Articles, Blog

Dawn To Dusk | A Short Film About Farming and Family in the Midwest

November 2, 2019


Rising long before the sun the farmer is
already awake getting ready for the long day that lies ahead as golden rays stretch across the fertile plains shades of red and orange are painted upon the sky The beginning of a long day dawns upon the Midwest farmer an orchestra of sound is heard as the day begins Harvest is here acres of gold stir in the autumn sunshine a dusty haze fills the air Friday night football games take place while machinery is heard in the distance Rivers of grain flow the veins of men and women across the heartland as the tradition of farming is passed from generation to generation Yeah, you’re fine Oh, he’s going to go sort some pigs Yeah, well I started when I was a kid I started on my own with well, I Farmed the first year. I got out school in 76 Excuse me, ’74 is when I started Went on since then, so 42 or 43 years I started here in 1970. Ya, born 48. Got out of the service in 69 and then dad bought this in 1970. Since I was old enough to drive a tractor, which is probably 10 15. I don’t know Probably age of ten, I would say. Or as soon as I can reach the pedals honestly the first time I drove a tractor I Went to a park it didn’t have enough brake. So I ended up running into the machine shed. Well I started driving the tractor probably when I was seven or eight years old. It was a hand clutch on a 50 John Deere tractor And started farming after I graduated in high school in 75 so 1975 I started farming on my own Farming is not only a man’s job but requires the strength and energy of every family member Sons and daughters have regiments of their own From doing chores before school to driving to the surrounding towns picking up parts Farm kids quickly learn the importance of hard work and helping family The life of the farmer’s wife is just as complicated as the farmer from running dinner out to the fields and picking the kids up from practice to Running grain carts and sorting hogs a wife’s time must be very flexible to accommodate the farm life Oh, Yeah Farmer wives farmer moms they don’t get enough credit for what they do. I mean my mom will make Everybody’s lunches for the day. She’ll be in the tractor She’ll pretty much do whatever she needs to do to help keep us going There’s not a certain time for anything life on the farm is unpredictable Harvest season may come only once a year but the responsibilities of running and maintaining a farm as a year-round practice All that hard work long hours and tough times lead up to harvest when the crop that’s been cared for since early spring is ready to deliver its bounty Farmers are a breed of their own. Strong enough to toss bales across the loft. Yet gentle enough to cradle a new born child. (off camera) Say, “bye Pappa” They rise before the sun and work under the stars, where a spectacular light show presents itself every night Setting sleep to the side they race to get the grain in before the harshness of winter arrives, but stop midfield to help their neighbor As well as make some homemade goods from time to time So, how’s the corner looking dad? Looks good. It’s standing real good. Fungicide, it makes a difference. It’s showing up here. Yeah, the dark green is like 250 in the light green is 221 to 250 Guilty of tall tales and sharing jokes they can talk all day You’re on candid camera, Rob. (laughing) (on radio) What did you see? Haven’t even seen deer or nothing. (on radio) Big ‘ole raccoon. Bout as big as that woodchuck that one day I saw But when there is work to be done farmers lower their heads and head to the fields Think you’re alright, Cory, you’re gonna be turning up hill so that’ll help. Yeah I can call you after I get when I’m on my fifth load or so up give you a call because let you know how long it’s gonna be Well I got it sold over here for three dollars fifty or three dollars and sixty cents corn right now. And right now corn is only like $2.99 So that’s why its worth 50/60 cents a bushel for me to do this. and at 200 bushel an acre at .60 cents that’s $120 an acre difference from selling early to selling now. It’s always a gamble isn’t it?? Yes it is. Sometimes you’re right, sometimes you’re wrong. Now this next one. That gives you your average moisture your wet bushels for the field so far and then the dry bushels and then if you come down here I’m doing 9.4 acres an hour. I’ve got 40.9 acres worked I’ve worked four hours and thirty three minutes. “Wow, it keeps track of everything” I’ve used 50.7 gallons of fuel. So it it tells you pretty well anything you want to know and then this will also have a Now here’s his. You can see that. That’s a little bit different over 240 is the dark green and over 200 is the yellow Over 160 is the orange That’ll kind of tell you through the field if you need more fertilizer some where “Okay, so you take that information and put in the fertilizer then?” It’s gridded on every four acre increments. So then you can variable rate your fertilizer. “It’s changed a lot since when you first started, huh? (laughing) From the days with the old two row corn picker. (laughing) “It’s a big giant computer.” That’s what it is. I just need Russell to set it for me. (laughing) I just drive it What is it that drives a person to rise early in the day and work until the sun has set What is the satisfaction received from gnarled hands, broken backs and sweaty brows? “Do you like farming?” It’s way better than going to work everyday. (laughing) I can do what I want. It’s not bad really. Still got time to go to baseball and drive bus for baseball. Aside from crops farmers have a whole load of responsibility to tend to There’s feeding cattle, driving truck, maintenance around the farm and many other tasks to keep one busy Most the time I was working for somebody else on the side plus full time job with the seed company kind of doing the farming on the side. Driving truck locally and over the road. Long hauls, California, New York, Florida, Nova Scotia And then in 1990 I started with the seed… Well I was a seed dealer, but then I started being a district sales manager in 1990. up until today Yeah, theres a lot of livestock I like watching cattle move and going out to Montana getting cattle. That’s pretty fun. “So you bring cattle out to Montana?” No, we bring the calves home. Yeah, it’s like a whole different lifestyle up there Being a farmer is a job that requires around-the-clock service. So what drives them to work such long hours regardless the weather, temperature or time of day. I enjoy farming because it’s pretty much me and well me and my dad. You don’t have to work for anybody. It’s pretty much on you if you get the job done do it, right You don’t have to worry about it And you know at the end of the day that if you got what you needed to get done You did and you can sleep good that night and wake up and do the same thing next morning. It’s just been a good life I guess. Living out in the country. Being out by yourself Taking care of business and working overtime Doing what you want to do. Still got to get things done though. I was up at 4:30 this morning, putting in yield data from the plots I took out the last two days. He just broke the bearing out on the auger. I guess we are going to have to stop probably go down get my auger. Everything’s every day is different You always got something different going on and you never know what’s gonna happen You can’t plan your day everything changes as the day goes along. It’s something you get used to doing. Go with it you know what you expect and can’t control the weather or nothing. No. I love it. I don’t consider it work. You can see your crop, what you’re taking out. Love to feed the cattle gives you something to do. I couldn’t sit in house. I gotta have something to get me up in the morning. I’ve never considered it work. Dad always said if you can’t keep up get up an hour earlier and work an hour later. (laughing) You work till it’s done. You got to finish. It’s something, you know, if you’re broke down You got to keep going. You get long hours sometimes but you’re your own boss You’re your own boss, you know, yeah, you’re kind of getting control of your own destiny Had a guy one time tried to sell me some insurance so I had something to retire on And I I said well Way I look at it. If I got any money, I’m gonna buy land because I’m gonna invest in myself if I can’t trust myself to make a living. I better not farm, right so So I’ve kinda lived by that old adage “What’s your favorite time of the year the farm?” Harvest “Why’s that?” I just…just fun to get it out and see what you got for the year. See how it all did. “and it’s the end of the busy year isn’t it??” Yeah (laughs) Yeah For this part of it anyways, but not with 9,000 hogs. Yeah, it is. Most definitely. Nice to see the yield we got for the kind of year we’ve had. With the lack of rain and stuff. Like during harvest season I love it because the air gets crisp and it just heightens the stars and you get a clear night You look up and you just see the stars your like, damn. It’s awesome. Ya then you know, the tractor lights…just working at night it lights up the skies. I love it “Hey, I’m sorry to hear about Joe.” Thanks. He suffered. Gosh, darn. He put up a gallant fight, but he just…..that cancer you don’t win. You just don’t win. It’s a son of a gun. It is tough. Yeah We miss him a lot. You know, he’d like to be in the grain cart or in the combine. Be around doing something with us, you know Him and I farmed together since he got out of school Yeah, so we kind of been together a long time “Well, you know now you have Joe looking over you. I’m sure it’s you know be on the field it so reminds you of him Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah And every time you go up there, you know like tomorrow. We’ll go up there and we’ll harvest up there Yeah, he won’t be around to talk to You know even like this summer, you know, we’d haul grain. He’d still come out and visit with you If he could help a little bit he’d help a little bit. Go get the meal for you. You know, or something. He wanted to be active and be in it. Wasn’t to be I guess so. Nothing we can do about it. It’s a unique life. Farming and family activities become closely linked, connected and intertwined It is a complex lifestyle that is often misunderstood by those looking in from the outside Country life may be seen as being slow-paced and easygoing. A time to sit back and relax. But if you look past those smiling faces you see the reality: That family farms are businesses Aunts, uncles, brothers and cousins are business partners. Each one finding the happy medium between having the requirements of their own farms and the goals and aspirations of their family members. Ultimately the farm needs to be profitable to support the family. A constant challenge as markets change and costs rise. They say the strongest steel goes through the hottest fire. That the strongest steel withstands one heavy blow after the other until it is finally shaped and molded into something productive and useful. Like forging steel a farmer’s life is constantly being tested shaped and molded blow after blow until the end result comes a family built on sweat, blood and tears. A strong foundation that keeps a family grounded through tough times and brings them together in times of joy There’ll be a day when we were gone and our bones become dust and our spirits return to the skies Our children and grandchildren will stand in our footprints and know it was our love for the land that brought them to where they are. Though loved ones pass, their memories will never fade. Their voices can be heard through rustling corn, the dirt clinging to our boots will remind us of the paths they once walked and when day turns to night, the stars will become their eyes watching over us as we continue to build something that is much larger than ourselves.

77 Comments

  • Reply Chuck Robinson November 18, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    Very good video wish they were more like this that tells the story of farming thank you for narration of this video

  • Reply Joe Meehan November 20, 2018 at 1:59 am

    Excellent video. And some amazing land

  • Reply Steven Knorr November 21, 2018 at 3:16 am

    Excellent. Wish there were more honest videos out there. Thank you from a fellow small renovation contractor in new jersey. Lol

  • Reply JB Life as it is November 21, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Impressive, and excellent camera work.

  • Reply James Zeschke November 22, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Totally awsome put together video,I used to work in the Riverina of New South Wales in Australia,we harvested wheat,barley,oats,lupine,canola and field peas,similar country,same people(with a different accent),the backbone of the nation,without a doubt. You my friend captured the essence of this life,well done

  • Reply Buzz Place November 23, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    That was a great video I'm honestly surprised it doesn't have more view keep up the good work

  • Reply Danny Pederson November 24, 2018 at 4:11 am

    Northern north Dakota farming is fun

  • Reply Alex E November 24, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    A very awesome video. It's actually one of the best farming/ag video I've ever seen on YouTube. Go ahead!
    Greetings from germany
    Alex E

  • Reply Kayo Sipp November 27, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    West of Paraná state BRAZIL 🇧🇷 very good video

  • Reply J P November 28, 2018 at 4:55 am

    I now hear my true calling, as God intended from the beginning, to eek a living off the land, the family farm.

  • Reply Toms Alcore November 29, 2018 at 7:58 am

    Cool

  • Reply Captain farm man November 30, 2018 at 6:44 am

    great video again man keep er up

  • Reply David Gahm November 30, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    Great tribute to the American Farmer !!!! Educational 1

  • Reply Bud Harriss December 1, 2018 at 1:17 am

    An awesome video, and a compelling presentation. As a soldier, i have seen the hard work needed
    to keep things going without all the help needed, and the perseverance of those who feed the rest
    of us. We appreciate what you do, and are forever in your debt. All these videos about this subject have given me so much respect for all you do, and I say we'll always be in debt to the farmer.

  • Reply Brandon Hickman December 1, 2018 at 2:28 am

    Very well done sir! Nice to have a meaningful video without the stereotypical music soundtrack. It's great to hear from the farmers and hear the equipment. Hope you can do another one!

  • Reply Justin Jeffries December 1, 2018 at 6:44 am

    Pure perfection! Amazing video showcasing the backbone of our country.

  • Reply 6.5 Creedy December 1, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Outstanding!!! Thanks for sharing a small part of the great lifestyle of American Farmers. It always amazes me how people that live in my agricultural driven community look down on farmers. I’m proud to be an American Farmer!!!! God bless us all.

  • Reply Brandon Hickman December 2, 2018 at 2:07 am

    If you ever made this available as a download or dvd I bet people would buy it. I know I would!

  • Reply Dilpreet Singh December 2, 2018 at 7:01 am

    Great video buddy . Hey ,I want to know how you irrigate the fields? by borewell or canal or other means. In most regions of Punjab ( northern India) we irrigate our fields with borewell but groundwater level is decreasing.

  • Reply Brent Graber December 2, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Very well done video

  • Reply David Weilein December 3, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Really amazing cinematography, can't believe you're only at 23k views. Great interviews with real men.

  • Reply Boondocks Boy December 3, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    I totally understand the part about the whole family working. I'm 15 and out in the field mowing tedding raking and picking up bales until sometimes 3 am before the rain comes. Never a day off. City kids don't understand what we do. Thank you for this video.

  • Reply Kuemmerling Enthusiast December 4, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    Beautiful film! Greetings from Sweden

  • Reply Paxton Main December 5, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    Amen this hit home I’m a farmer from Michigan and it is so true all the back breaking work we have to do every day and then some

  • Reply Kira Dhaliwal December 9, 2018 at 2:40 am

    Awesome farming video. I'm very sad that those to amazing men passed but they will always be in our hearts. Rest easy farmers.

  • Reply Kent Beery December 10, 2018 at 1:56 am

    God Bless the Family Farmers

  • Reply Bernhard Kaffill December 10, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    Awesome video, reminds one of the reasons we are doing it for, besides all the trouble with Politics, uneducated consumers and other city folks and other day to day problems!
    Go ahead!
    Greetings from North West Germany
    B.K.

  • Reply Arthur Quintana December 10, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    "It takes a hell of a man to make something out of nothing" To make a crop out of bare ground! To have the faith to plant a seed and watch it grow.

  • Reply 29rosslyn December 11, 2018 at 1:00 am

    A great piece of work there! I wish I had grown up in a farming family. The hard work ethic, the love of God & family.

  • Reply Jacob Blackburn December 11, 2018 at 1:20 am

    That was absolutely amazing. Might watch it in ag class. What was the reasoning for filming this if you don't mind me asking?

  • Reply 7ViewerLogic December 11, 2018 at 2:33 am

    Great video!

  • Reply Keith Brettell December 13, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Very well done! I enjoyed watching your video.

  • Reply Corn Warriors December 16, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Such a great video!

  • Reply crumb9cheese December 20, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    This is awesome

  • Reply Mike Barnes December 24, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Hard to believe this is what is called "farming". Every person interviewed just talked about tractors, tractors, tractors. Pose in front of the tractor. Sit in a tractor all day. Nice tractors though!

  • Reply Chuck Robinson December 24, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    Watching again is just like watching it the first time excellent job on making this video

  • Reply Suraj Jadhav December 27, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Always feels proud of being a farmer.

  • Reply Vaibhav Thakur December 27, 2018 at 10:58 am

    I love farmer and I am also intrested in farming

  • Reply Cynthia Clampitt January 2, 2019 at 5:25 am

    This is such a lovely video, and, for me, a wonderful affirmation of what I do, as well. I'm a food historian specializing in the Midwest, and in the books I write, I love showing how so much of what happens in food production is family focused, from farms that stretch back for generations to associated business that are also family concerns. It's so much of what makes the Midwest strong. I really enjoyed watching this and "meeting" these farmers and look forward to seeing other videos you create. Thank you.

  • Reply Kenneth Warren January 4, 2019 at 3:37 am

    God bless our American farmers thank you, I love it too

  • Reply Antonio luiz Garcia sobrinho January 5, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    Dawn at dusk. a romantic name for the small film but very gratifying to see the work being performed with joy I am not a farmer but I work with irrigation systems I am electrotechnical amount of irrigation pumps I do installations of Pivot VALLEY and other Brazilian brands I work a lot at night usually until the body can see the stars as you know we see different ceilings because I live in the southern hemisphere and you in the north, we have the common only the American continent, I thank you for sharing a little of your life and families ( Saudações de Brazil) Greetins from Brazil

  • Reply My Farming Life January 9, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    thanks for this it is the perfect way to sum up farming

  • Reply Pankaj Singh Singh January 23, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Hii

  • Reply darrell taggart February 12, 2019 at 2:10 am

    Thanks for sharing something I've always wanted to do

  • Reply Abo Wisam February 24, 2019 at 3:52 am

    Bless you GOD, all the Midwest families.
    Love from IRAQ.

  • Reply David Basset February 26, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    beautiful insightful and wholesome : )

  • Reply Chris McLaughlin March 4, 2019 at 5:04 am

    I have watched this video several times as I absolutely love it.

  • Reply Jim Baker March 15, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Love this!!! I have farmed for 45 years

  • Reply Sawyer Helle March 24, 2019 at 1:08 am

    This is an amazing short film

  • Reply Shahrul 93 April 16, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Awesomee.. is that possible for me to go and have a maybe short vacay at that farm? From asia..

  • Reply Bilge Pump April 19, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    IDK if this family needs it but I’m wondering if they or any other farmers would take on outside investors??

  • Reply Ghost April 21, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    Amazing movie!!

  • Reply Kent Owens May 27, 2019 at 2:37 am

    Really enjoyed this. God bless the farmers.

  • Reply Mars D June 14, 2019 at 3:48 am

    god bless iowa! great job dude

  • Reply Dylan Minneker June 26, 2019 at 2:23 am

    Wow, truly breathtaking, by far one of the best ag videos out there

  • Reply Vishal Dahiya July 13, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Great agricultural video , awesome cinematography, perfectly done
    Greetings from India 🇮🇳🇮🇳farm community

  • Reply dewbottle July 19, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    Love this thank you

  • Reply C.A. Carlson July 20, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    Really captures the whole family effort it takes to run a farm. Harvest being hopefully the most exciting time. Hard life, stressful, long hours, all on a gamble

  • Reply Derek Tinkler August 4, 2019 at 6:15 am

    Excellent video.

  • Reply Landa Roon August 4, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    Reply to Brad not Landa
    So many people seem to venerate the rich, famous, influential ones.

    How many realize that no billionaire, no powerful influencers, no celebrities have done anything or decided anything that keeps you alive.

    Every year, farmers make those decisions and then fight time, nature, corporations, and the government to keep you alive and going on.

  • Reply denny marquart August 5, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    Typical farm kid

  • Reply brian kerrins August 7, 2019 at 1:19 am

    only one word "excellent"

  • Reply Heather Masoner August 7, 2019 at 10:23 am

    I remember watching this in my Landscape class 2 days before we were let out

  • Reply Alex Matuszny August 7, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Rural tv

  • Reply Gosselin Farms Ed Gosselin August 9, 2019 at 4:22 am

    started feeding calves when I was 3 or 4, was driving tractor raking hay at 5…. been running day to day operations since I was 16 or 18…. so I guess I've been at it for 50 years.
    up until June 26, 2018, dad was still in charge…. he dealt with all the BS.. government paperwork, land owners, marketing, making sure we had everything we needed to get things done.
    been almost thirteen and a half months. Mom's the boss now, and I've had to take over about 90% of the BS dad did. I have all the headaches now.
    would I trade it for the world? No!!!!!
    are we struggling? YES!!!
    why?? same reasons as everybody…. can't get good help (given up on that!!! it's just family now). Input prices are too high, crop prices are too low, this is the second year in a row that production is down (half of normal yields last year, about a third of normal this year).
    why do we do it? because that's what we do. we feed the world!
    thank you for the awesome video!!!!
    great content, great editing!!!

  • Reply OkieJake August 10, 2019 at 4:06 am

    So god made a farmer..

  • Reply Jonathan Mcaleece August 12, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    The harvest is so romantic.

  • Reply Trucker _ Jon Gardenhire August 13, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    That was incredible I'm a truck driver and I like see a story on farming and trucking how it all comes together loved the video thanks for sharing

  • Reply matt smith August 14, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Farmers are fat cattle ranchers are lean

  • Reply slimy August 18, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Im glad is not dust to down

  • Reply Bill C August 28, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    This is the real America…not what city folk try too make us believe

  • Reply mike cubes September 3, 2019 at 6:26 am

    neat video
    i baled hay the summer between 5th and 6th grade because there was nobody else to drive while dad stacked the bales on the wagon

  • Reply TheBoatman11 September 12, 2019 at 1:55 am

    great video

  • Reply lovemyboys September 17, 2019 at 11:59 pm

    I'm from rural Pennsylvania and this portrays the American farmers beautifully. Too many people don't realize the hard work, the compassion and brilliance of a farmer. My daughter moved to Nebraska after college to continue her love of this life. She fell in love with cows. I don't know many with bigger hearts or harder work ethics than farmers. Thank you for capturing how special farmers are.

  • Reply Cianisboss October 5, 2019 at 10:29 am

    "If you can't get up, get up an hour earlier and work an hour later" I love that!

  • Reply farm show boy October 23, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    That's what I'm going to do when I grow upI'm going to have a Case IH tractor amount of work hard like my dad and my uncle that I'll do cattle and 4-H for kids in this story I'm going to have for my kids and my life and my farm will be after generation and generation I love farm because it's the hard work that we can do and I'm feeding my family and the holder entire world that's why I will farm 🙂🙂👍👍👍👍

  • Reply mike L October 25, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    Real life farming video , brought back fine memories of my uncle and aunt on their farm

  • Leave a Reply