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"I saw water running in the corn rows. I'll never – I'll never forget that. That was a wonderful sight because in South Dakota we dried out a third of the time. We didn't have a crop. We had to save from one year to the other. And I had never heard of irrigation until Diena [his wife who grew up in York County] told me about it. And I came here and saw it. It was really wonderful. And I still feel that way today.
   "Most of our people, our young people, they don't know what it's worth. I do… It's worth a community. It's worth York County. It's worth Hamilton County. That's what built this area. That's what kept the western Corn Belt going. Without it we would be a semi-arid area. We would raise other crops. Land would be much less expensive. Lifestyle would be completely different. We would simply be a different group of people. Look at York in Nebraska. It's an outstanding city. Well, that's only because of irrigation. And a few people in York that originally promoted it, gave loans for it. Made it possible."

Gordon Schmidt – the Miracle of Irrigation

   

Other Excerpts from Gordon Schmidt & John Steingard's Interview:

Pearl Harbor
Conscientiouis Objectors
Postwar Fertilizer Use
Building Grain Bins
Homemade Drilling Rigs
Leveling the Land
Plaster Lathe Boxes
Digging Irrigation Wells by Hand
Water Pollution