Northwest Iowa farmer works his land the old fashioned way

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BRONSON, Iowa -- A northwest Iowa farmer is living the saying, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." He insists on planting crops the way he has since he was a kid – and he's now 90-years-old.

Working his farm in Bronson, Iowa, Darwin Brink knows the real meaning of horsepower.

Seventy-five years ago he planted crops with his horse-drawn right because he had to but nowadays he does it because he loves to.

"It's quiet,” he said. “There's no noise, all you hear is the tug-chain rattle, the meadowlarks sing, let the rest of the world go by."

So, into the ground the soybeans go with complements Buck and Barney on the other end of the reins pulling a 1920s-era planter that Darwin and his son, Dave, bought for $15.

Sometimes it can be a challenge to manage a straight line. “It depends on your horses.” Darwin said. “If you've got a good walking team that walks together it ain't bad but if you get one that jiggles around then it's bad."

This would be impressive for anyone to be doing but’s especially so for a 90-year-old.

"I'm retired. What should I do? I enjoy doing it. I enjoy it very much with a good team of horses."

He says his planting method works just as well as doing the job with a tractor. "Sure. Yeah. We get the seeds in the ground. That's all that's necessary."

This even gets some natural fertilizer in the mix.

He says his methods aren’t for everybody, ”but I enjoy it.”

Darwin plants about 50 acres of corn and soybeans with his horses and with the help of his son, Dave. He also uses the horse team to mow hay, pull a buggy and even pull a sleigh in the winter.

Darwin Brink