You don’t go to Tractor Supply Co. to buy a tractor any more than you go to Home Depot to buy a home. That’s kind of a “duh” in the rural communities in forty-four states where the company’s 940 stores are found. Tractor Supply meets “the lifestyle needs of recreational farmers and ranchers” (as the company’s news release describes its mission), and most of the smaller communities of Washtenaw County are already well acquainted with this rural megamart–there’s one in Whitmore Lake and another in Saline.

Many aisles of the brand-new, 20,000-square-foot Tractor Supply, on Jackson Road east of Baker in Scio Township, could be in any Kmart or Meijer. The place is stocked with the familiar auto parts, hardware, and utilitarian clothing–heavy on Carhartt–that we all need. But if you were to say, “Hon, I’m going to pick up some bolt cutters at Tractor Supply. Want anything?” your spouse could reply, “Yes, I’d like five gallons of gear lubricant, some welding accessories, shoes for the horses, a gun safe, chicken feed, a shop manual for the Massey Ferguson, and a dummy steer head,” and have a reasonable expectation that this would be a one-stop shopping trip. Except possibly for the dummy steer head (to practice lasso-ing, $40): there’s only one in stock. Even Tractor Supply doesn’t expect that item to be a hot seller.

And while you can’t buy a harvester or any other farm-sized machinery here, you can buy a Category 0 (lawn) tractor, as well as parts and attachments to drag behind it.

“If you’ve ever lived on a farm, you’d recognize every single thing in here,” says manager Todd Goring, who was promoted from the Whitmore Lake store. Goring himself is “two generations off a farm. My grandparents were fruit farmers, and also had one, if not three, of every animal–a few cows, a few pigs.” He can explain which hydraulic cylinder is right for you, or what to do with some of the mysteriously basic hardware that comes without directions, like a “motor”: “Well, you’d, for instance, hook this up to a baler belt to bring hay up to your barn.”

Tractor Supply Co., 7251 Jackson Rd., 913-2691. Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.