Traditional Farming: It's All a Matter of Perspective


| 2/10/2015 9:44:00 AM


Tags: traditional farming, letters, March 2015,

Larry Whitesell driving his team

It’s Dec. 24, 2014, Christmas Eve day. I just read the editor’s column in the January 2015 issue of Farm Collector. It’s about shucking corn by hand. It reminded me of something that happened to me a few years ago at the Half Century of Progress show in Rantoul, Illinois.

I grew up on a farm in Indiana and have been collecting and participating in farm shows for years. Part of what I do includes demonstrating work with Bob and Zues, our team of Percheron draft horses. Often I have the thought that, “this is only fun because we don’t have to do it this way anymore.”

Every once in a while I run into a farmer who has no interest in the old way of farming. I really never quite understood that. Well, a few years ago, at Half Century of Progress, we were enjoying the whole thing, including working the horses on a plow, mower, wagon, cultivator and Blackhawk check-row corn planter owned by a friend.

It was all very enjoyable. Then we went by an area where they were shucking corn by hand. My wife suggested that I give it a try. Shucking corn by hand, you’ve got to be kidding me! I did enough of that as a kid to last me a lifetime.

And then it hit me: the fellows who farm with current machinery – maybe that’s how they feel! They want no part of the traditional methods.