If you see a pasture with just one kind of grass, that pasture's dead.
—Rep. Charlie Hoffman, 2014.08.19
My friend Charlie Hoffman (yes, that Charlie Hoffman) wasn't talking one-party rule in Pierre. (We'll get to that issue in another post.) He was talking about the prairie, several acres of which he currently occupies east and north of Eureka, west of Long Lake.
Charlie invited me up to his McPherson County farm last week to get the four-wheelers out and learn what the prairie is really about. I was all excited to hear a Republican legislator go all Aldo Leopold, but four-wheelers? I hadn't ridden four-wheeler since I was kid and rode three-wheeler. I figured I'd break my neck trying to keep up with hell-for-leather Charlie before I could get back to the motel to write up his prairie oasis.
Fortunately, Charlie showed less enthusiasm for the throttle than for the native grasses, the virgin soil, and the economy, geography, and archaeology of his land.
Charlie Hoffman shows the cropland he's restoring to grass. He said his dad once told him there's no money in crops; the route to coming out ahead in farming is grass and cattle.