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Introducing Jordan Gackle, Another Contributor

April 2nd, 2010


I grew up on a farm near Kulm, ND, just down the road from Schott’s. Our farm sits on the edge of the Coteau Hills, a geological formation marked by rolling hills and innumerable prairie potholes. This land also marks an entry into the North American Great Plains, a vast, often harsh ocean of grass stretching west to the Rocky Mountains. To the east one descends over five hundred feet in just ten miles into the “flats” — rich farmland that only grows more fertile along an eastward path until finally one reaches the Red River Valley of the North, some of the most fertile land in the world, comparable to the Nile River Valley in Egypt. Ours is a land in between.

I never understood why my ancestors kept moving west until finally ending up in the potholes. Why not set up camp in “the flats”? The land was more fertile and better drained — all around good farmland. From what I can tell they went the extra miles precisely because of the potholes, which they felt offered an excellent water resource for raising livestock. I guess I can see their perspective, but sometimes it would be nice to plow straight for more than fifty feet without having to drive around a small lake!

The farm I grew up on has been in our family for three generations. My Grandfather established the farmstead in the middle of twentieth century. My Dad has been farming the land since the late 70s, and now I…

After high school I, like most farm kids, left. I headed toward a place filled with promise and potential. I sought a future filled with possibility. I went to the city.

In college I studied history and philosophy (So much for a promising future filled with possibility!). Through college I periodically felt a pull to come back and try my hand at farming. It never happened. Then I got married and moved to Vancouver, BC to begin another degree. All the while, the farm maintained its periodical pull on my life. Now, five years later, when I probably should be putting my degrees to work out in the world, I think its finally time to heed that pull to the farm, at least a little.

Though our life at present is somewhat nomadic, my wife, daughter and I will remain long enough on the edge of the Great Plains to put in our first crop.

And I look forward to keeping you posted.