Crop Mobs: Will Work for Food
By Gwen Steel, Izaak Walton League of America
Most Americans are two or three generations removed from life on a farm, and I am no exception. My grandfather still works on a family farm in Iowa, but my father hasn’t worked on the farm since he was a teenager and I have been only an occasional visitor to farm life. When driving past the many hog farms on the way to Grandpa’s house, I can’t help but wrinkle my nose at the smell.
Yet here I am, in the middle of a pasture on a perfect summer afternoon, pulling my boot out of a shockingly fresh cow pie and piling brush onto a trailer. I am working with nine other volunteers to clear a fence line along the edge of a pasture at Zweber Farms in Elko, Minnesota — a task that could take weeks for a single farm family but is completed by our group in just one day. Another group is cleaning out the barn, and a few of us spent the morning scrubbing the milking parlor until it gleamed.
Not my usual weekend agenda, but it’s all in a day’s work for the crop mob.