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Hay day fun

“I just love growing hay.”


I heard that from not one, but two Dakota farmers this week.


Mike Lentsch, Lentsch Hay Farms, Veblen, S.D. told me how much he enjoys haying while we bounced across one of the highest points in the Sisseton Hills with his baler. Lentsch grows grass hay mixes mostly for the horse market in the Midwest.


About the only thing he likes better that growing hay is meeting the people who buy his hay.


“They’re the best,” he says.


Dave Berndt, White, S.D., is equally enthusiastic. He and his family put up hay for dairies and sells straw for livestock bedding, feed and ground cover for strawberries. The Berndt grow and sell vegetables direct to consumers in the Brookings and Watertown areas, too. Tomatoes and sweet corn are the biggest sellers. They also sell beans, beets, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, pumpkins, carrots, peas and lettuce.


“I love August,” Berndt says. “We’re putting up hay and straw and picking sweet corn and tomatoes everyday. Nothing could be better.”


When he delivers hay and straw to customers in the summer he takes bags of sweet corn, potatoes and tomatoes to them.


“It’s our way of saying, ‘thank you for your business,’” he says.

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