| January/February 1979

Lance and Virginia Barnes and their three children make up a family that is at the heart of the Gallatin Valley Threshing Bee, held annually in August near Belgrade, Montana.

They work hard together at restoring and running equipment, and they enlist the aid of relatives and friends to make their three-day event possible. It is not the biggest in the U.S.A., but the Barnes are intent on making it one of the best.

We visited them on a clear, hot late August day in 1978. They were just setting up, but every so often they took a minute to answer questions.

The Barnes' children are Lanceine, 18, who is one of about 50 persons in Montana holding a traction engine operator's license; Ward, 17, and Laurie, 15.

'If it was not for them, we couldn't be in it,' said Mrs. Barnes.

Her husband, who is a trucker driving an International delivering log houses, said their event started five years ago on a tract that now covers 120 acres. They thresh 35 to 40 acres during the show. Delbert Barnes, a relative, owns the land.