the family for over two hundred years.

Located on the beautiful Bay of Fundy, Broad Cove farm is home to 90-100 cattle at any given time and, of course, four cute but unhelpful barn cats. 

Not that I ever need an excuse to visit (and work), but this picturesque farm is one of my favourite spots for snapping pics of press cars.

Naturally, I took the latest version of the Ranger from Ford for some nice shots. 

The hour-and-ten-minute long drive from the city to Burntcoat was a breeze thanks to the 2.3 litre 4-cylinder ecoboost engine. This engine is a real gem as it provides smooth power when needed with a decent amount of frugalness at the same time. As miserly as the engine promises to be, I still needed to stop mid-way to fill up on gas which allowed locals the opportunity to size up a nameplate they hadn’t seen since 2012. For the record, thumbs up seemed to be the consensus.

The roads to Burntcoat could be described as typical for rural Nova Scotia, which means potholes, bumps and other imperfections galore. Potholes and I have a storied history, but fortunately I didn’t have to worry much as the Ranger tackled rural roads with ease. There’s a dirt road short cut that I sometimes take on the way to the farm, provided I have the appropriate vehicle and since my tester came with the FX4 off-road package, I decided to give the Ranger a modest challenge. I’m happy to report the Ranger passed with flying colours.

Once at the farm, the Ranger looked as if it fit right in next to the F-150 that is used as the ‘farm truck’.

After helping with typical chores, I took a few pics of the Ranger. One thing I didn’t expect was how much a one week old calf named Martha would end up taking a strong liking to Ford’s mid-size pick-up. She of course admired herself in the paints reflection at first, but very happily modelled for pics in the perfectly sized (for her anyway) five-foot long bed.

At the end of the day, it’s fascinating to experience first-hand how dairy gets from the farm to our tables. Whether it’s fancy cheeses, your breakfast yogurt or just treating yourself to a glass of chocolate milk, be sure to thank your local dairy farmer. 

As for the Ranger, it continues to be a solid effort by the blue oval in a market that has a thirst for SUVs and pick-up trucks. Its smaller size makes it ideal for trips in the city, but it can still tackle rural roads and farm duties with ease.

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