“Way back” in October of 2003, Bryan asked Ashley about an idea he’d been thinking of for
years. See, Bryan has reserved about four or five web addresses, for websites, online
magazines, and other things (which is in the plan to use in the future, ha ha). The “empire” idea
started with a Antique Tractor Source website where a whole bunch of people from all around
the world could chat about tractors, gas engines, going traveling, and agriculture. Ashley hadn’t
started college yet – kidney stones stopped her from begining in fall – and so decided to pick
Bryan’s brain about the project. ATS began on paper, then drawn up, and finally got on the web
in November of 2003 with links and ideas already in place. Bryan had created the Antique
Tractor Supply store beforehand and we incorporated this, along with Jensales and other
companies we’ve been friends with for years. See, Bryan’s parents have a traveling booksale
business through southern Minnesota threshing shows like Hutchinson, Jordan and others called
R&D Booksales. Through this, we had a lot of connections in the agricultural world to partner
with and this made it, we suppose, easier for us to be known online so quickly.
Sometime in 2004 is when the “Ask the Wizard” idea began, by Lisa, Bryan’s wife. See, back in
the late 1990s, Lisa and Ashley used to set out a walkie-talkie on the table while Bryan was
taking a break, traveling the grounds, while we were selling books and toys. If we didn’t know,
we’d tell them – ask Bryan over the walkie. After about fifteen people had asked him questions,
got answers, and bought the right materials; he beeped back to talk to us and asked us why. He
came back, and “Ask Bryan – the Brain” was next to the table’s walkie-talkie. So Lisa suggested
in 2004 that we add something like that to the website. Although…you really don’t know who
answers. If Bryan is busy, Ashley may answer, or we email one of our friends and say “hey!
you know about this?” . . . it’s all in fun, but just remember – we’re not experts! Stay safe!
In late 2005, we figured out that Ashley had gotten so busy with school, she was falling behind
on the emails of classified advertising and questions. Bryan and Ashley talked and decided to
open a message board forum and hope that it works in the future. We also opened a gallery
where pictures could be placed.
In 2006, we’ve begun to ad features from friends and magazines. We’ve also started a
PhotoBucket gallery that ANYONE can ad to!
In the future, plans are to open up a online magazine of many authors and illustrators.
We’ll see if that comes true. In a year or so, we may be looking for a new webmaster as Ashley
will be graduating college! So if your interested, let her know!