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,
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."