Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Farming in southern Mexico

Many of our young farm workers come from southern Mexico, and they know what it is like to work long days under the hot sun. The farms in this part of Mexico still use a lot of hand labor and the farm workers are used to working long hours in the fields.

The way grandpa used to farm

I took this picture in southern Mexico and thought of my grandfather who settled on a farm southwest of Elkton. When he first started farming in the Elkton area, he farmed with horses and did most everything the hard way from sunup to sundown. Here in Oaxaca, Mexico many farmers still farm this way using some of the same methods. This farmer is using oxen.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Roger and his dairy farm

Roger managed and ran a dairy farm north of town for over 47 years. He started milking when he was still in high school. In fact, he and his brother Leroy won the South Dakota State Dairy judging contest when they were still students at Elkton High School. Roger never left the farm he grew up on and managed to milk around 40 cows a day morning and night. There were nights when I was driving back to Elkton that I would see lights on in his barn at 10:30 at night, and I knew that he must be out in barn helping a cow deliver a calf.

Just as I planned to write here about Roger, I heard he was in the Sioux Falls hostipal. I gave him a call, and he said he was not sure how long he would be in the hospital. It could be days and yet it might be months, but if he had his rathers, I am sure he would be back on the farm as soon as possible.