How Does a Family Farm Really Work?

Hilty_Dirt_Sweat_72.jpgThose who depend on the land for their living, who roll their dice with weather and pestilence and uncertain commodity prices, see rural life differently than those who don’t. —from the introduction

As each generation goes by in American life, fewer people have the experience (or grandpa’s memory) of working and living on a family farm. Much is romanticized in our thoughts about country living, and much information in pop culture about agriculture is simply incorrect.

In this new book by Steven L. Hilty, readers go on a one-year journey through the seasons with a father-son family farm team, their families, and their hired hand. Set in western Missouri, you will laugh at the funny incidents (nothing is held back) and will feel for the livestock they take care of. Go into the heart of the rural Midwest lifestyle of cattle and row crops with Dirt, Sweat, and Diesel: A Family Farm in the Twenty-first Century.

This book presents a view of the complexities of farm life that few urban dwellers ever see: a “get-your-hands-dirty” look at keeping farm machinery repaired, keeping cattle healthy, struggling with planting and harvest, violent weather, new technology and cycles of birth and death. Above all, it is a chronicle of success and of a way of life integral to our economy and nation.

The great strengths of this book are the author’s knowledge and understanding of rural life, including the weather, land, animals, technology, and people of the Midwest. There is a remarkable attention to detail. —Bonnie Stepenoff, Professor Emerita of History, Southeast Missouri State University, author of Big Spring Autumn

Want to ride along in trucks, tractors, and combines for a few hours? Pick up this book today for an intimate portrait of life on a modern family farm.

Steve Hilty is an author and naturalist whose work has focused on birds and natural history. For more than twenty years he has made his home in Overland Park, Kansas, where he maintains a strong interest in agriculture and family farms.

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