Four Generation Farmers

In our busy world, we rarely seem to have the time to spend quality time with our families.

Reunions and gatherings are few and far between.

One Iowa family gathers regularly this time of year... for the harvest and it really is a family affair.

Paul Pilling remembers picking corn by hand.

"We'd be out there by daylight...start picking take two loads by 3 o'clock," he said. "I could pick 120 bushels a day."

Farming technology has come a long was since Pilling started farming in Pottawattamie County near Macedonia in 1947.

He still works this land as a youthful 91-year-old.

"I'll be 92 the day after Christmas," he said.

Paul is the eldest of four generations working the farm all the way down to two and a half-year-old Jackson Allen.

"He says to me in the morning are we going farming today," Jackson's dad Nick Allen said. "And he doesn't like it when I say he's got to go to day care."

It's a family tradition...riding on the combine with great-grandpa.

Paul's son, Larry, remembers his turn as a five-year-old.

"We didn't have cabs then and he had a tractor with a fender on it and he took a belt and there was a tool box there and tied me on so I wouldn't fall off," he said.

Paul said Jackson looks forward to their rides together.

"He likes to ride on the combine...he calls it his combine," Paul said. "That's okay I don't care."

The rides and the time together are bonding.

Larry's remembers how his two daughters looked forward to their turn.

"Every year they rode with him and just had a ball," he said.

And maybe Jackson will be a farmer like his dad, grandfather and great-grandfather.

"I hope someday he has the opportunity to do it and if not at least he'll take some good memories with him," Nick Allen said.

There's something mystical about a farm...through good times and bad...providing a glue that holds people together.

"Normally people split off and go this way and that way all different directions," Larry said. "We're just trying to stay together...kind of what life's all about...you know family."

Paul will continue to work the land, "as long as the good lord will let me."

Passing on more than a love for the land...but love of family to the newest generation.

Paul Pilling bought 320 acres in Western Iowa after returning from World War II.

Today the family farms nearly 2,000 acres.

Larry said Paul is not the coffee shop type and that he gets up every day to work on the farm.


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