Chillicothe, Mo. —
In the stillness of summer’s heat, and with a thick blanket of humidity, a group of men took to a small farm field in northeast Livingston County to tackle a day’s work.
It was harvest day at the Larry and Mary Grothe farm. The mercury had climbed to 95 and the only breeze to be felt was in the shade of a nearby tree.
Out in the open field, with a 1941 Farmall H tractor and a 1930s binder, the task at hand was to cut five acres of oats, bind them, and shock them. Shocking is the process of aligning groups of bound grain sheaves and placing them upright (supporting each other) to allow the grain to dry and ripen.