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Fields and Fencelines: a Memoir of Farmlife on the Prairies

Just a few generations ago, life on the family farm on the prairies was a common, unifying experience for many. Who of us grew up hearing parents, grandparents or great-grandparents' recall "the good-old days"; hardships, humour, and a very different way of life than we are now accustomed to?

I love hearing the stories of our prairie history; so much character and perseverance is evident in the descriptions of a simpler, harder, yet rewarding life.

It would be unfortunate to forget the everyday details about the farming way of life, which is why Mark Hillenbrand's memoir is so appealing. Read on below for a chance to win a copy of this book or order a copy to read right away!

He describes the reason for his writing: "The hours are long, the work gruelling, and the pay uncertain, but there is no better life than life on the farm. In my recently published memoir “Fields and Fencelines” I explore why farming is not simply a vocation or an industry, but rather a unique cultural experience. From sun-up to sun-down, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters work together to care for the land and the creatures upon it, and in doing so not only strengthened the bonds of family but transfer critical skills and characteristics from one generation to the next. The stereotypical image of the hard-working resourceful farmer did not arise by accident, farmers became that, for it is what they were taught."

"As economies of scale force farmers to adapt and grow, the charm of the more holistic agricultural model of the past continues to diminish, for it is simply no longer economically viable to farm on a small scale."

"For me, I ultimately left the farm to pursue a career in law not because I wanted to, but because there was no realistic way to access the capital necessary to stay. As I struggled with my own decision to leave the land, and recognizing the fact I was perhaps the last generation to be raised on a true “family farm”, I took pen to paper and began to record the stories of my youth. The result is “Fields and Fencelines: Stories of Life on a Family Farm” recently published with Friesen Press."

Mark shares this endorsement of his book: "Clarion Foreword Review gave my book a 5/5 star rating and had this to say: “Each story is related with intimate detail, often humorous and always loaded with charming imagery...This entertaining memoir’s reminiscences stick in the mind and bring awareness to both the intensity of farm work and the significance of the environment on the living beings within it.”

"Please visit for the full review and further information. For a chance to win a free signed copy of my book, contact me through my website with the correct answer to this question:

“A John Deere 4440 is a:

(i) combine

(ii) tractor

(iii) swather

All correct answers will be placed in a draw to be held on June 15th, 2019."

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