The Way Things Used To Be…

Archie frequently tells me stories of farming from the past, but until Saturday I had never had the opportunity to see farming as it was several generations ago…The Smithsonian, in conjunction with volunteers from our town, put together a “Journey Story Family Farm Day” near our town of Cozad.

One of the only mule/horse drawn corn harvesting teams that still is operational in the United States…

Watching the old horse drawn farming equipment was an epiphanic experience.  Because I grew up in the city, I am only familiar with agriculture beginning in the mid-1990’s.  To hear stories of the way things used to be is very different from actually watching it happen.  I have to admit that I was both fascinated and awed.  It gave me a reverence for the past and an appreciation for the technology of the present and future…

It was a thing of beauty to watch, but at the same time brought a tremendous appreciation for the farming equipment that we have now…

I want to take quick break from the feed yard and my tales of weaning, and share pictures from Saturday with you all.  Hopefully these pictures will give you a brief glimpse into the way things used to be…

An old fashioned sickle bar mower that was pulled by horses to cut alfalfa hay…

A draft horse team raking the alfalfa after it has been cut…

Another draft team prepares to gather the raked alfalfa…

Gathering the alfalfa…

Moving the gathered alfalfa to the stacker…

The stacker team awaits the gathered alfalfa…

The stacker team of draft horses pulls the boom of the stacker with a pulley rope system…

The alfalfa is catapulted into the stacker…

In addition to watching the alfalfa harvesting equipment, my favorite equine loving 10 year old managed some up close and personal time with the beautiful work horse and mule teams.  She just couldn’t seem to help herself…

She tried her hand at driving one of the draft teams..

At 18 plus hands they make our quarter horses look pretty small…

This big guy became her friend when she…

“mouth” fed him a stem of grass hay that she picked up along the way!

Our family had a wonderful day learning about the way things used to be—giving us a new perspective on the way that things are now

A special thanks to Bobbi Jo Messersmith and all of the other local volunteers for their hard work in bringing this incredible experience to our special town!

7 Comments

Filed under Farming, General

7 responses to “The Way Things Used To Be…

  1. Dawn

    Our equivalent event happens this coming weekend. I just love all the old equipment and the demonstrations with the mules and draft horses. Such a fun and informative day!

  2. Greg

    Anne, I’m from Ohio in the heart of amish country, we still get to see a lot of the old equipment and horses still at work in the fields on a daily basis…it sure makes us appriciate what we have to use today!

  3. Nebraska Farm Wife

    That is AWESOME!! Wished I would have known about it I would have come to see that!!! I grew up listening to my grandpa’s and uncle tell about putting up hay and farming with horses. My Aunt still has pictures in her house of some of the teams of horses at work.

  4. Robert L. Gwilt

    Brings back memoreys of when i was a kid. We quit farming with horses when i was about 10 years old. That goes backk 65 years.
    Bob Gwilt Liberty, In.

  5. Draft horses always amaze me. It would be fun to watch them work in the hay field. What a neat experience to share with your family. A way to keep us grounded and appreciating the technology we have.

    My Mother-In-Law is the oldest daughter and 7th child in a family of 14 kids. She frequently talks about how hard her Mom worked just to keep everyone feed, clean and laundry done. ALL the kids pitched in with house chores, tending the chickens, gardening and milking.

  6. Pingback: Essex Farm: Reconsidering Draft Horse Power | Essex on Lake Champlain

  7. Thanks to everyone who commented–I enjoyed reading your thoughts. I apologize for being so slow on responding, I have been spending long days at the feed yard taking care of new cattle this week.

    All the best,
    Anne

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