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Back To The Country Life

The road leading back to a South Dakota farm was a long one for Charles and Dale Howe.

Charles was born and raised in South Dakota, but Dale is a native Australian. After living for a time in Sydney, the couple returned to South Dakota to live and farm near Mahto, not far from the town in which they were married, McLaughlin.

After graduating from high school, Charles attended college at Northern State in Aberdeen before joining the military. He served in Vietnam and it was while he was on R&R from the war that the couple met in Sydney where Dale worked as a secretary. They managed to stay in touch and, "after I returned from Vietnam, we were married," Charles explained.

Shortly after the wedding, Charles and Dale moved back to Sydney. There, Charles worked as a business administration consultant. But he didn't truly enjoy big-city life so in 1970, the Howes moved back to South Dakota.

"He always wanted to be here," Dale said.

In 1971, Charles and Dale bought some land from Charles' brother and the family has been farming near Mahto ever since. Over the years, Charles and Dale have added on to the original plot.

The Howes raise flax, wheat, barley, oats, and sunflowers. They have been operating Howe Seeds since 1990.

"As time went on, more and more of our production was for seed purposes," Charles said. " All of our small grain production is for seed which we market in a five-state area."

"We have a seed cleaning plant where we condition all of our own seed and do custom conditioning," he added.

The Howes used to raise cattle, but don't anymore.

Dale has come to enjoy life in rural South Dakota.
"It's good. I like it better than the big city," she said. "I was only 20 when I came over here to get married. It wasn't hard, I was young."

She raises a large garden each year and helps on the farm. "Dale works real close with me," Charles said. "She helps with harvest and helps around the seed plant."

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