Publisher's Post

barn at night
Pictured below is Larry Robison, of Fairfield, plowing with his Suffolk horses.
May 22, 2017: Summer Travels
publisher's post

As we put this issue (June/July 2017) to bed, I’m getting ready to start  another round of travel, mostly for work, a little for  pleasure, though those two categories tend to mix  together for me more all the time.

 Next week, I’ll head to Woodbury, Tenn., where  Wagonmaster Grady George will let me tag along on  the Mid Tennessee Mule Skinners' Wagon Train for a  day. I'll stick around for the Mule Show these folks  put on in Woodbury that Saturday, May 13, before  heading home on Mothers' Day.

 After that, we head to Bishop Mule Days, in  southeastern California, where we’ll spend a week  being amazed at the versatility of the modern mule  and the friendliness of their owners. It will be our  first trip there, and we are looking forward to it.

 In June, my brother, Tom, and I are going on a  weeklong bike ride from Eagle Lake, Wis., near the  Michigan Upper Peninsula, to Prarie du Chien on the  Mississippi River in southwestern Wisconsin.

publisher's post

I will be back from that trip for a few days before  we go to Ohio to visit Ralph and Connie Rice, a trip  we had scheduled in March but had to postpone  due to bad weather. Ralph is putting together a full  schedule of field work with his Percherons, and other  activities on his well-run farm.

The month finishes with me hopping a ride on the  Friendship Wagon Train in southern Minnesota which  raises money to send people with development  disabilities to a one-week outdoor summer camp.

As always, July begins with a trip to Horse Progress  Days, this year in Leola, Penn., June 30–July 1. We  will again have a vendor booth and I will be talking  with equipment manufacturers, taking photos and  visiting friends I see only once a year at HPD.

Later in the month, I will be visiting Jerry Hicks  and Jerry Neff, who operate a farm called The Jerrys  in Flemingsburg, Ky., using mostly horse and mule  power to raise organic tobacco, grass-fed beef and  pasture-raised pork and chickens.

Nebraska is celebrating its sesquicentennial  this year and their plans to commemorate this  anniversary will include an event called Convergence  on Sacred Ground in Ash Hollow State Historical  Park in Lewellen, Neb. Re-enactors will set up living  history camps with farmsteaders, Native Americans,  military and more, as they were in the 1860s when  the state was founded. I will be there June 21–23.

Afterwards, I hope to continue west, eventually  getting to Dorena, Ore., to spend some time with  Walt Bernard at Workhorse Workshops and Ruby  & Ambers Organic Farm in Dorena, Ore., where he  hopes to have horse and teamster trainer Don Yerian  train a horse of his and perhaps hold a clinic.

And then it’s August when I will have fewer long  trips and more weekend outings to fairs, field days  and harvestfests, within a few hours drive of home.

Scattered throughout these trips will also be runs  down to Fairfield, Iowa, where the Southeast Iowa  Draft Horse and Mule Association is putting in some  plots of checked corn. I have shot them plowing  and planting the fields, with Paul Bishop providing  excellent explanation of how the system works. I  look forward to shooting the culitvating and corn  picking. Tony Garrett is on the cover of this issue  with three of his handsome mules pulling a disc over  one of these plots.

— jm

Contact Joe

If you have an event or activity you'd like to talk to Joe about, shoot him an email at or give him a ring. 319-362-3027

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