“‘There isn’t any room for the old methods anymore. Farmers who embrace the new methods will prosper, but those that don’t are already stumbling around.’ Doubtless he was looking across the road toward the Ericsons” (Smiley 45).

It has been quite evident from the beginning of the book that the biggest part of almost everyone’s life in this story is farming. Farming is such an important part of Iowa’s history, and there is a reason that some people succeed, while some people simply do not. in this book, Larry is very geared toward one way of farming- his way. If any other farmer does things differently, Larry finds it wrong and he disapproves. He believes that the only way to succeed and prosper in the farming business is to do it the way he does it. Otherwise, people will fail (and he will most likely enjoy it).

I have to disagree with Larry’s opinion about there only being one way to successfully farm land. Coming from small-town Iowa, I know that there are plenty of ways to successfully farm land with different crops, technologies, tools, and equipment. As long as the farmers figure out what method and tools work best for them, they can farm whatever way they feel most comfortable, and they can prosper just as much as anyone else. If people can learn to work with what they have got, and not have to depend on the only one way they are familiar with, no matter what comes their way, they will be able to effectively handle it, as they are prepared and they are flexible.

I feel as if Larry is not flexible. It is either his way or the highway, and if something were to go wrong, or if he had to compensate or work around something, it would be like the end of the world. He seems so routined and so set on his own world that he can never break free to listen to other peoples’ stories about success. Going off of this idea, I found a Timeline of Iowa’s history. This timeline is not just about farming, so it will take a little sifting through, but it speaks of different technologies and farming equipment being introduced throughout history. This just gives people a little bit of an idea of what farming may have been like back in the day a little bit.

Does anyone else agree that there can be many other ways of farming successfully than just one way that does happen to work well?