Monday, June 16, 2014

Amana Farms

The Inspirationists that came from Germany were mainly a group of farmers and artisans. As today in Amana, farming was a prime interest and source of income with its most modern and scientific technologies and methods to save labor, time, and money.  25,000 acres of prime farmland support the operations around the seven villages with rich bottomless and fertile uplands. Large herds of cattle, sheep, dairy cows, and hogs were once raised, as well as corn and grain. Horses were ridden to round up large herds and help fill the hay barns.. 2,000 head of cattle used to be sorted all day at 10 cents an hour! 15-18 ox teams were used for heavy hauling done. There was a plentiful water supply with the Iowa River nearby to help water animals and crops. Potatoes were raised in the fields by the farm department. Onions were raised for a Chicago market. Soybeans, corn, wheat, barley, and clover, broomcorn, willow were grown as well. 9,000 acres of woodlands supported the furniture making and lumber needs. 7,000 acres were cultivated while some acres were rented out for seed corn. Cropland , pasture, and timberland all very important.
Goats and long horn steer have also been seen feeding on Amana grains and grasses. I still see horses and cowboys herding and driving cattle, while 4-wheelers check  the calves. Quite an operation long ago and today!

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