MARSHALL - George Prairie has been retired from farming for a few years, but that doesn't mean he doesn't know what's going on.
At the age of 91, Prairie continues to garden and watch over the fields he farmed for about 40 years.
"I've been farming all my life. I started farming with my folks," said Prairie.
Photo by Robert Wolfington III
George Prairie retired from full time farming about 25 years ago, but he continues to keep an eye on the crops around the region.
After helping his parents on their farm, Prairie said he bought is first few hundred acres in 1944. He would expand to nearly double that 15 years later.
"When I started farming in 1944 I bought 240 acres of ground," said Prairie. "I farmed that for about 15 years and after that I bought another quarter and I was farming 400 acres."
During those years, Prairie farmed with his wife Agnes and their five children.
"My wife would drive the tractor while I was on the binder," said Prairie. "She was a good tractor driver. She liked to plow, I told her I was glad she liked to plow because I didn't."
Along with his wife, Prairie said their five children also pitched in on the farm.
When he got his start, Prairie said he didn't have the best equipment
"I bought a grain binder for $85 at a farm sale and it was nothing but a piece of junk," said Prairie.
One day Prairie made his way to a local farm equipment dealer where he found something that made his operation a whole lot easier.
"I came to the dealer in Marshall and there was a brand new binder sitting in the yard," said Prairie. "I asked him what it was doing there and he said a guy had just bought it and didn't want it. I told him I would buy it from him.
"I didn't have the money so I traded some equipment in and got it. I had to work for another year before I had it all paid off, but I had a new binder and it worked so good."
Prairie retired as a full time farmer in 1983 when he moved with his wife Agnes to Russell.
Even as a retired farmer, Prairie said agriculture continues to be important to him.
"I just enjoyed everything about farming. I enjoyed working the field an harvesting the crops," said Prairie. "All I knew was farming."
Prairie said he currently hires someone to come and work the fields he farmed for so many years.
"I would have loved to farm today but I have to hire it out," said Prairie.
Prairie looks to the future and hopes young people will continue to look at agriculture and see opportunities.
"I think there is still opportunities for young people. I think farming is good for them," said Prairie.