The Food and Agriculture Organization has declared 2014 the Year of Family Farming with the aim of highlighting the important role family and small farms play in feeding the world. To do our part, throughout 2014 we are featuring some of our favorite images and words from Iowa books on family farms. Here’s the latest!
“Mother and Father grew up in homes without electricity and on farms without tractors, and they began farming in the same way. He loved horses and used them for planting, cultivating, haying, threshing, and picking corn even after he and his brother jointly purchased their first tractor for plowing in 1945. He gave his team oats, hay, and plenty of water when working them hard. He kept them shod and trimmed their hooves periodically because they walked on a gravel road between fields. As Father acquired more efficient tractors, his team could no longer justify their keep…. He reluctantly sold [the team] to a horse trader…. Tears filled his eyes as he loaded his last team on the stock truck and drove away.”
excerpt from The Farm at Holstein Dip: An Iowa Boyhood, by Carroll Engelhardt
photograph from A Bountiful Harvest: The Midwestern Farm Photographs of Pete Wettach, 1925-1965, by Leslie Loveless