Farm Style

Farm Aid. Maryland Heights, Missouri. 4 October 2009



American Flag Patch, Scrambled Eggs, and Quilted Down

1934 John Deere GPA

Belt Buckle featuring a John Deere Model A, worn by GPA owner Jesse Smith, proud member of the Owensville Threshers Association.

As he told me about his collection of John Deere belt buckles, Mr. Smith explained that each comes with a serial number, a copyright date, and a short lesson on the featured model.

Coming down the aisle, folks around me murmured, “Is that Neil Young?”

“Oh, nope. It’s just this guy.”

The most interesting conversation I had at Farm Aid was with Gabby “Hayseed” Kaiser, High Sheriff of the fictional town of Bakersville, Missouri, a reconstructed 19th century village.

It is located within the city limits of Mansfield, Missouri, home of author Laura Ingalls Wilder.

“A Hat with Pedigree,” Mr. Kaiser admitted it was a thrift store find.

Alongside founder Jeremiath Gettle, Mr. Kaiser was there to promote Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, home of the world’s largest supply of rare seeds. He explained the Mr. Gettle has been invited to share his story all over the world as his collection continues to grow.

Mr. Kaiser’s Tony Lama cowboy boots

“We’re just up from Texas.”

My favorite moment from the concert. After the morning’s press conference, I was fortunate to witness a 23-year-old organic dairy farmer from northern Iowa give Neil Young the shirt off his back. Watch how that interaction manifested itself just before one of Farm Aid’s many anthem’s Mr. Young’s “Homegrown.”

Whether you donate money to or ask the manager of your neighborhood Safeway to stock produce that’s grown locally, sustainably, do what you can to support small farms.

For more of my day at Farm Aid, see Flickr.