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Date:7/31/2014 8:42:57 AM
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Farming, Old and New, Part I
As every farmer knows, field work has started across the country, of course leading into the chaotic planting season. With so many fields that our farming company has, crews get split up into different areas. Matt and I were assigned to what is simply called “The Farm” The Farm isn't a farm, it's more of a collection of a few dozen pivots that are close to each other and located by one of our sets of grain bins and a grain dryer. The Farm is located about fifteen miles north across the South Dakota border. The road system in rural South Dakota is a rough one, filled with mostly dirt and gravel roads that could be smooth one day and an absolute rough mess the next.

A weeks ago Matt and I were working some land bordering a Hutterite colony. [Editor's (or rather, Gary's) note:] "Hutterites are a communal branch of Anabaptists who, like the Amish and Mennonites, trace their roots to the Radical Reformation of the 16th Century" --Wikipedia] We started working the end of the field farthest from the main house and a few small barns. By the time we worked our way to the near edge of it, I witnessed one of the most peaceful scenes that I've seen in awhile. There were a few perfectly fenced and kept horse pastures. A few of them had a couple beautiful horses in it just lazily grazing. They looked so content and well-taken-care of; their coats were just gleaming in the sun. One of the pastures had three or so fat miniature horses in it. About six or so children had wandered over, crawled up on the fence and were sitting on it watching Matt and I. There was one little boy who was too small and young to get up there, so an older boy about fourteen jumped down and helped him up, then sat him in his lap. Every time we passed they would wave frantically, so I would wave back and beep my horn at them. You could just see them all laugh like only little kids do. A little bit later a young girl (maybe four or so) came outside. I waved and honked at her too. She laughed, placing her hands over her mouth in joy. Then she went under the fence to the minis, and this chubby little bay who was clearly up in years with grey lining his face wandered over to her. This was clearly "her horse, his human". He went right up to her and nuzzled her face and bonnet covered hair, then nudged at her pockets in her dress clearly expecting a treat; you could just see her giggle happily. She clambered up on his back, he reached around, nudged her foot, waited for her to get settled, then went back to grazing. If he had to move, he would move slowly almost like he didn't want her to fall or anything. (Scroll up for part II)
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