Friday, August 10, 2007

More talk about bridges

I am going to venture far outside of my normal topics here and fend off the last 2.5 reader I have and take a chance. If you don't lie it, tough. Things change and I'll be back in form come Monday.

Anyhow, I saw a mention of Farm Fest as I perused a website yesterday and it jogged my memory to a few different times in my life. The most recent being that it has officially wrapped up its run for this year at its locale southeast of Redwood Falls, Minnesota. I was thinking of it, too, because after a wedding and reception at Jackpot Junction Casino in nearby Morton, MN we drove by it by chance.

If you are unfamiliar with what Farm Fest is, it's essentially a huge outdoor trade show focusing on the world of farming. It's a dream world for everything agricultural and as close to a farmer's wet dream as they'll get without thinking about a breakdown-free fall harvest. Plus there's free stuff a-plenty. You can always count on leaving with a plethora of hats, notebooks and yard sticks.

It is important because, all of a sudden, farming is important again. It's how America gets its ethanol and soy-diesel. The clean air aspect of farming was most likely in the forefront this year. (I wouldn't know because I haven't explored the depths of my parents' magazine rack lately) Even with my citified persona, I am still tied to the homestead. That gets me thinking to another Farm Fest memory.

About 15 years ago Farm Fest was held for a three year run in my hometown of Austin, Minnesota. I remember my dad, the entrepenurial farmer that he is, getting involved in the production. He knows the area and it just so happens that he used to rent a farm from the then-owner of the Farm Fest show. He chatted numerous times with the then-owner and clued him in on who to get in touch with and landed a gig aiding in the preparation and set-up of the event. Then it rained. Alot. One day was entirely rained out and the others resembled a mud pit akin to that of a monster truck rally. That was the beginning of the end of that shortlived era.

And speaking of memories, there was my first time attending the event at its first quasi-permanent location just miles south of Mankato, MN where my dad is originally from. I must have been about 8 years old. I remember it being blistering hot as we pulled into the mowed hay field. I couldn't believe that my dad's rusty 1977 Ford F-150 had survived the 80-plus mile trip. My dad, even though he was far from the age of a child, became a sort of man-child. He hob-nobbed with old neighbors and various sales representatives who tried their best to sell my stingy dad on something. He, just like me, never bit once. He is a penny pincher and that explains alot about me.

Call it a bonding experience or call it the world's most boring story ever but whatever you call it, it's a way I connect my childhood with my present and future. Sure, I can't see myself farming but I can relate to their battles. If nothing else, I am a bridge between two very different worlds.


Balou said...

I like this post! I can relate having grown up on a farm also. I still have an urge to take coffee and cake out to the guys working in the fields around here. I don't see that anymore - people at the end of a row having lunch in the shade of the tractor. Reality most likely is that the wives now have to work full-time jobs.

Anonymous said...

"The clean air aspect of farming was most likely in the forefront this year."

Thanks, we try!

Bob Moffitt
Communications Director
American Lung Association of MN

Sornie said...

My field work meals weren't quite that tasty. It was more along the lines of a luke warm can of Mountain Dew, some baked beans eaten out of 70s-era Tupperware and a Hamburger mom whipped up and escorted via the '77 F-150 down the road a few miles eaten while sitting alongside my parents (harvest season) or leaning against the bed (planting season) of the F-150.

Sornie said...

Bob, you'll have to fill us Minnesotans in on the ALA's fair booth. Gotta see if its worthy of me checking it out.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

Growing up in Arkansas....I am a fan of the farmer. I think it is quite sad that so many of them are suffering these days. My family, the ones that are still farming, have taken to planting corn...since it is in high demand for fuel purposes.

I like hearing stories about people's usually explains a lot about their character.

I didn't think it was boring! :)

Dyck!! said...

I used to have a 30-acre wheat farm out in Iowa. I finally had to sell it though. The illegals were stealing me blind.

moderate said...

as a former Southern Minnesota-ite... albeit, from the GOOD city of Rochester...let me merely offer this:

If it's not's a poor machine...