Friday, August 04, 2006

Back to the Land

Living in the Twin Cities, one is always aware of the agricultural identity of much of the state in a peripheral sort of way. On occasion, forays are even made into this pastoral landscape. Yet, opportunities to partake in the cultural life of the non-metro are few and far between. For reasons too obscure to make for good reading, I and a colleague attended Farmfest in Gillfillan, Minn. earlier this week. It’s like an outdoor trade show for farmers, but with lots of political debates where the main topics are whether to extend farm subsidy bills, the promise of a corn-fueled future and the ag cred of each candidate. You get the idea.

Some highlights you ask? A tractor parade, eating fake cheese nachos for the first time in forever, and meeting Arvid Redman, who creates massive light displays on his farm outside Sanborn each holiday. I was particularly intrigued when he mentioned creating a display of the Twin Towers (with a plane crashing into one of them) memorializing that tragic event. But it got even more interesting when he described how a string of lights went out leaving a gaping hole in one of the towers. Arvid's response: "Something bigger than me put that string of lights out." Maybe so, Arvid. Maybe so.

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