Sodbusters to Showcase Early Farm Life

Many of today’s farms are equipped with GPS (Global Positioning System)-powered tractors with houses filled with efficiency appliances, like refrigerators and stoves, but it wasn’t always this technologically-advanced.

This weekend, people have the opportunity to see what life was like on a farm during early days during Fort Ransom’s Sodbusters Days held Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The tree-filled park with the colors of fall peeking through on the leaves will offer a harvest-season view to visitors looking to see what harvest was like back in the late 1800s.

Sodbusters Days is hosted by the Fort Ransom Sodbusters Association, a non-profit volunteer organization with a mission to pay tribute to pioneer ancestors and their lifestyle. 

The organization works to preserve the “Turn of the Century Sunne Farmsite” located on the grounds of the Fort Ransom State Park.  
Sodbusters Day gives visitors an opportunity to see what life was like in 1884 when the Andrew Sunne family settled the area.

Visitors can see the original farmstead, which has the house in which Sunne lived as well as additional buildings that were built for storage and show.

Visitors can participate in haying, corn cutting and potato picking as well as touring an old blacksmith shop and other buildings on the farm.

This year, the Sodbusters are trying to implement a country farm life feel to the festival. Women will be making lefse and cheese-made pies over a campfire during this weekend’s festival, said Fort Ransom State Park Manager John Kwapinski.

Other fun events include a watermelon seedspitting contest and a pie auction.

Food will also be served.Some menu items include homemade ice cream, corn meal muffins, sauerkraut and an old-fashioned country dinner on Saturday.

Admission to the event is $5 per day.

The event occurs twice a year, once in July, once in September.

Kwapinski says the September event is usually bigger because the weather tends to be more mild, without extreme heat and humidity.

Fort Ransom State Park hosts other events throughout the year. The next big event is the 43rd annual Sheyenne Valley Arts and Craft Festival held Sept. 25 and 26.