February 12, 2013

Our Purchase of Hay in Maryville, TN

This is a photo of contents I found inside 1 bale of hay purchased from Waters Farms in Maryville, Tennessee.
This is not the only bale we have found to have such material inside.  But all this was found – by the time I’d reached this far into the bale shown sitting on the saw-horses in this photo.
This was not the only ill-fated issue we experienced in this particular transaction.
This was just the last straw off the camel’s back that led to posting this warning to folks living locally and searching for a source of hay in winter around here.
Dwayne found the listing for the Hay in Craigslist.  This is how the ad is worded:

Hay for sale: square/round bales (Maryville)

Hay for sale: square/round bales
60lb square bales: mixed grass.
5'X5' rolls: mixed grass. Hay net wrapped.
Price depends on quantity.
Calls only please. 865-255-2215

*** UPDATE -  It has become important to post this man's name, due to information being passed along, regarding multiple farms with the name of ' Waters ' in Maryville.

If you look at the phone number in the ad - it should help with finding out.  But the man's name is Scott Waters.  And he lives on Coulter Road in Maryville.

I rode with Dwayne to go meet with this man on Wednesday, January 23rd.  I stood there in the loft of the barn with both men – as my husband asked him, “ And the price - $3.00?  I know exactly where all 3 of us were standing when he asked.  And the man’s answer was, “ Yes.

I asked the man which way he preferred payment.  His words were, “ Well.  I’ll take a check.  But I do prefer cash.

We asked if Dwayne could come pick up the hay on Friday.  Mr. Waters told us, “ Yes.  But twice - Dwayne and I looked at each other as we had to remind the man the pick-up would be on “ Friday “ - on our way to our trucks.  He kept saying, “ Monday.  And each time - he apologized and agreed.

It was that very evening when Dwayne received the phone call from Texas, informing him that his father had passed away.  Seemed like Hell was dripping dirty oil on life that day.  By then – we had also heard the revised weather report – informing us of the ice storm coming within a couple days.

We had to have hay.  We were down to less than 10 bales.  And with this news of his father’s death – no hay and an ice storm coming mixed with that unexpected shock and grief….

I called Mr. Waters.  I told him of the news Dwayne had just received.  I asked if it would be possible for Dwayne to come pick up the hay a day early – that next dayThursday – instead of Friday.  And he said it would be fine – as long as it could be picked up around 10:30am.

One of Dwayne’s coworkers brought his trailer and rode with Dwayne to go pick up the hay.  They stopped at a bank branch to get $300.00 cash to pay for the hay.

They loaded the hay.  Rob stood there and watched Dwayne hand the cash over to Mr. Waters.  All was fine and they left.

Dwayne and Rob had the hay loaded up in the barn loft at our house before I made it back from the store.  They were bringing up a round bale of hay for Rob to take for his horses.

Afterwards – we all walked inside the house.  Dwayne’s phone rings a few minutes later.  It’s Mr. Waters.  And he tells Dwayne that he did not bring enough money – that there was only $300.00.

When Dwayne reminds him that he agreed to a price of $3.00 per bale – the man tells Dwayne that was the wrong price – that the price was supposed to be $3.75 per bale.

Here is what we have discovered since then.

A day or so after we’d made it past the ice storm – Dwayne had finished up that round of days off and gone back to work…

Somebody climbed up into our hay loft and made off with an entire top row and a portion of a corner of hay bales.  Dwayne figures it was approximately a loss of 20+ bales of hay.

I always pay attention to everything.  I’m only 4’ 11” in height.  And I spend a lot of time up in that hay loft – dropping bales down both sides of that barn – into the alley and into the area where the tractor is parked.

The only thing easy about doing that - for me - is the possibility of going over the edge with a bale of hay.  I have to be very careful.

And the morning before – I had pulled 2 bales from the middle of the top row - leaving a gap on that row.  But it was the best way to avoid carrying too far and risking a corner of a bale hitting something that could bounce me over the edge and to the ground.

I can guarantee you - I have NOT picked up 1 single 60lb. bale of hay - as well!

Later – we found evidence of possible access.  Remedies have since been put into place – besides ‘ reloading ‘ inside the house.

Seriously – I don’t think anyone would consider this as ‘ mixed grass.  And I don’t care if it’s your baler that suffers possible damage from this.  Our purchase was for hay – grass – not this.

After busting a dozen bales – we discovered the quality of contents giving us a ratio of 3 ( junk ) to 1 ( decent 2nd cut ) bales of hay – which would only leave anyone with the impression that this particular stacked hay was ‘ shelled ‘ with good hay covering up junk bales.

Anybody with Dexter Cattle knowledge is fully aware that they will eat a great deal of various vegetation negative to other breeds - without consequence.

Our cattle are - literally - refusing to eat way too much of these bales.

From now on – we will be handling purchase of hay in the following manner.

  • I will be taking a written agreement to be filled out as a bill of sale that will be signed by both parties.
  • The Seller will have to agree to letting Dwayne and I pull 3 random bales of hay from anywhere in the stack the Seller wants to sell to us – at time of pick-up and prior to loading.
  • If we are satisfied with the quality and weight conditions of the bales – we will include those bales in our purchase.  If we are not satisfied – no sale. 
  • Payment for purchases of hay will now only be paid for by check from our bank.

Our life in East Tennessee is surrounded by churches counted in the thousands – filled to the brim on Sundays.  This is supposed to be a very strong Christian-based region – a portion of the Bible Belt.

Much of what is put out there is that we are supposed to feel comfortable about doing business with folks around here.  We should be able to trust folks.

Dwayne and I do not attend any church.  But we are – bothvery spiritual people that depend on God and carry the deepest faith in Him.  We have our reasons for not attending any church.  This has become another one.  This is why we are growing closer and closer toward trusting in only God.

Dwayne and I are very honest – hardworking people.  We are not perfect - by far.  But we do the best we can – to live right and handle our lives according to God’s Will.  Without fail – we always take the lead with attempts to extend our trust in others for business dealings.

We don’t believe in burning other good – honest – hardworking people.  Afterall – we do live in East Tennessee.

But when we come across those that use their energy to burn us in a business deal – we will always practice stewardship in warning other good folks around us.

We realize times are hard in this economy.  But it is no excuse for burning your neighbors in business dealings.

Instead – it is a time for neighbors to gather and work together to keep each other from drowning.  We are always here for our neighbors.  They only need to let us know when they need help – anytime.

We encourage all good people to protect your livestock by following the same measures we are now putting into place - if you're not already doing so - when it comes to business dealings related to purchasing hay.

The drought in this country – and this economy – seem to have bred some pretty sad ugliness from a few with the means to provide the goods for others that could – by chance – have other goods and/or services that they might need.



Queenacres said...

It sounds to me that someone thought you got 20 bales more than what he wanted to sell you. $3.75 X 20 = $75. Yep, get it in writing before you leave plus have them count the cash/read the check before leaving to be sure all is agreed. I've bought bad bales, but always had the seller make it right. Haven't come across someone like what you met..what a jerk!
Oh, and you need a barn cam. Then there's no doubt if hay goes missing again. Someone stealing hay in the middle of winter should be caught. Soon.

A Lady's Life said...

Well theft is theft. I would have reported it to the police.
If you were not there to give it, it was stolen. But I can't believe they would mix hay with twigs etc... That's down right cruel .
You have no proof of sale so you can't charge him with anything
Maybe the police would go and buy a bale or two themselves and catch him scamming people. He should not be allowed to do this.Better yet tell the SPCA to investigate. They'd love to help and they can make his life quite miserable lol

Deb said...

Uggg, hate having to deal with people like that! It's so not right, but a lot of times you don't have a leg to stand on...least not much of one. Hopefully you can find someone else to buy hay from! Thats a pretty cheap price, (least around here) but that doesn't mean you should have to deal with that mess!