Ever since I was seven years old, I worked around the farm in my father’s shadow. As a seven year old, the first thing Dad taught me to do was to wash the udders and teats of the cows before milking them. As I gained more height and experience around the barn, I would carry milk to the milk …

Years ago I was glancing through an old family photo book and ran into a Kodak of my father Harold when he was a Roaring Twenties teenager sitting in the driver’s seat of shiny new Model T coupe (black, of course). I asked him how he managed that, and he replied that when he was in high scho…

Sometimes good luck comes in threes. Christmas of 1953 brought new sleds to me and my two brothers, Phillip and Bob. These sleds were the Flexible Flyers we had seen and envied in Johnson’s One-Stop Shopping Store in Seneca. They were five feet long, longer than we were tall, for us 10, 11 a…

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I was in my teens when this crazy Christmas happened. Now it’s 55 years later, and we still laugh about it. Dad and Mother are gone, but they would laugh right with us.

It was Christmas morning the year of 1967 and four-year-old Melissa May was all excited as she sat on the couch with her coat and cap on, anxiously awaiting the delivery of a pony she had won.

Remembering back on past Christmas mornings, my mind eventually goes to the time when I was too grown up for Santa Claus but still appreciated counting presents under the tree to see if Mom and Dad had been particularly generous. We were a family of four boys spaced three years apart with ma…

At Christmas time of 1961, I was living with Mom and Dad and two sisters. We lived in rural Richfield on our family farmstead. My brother Jim had gotten married in November and moved to Cedarburg.

My wife and I were married in Lima, Peru, in January of 2009 one day before my wife’s birthday. I figured having the two dates together would make them easier to remember, although I did run the risk of double trouble should I ever forget.

At Thanksgiving farm folk say a prayer for the potato crop. It’s required not to forget the corn, the soybeans and the tomato patch. A prayer too for the dairy herd, the chicken coop, the holy wood pile. If from our farmhouse, there was a prayer for University Extension, the salvation of the…

“I’ll hold my breath, you count,” I said, sucking in a huge lungful of air and puffing out my cheeks. My sister knew the drill and she started right in.

One of the nicest aromas from my childhood was the smell of fresh baked bread on a cold winter’s day. It always seemed that the crust on each end of a loaf disappeared first (my grandkids don’t know what they are missing).

My great-grandfather seldom missed a daily entry in his six-decade long farm. Many entries tell little more than the weather and what he paid for a pound of salt. But if you look hard enough, many entries are poignant, sometimes funny and always informative of what life was like on the farm …

Dad was blessed with five daughters and one son. I am number 3. That meant as a farm family in the ‘50s and ‘60s the girls did all the farm work that most boys did.

In about 1934 when my Dad was six years old, his father decided to buy a farm in Cataract, Wisconsin. He had three “strapping big boys,” so he figured that was the way to go.

When our parents told us they had bought a farm on Goat Back, all six of us were disappointed. We lived close to Pepin, and even though we had to walk two miles to school, we were content there. I don’t think there was a kid I didn’t like.

Recently, while extracting a pan of hot, caramel apple bars from the oven, I couldn’t help but reflect upon the fall bounty harvested in the 1940s and ‘50s on our Stateline dairy farm.

In my last appearance on these pages, I introduced Country Today readers to my great-grandad, Dave Wood (1840-1927) and his 63 years of daily diaries in which he recounted the diphtheria epidemic of 1877, during which time the family lost two daughters and a hired girl. Two years later Dave …

I grew up in east central Minnesota in the small town of Almelund. My dad worked as a breeder for American Breeders Service. He always had dairy farming “in his blood” and liked dealing in the cattle business. Though he never owned his own dairy farm, he felt working on farms would instill g…

The Riverside School District began, being together with Valley View School and together had about 93 students in 1860-1870.

Sometimes I think a sign that says, “Warning: Farming May Be Hazardous to Your Health” should be posted at the entrance to every farmstead.

It was a rite of entering manhood when we got old enough to tend the blower on the threshing machine. The machine was usually set with the feeder into the wind for cleaner threshing. It was fairly clean on both sides of the separator, except standing on the platform to swing the blower left,…