Over a century ago a fellow wrote a book, Ten Acres is Enough. It chronicled the trials and tribulations of a businessman and his family who turned their backs on the hand-to-mouth existence of the city in the late Nineteenth Century and bought a ten-acre farm where they grew produce and found modest prosperity, good health and security. That is all Atlee Weaver and his young family were looking for when they bought a dozen acres of land between Danville and Brinkhaven on SR 62 in Ohio eight years ago. The once conventional Midwest family-run farm, growing livestock and grain…
At the present time we are right at the start of the 2009 show season. The competition will be very keen in the halter and hitch rings. In a halter class, a breeder will show his or her best draft stock against that of other breeders, and all are competing for the first place trophy. Of course the first placement of each class depends upon the judge’s decision. Every exhibitor expects the judge to be, first, knowledgeable; and second, honest. If the judge lacks in either of these attributes he or she has absolutely no business being out there in…
I find this photograph from J.C. Allen & Son of LaFayette, Indiana, a perfect introduction to this timeframe. I have no idea where it was taken, but I have a clear recollection of the massive dust storms of the spring and summer of 1934. I was in grade school at the time and can recall school being cancelled at noon so the buses could get the rural kids home early. As for the townies, I suppose they were on their own, but Gowrie, Iowa, wasn't so big that they couldn't find their own doorsteps. Our parents had a rough row…
(from the general news of the day) Horse news of the draft variety was hard to come by in 1959, particularly with the heavy breeds. True, the faithful kept breeding, working and showing them, but they were scoffed at by their neighbors ... as "living in the past." And the future, of course, was going to be absolutely wonderful. Agricultural "experts" had written animal power off as some sort of remnant from the ancient past. It was that small remnant of stubborn die-hards that kept the draft breeds alive ... plus powerful help from the Mennonite and Amish populations scattered…
(From general news sources of the day and the summer 1984 issue of The Draft Horse Journal) That summer issue had a very strong western flavor, and introduced a young couple named Mike and Dixie Myhre from Custer, Montana, to our readership. The cover shot was of five of their Belgian mares and a foal on a beautiful Montana pasture. Our subscription roles tell me that they still reside at Custer, Montana, just in case you are interested in buying some of the progeny from those cover girls of 25 years ago. When the Myhres submitted these photos they wrote…
Disclaimer - This article is intended as general discussion and information on the topic covered, and is not to be construed as rendering legal advice. If legal advice is needed, you should contact an attorney. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in any manner without prior written permission of the author. The horse slaughter issue has been discussed in The Draft Horse Journal (See Winter ’06-07, Spring ‘07, Winter ’07-08) and it appeared a dead issue when the last of the horse slaughter plants in the U.S. was shut down. After extensive lobbying by animal welfare advocates, including…
What is a pedigree? A pedigree is a certificate of registration that identifies the breeder, owner, date of birth, colour, markings and registration number of a purebred animal of a given livestock breed. It lists the names and registration numbers of the registered animal’s immediate antecedents. However, for the successful draft horse breeder, a pedigree is much more. Registered Belgian horses are direct descendants of the massive horses bred in Flanders for over 2,000 years. Percherons have been bred as a type in France for 1,200 years. The Tudor monarchs in England established the rigid requirements that gave birth to…
COOL. Country of Origin Labeling. In the grocery store this new law now means that you will be allowed to purchase beef (and other meat) that is guaranteed to be born and raised in the United States. Will you? Is that a consideration when you go to buy a car? A television set? A pair of boots? A tool? A tractor? Strawberries? Wine? Or gasoline? (Sorry, this last one was a joke!) Should you? If you are in a business that sells and manufactures an American product, then you certainly hope the rest of the country prefers to buy something…

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