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Bitter Harvest Update
"The phone is ringing off the hook and the letters are pouring in. Some of the letter writers tell of their own problems, many of which will bring tears to your eyes," Missouri farmer Raymond Hirst, of Unionville, told FARM SHOW just before this issue went to press. Hirst and his wife Hazel are raffling off their 476-acre farm by selling "Bitter Harvest", a book of 14 poems penned by Hazel that tells the joys and sorrows of farmers and farming. The book also contains a raffle ticket good for a chance at their farm.
"We're about a quarter of the way to our goal of selling 50,000 books. I think that we'll go over that figure as we've hardly scratched the surface," says Raymond. Plans are to conclude the raffle, which started in July of 1984, with a drawing in the Unionville town square on July 4th, 1985.
National media coverage has helped the Hirst's efforts. The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, ABC television's Nightline show and numerous other newspapers, magazines and radio and tv stations have also picked up on the story since it appeared in FARM SHOW (Vol. 9, No. 1, 1985).
One unique reply was from Control Data, a Minneapolis company, which sent a check for $10,000. However, the company asked that the raffle tickets be given to local organizations. The Hirsts gave the tickets to local 4-H and FFA groups and the local school board.
The Hirsts decided to raffle off their farm as a means to raise the money to pay off their farm debts. If they don't raise the needed money, the contest will end and the book purchase money be refunded. To comply with lottery rules, even those who don't buy the book can compete by sending the couple a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Bitter Harvest sells for $8, plus $2 for shipping.
To order a book and enter the contest, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Raymond and Hazel Hirst, P.O. Box 176, Unionville, MO 63565.

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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #2