McLOUD, Okla. (KFOR) — Unlatch the hood on John Meshquekennock’s old life and it looked a lot like this, a seemingly endless line of car engines to be fixed.

“We’re going to be doing spark plugs and coils,” he says looking under the hood of a minivan parked in his driveway.

It was good, dependable work, but a chore for someone who liked to be outside.

He recalls, “Being stuck inside and doing the same old thing over and over.”

His former profession still hangs on to the 80-acre Kickapoo allotment his great-grandfather farmed a century ago.

“This is Kickapoo land for as long as I can remember,” he says.

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But he’s less shade tree mechanic now and more farmer.

Trunk lids have been replaced by feed bin covers.

“This is really what I’d like to do,” he tells us as he fills a bucket full of animal feed.

‘Farmer John’ is in the midst of a change.

Now, his latest models to work on include a small herd of goats, a few Dexter cattle, a flock of cinnamon queen chickens, and turkeys, a couple of young hens and a protective old tom.

“What’s it like to herd a turkey,” we ask?

“It’s difficult,” he responds, “But they’re pretty easy to take care of. They’re not a real smart bird. sometimes you have to get them out of the weather.”

These big birds are his brood stock for next year.

By spring he hopes to have a whole yard full of sweetgrass and bourbon reds eating bugs and feed, growing naturally like they should.

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“We like them to, pretty much, let them go do their own thing,” he says.

These birds and the rest of his farm herd are a welcome tonic on this Thanksgiving.

“You’re a farmer now, right,” we query?

“I sure hope so,” he laughs.

His life is outside now where he likes it, feeding his soul, and feeding us too.

“That’s our dream to be self sufficient,” he says, “and to help others along the way.”

Great State is sponsored by WEOKIE Credit Union