Time Capsule: From the weekly archives

May 26—Mission Valley News, June 8, 1977

St. Ignatius couple visits "Down-Early"

Sidney and Georgian Allard of St. Ignatius have recently returned home after touring Australia and New Zealand on a farm tour sponsored by the Farm Journal magazine.

First stop on the three-week tour was the island of Tahiti. Highlights of the stayover were a performance of native dancing ... and a guided tour of the island's views over silver-sanded beaches to the blue Pacific beyond.

Next was Australia, where the group saw the sights of Sydney and ventured far into the "outback," to see firsthand the farming operations. Visiting sheep and cattle ranches — called stations there — a cotton plantation, stock auctions, a research station, and a tannery gave the Allards the low down on life "down under ..."

New Zealand proved to be the highlight of the whole trip, particularly because of its diverse scenery ...

How could a farmer not fail to be impressed by a country in which the grass grows all 12 months of the year, in which an acre of pasture can support a cow and calf, or alternatively six ewes and six lambs?

The "Kiwis" hospitality is legendary. At farms visited en route, the group was invited into a home where a huge spread of homemade goodies was laid out — tea time — in the course of one afternoon two such meals were served, and then the tour members hosted new-found farm friends for an evening dinner.

The "icing on the cake" was a three-day visit with a farm family. Sidney and Georgian were literally members of a friendly family for three experience-packed days. How better to learn of country life, of the problems which confront the farmer in New Zealand, his hopes and fears, his aspirations, than to share with him and his family everyday living experiences.

Range ride goes well

By all accountancy, the Bison Range ride this year was a grand success.

All week the weather did a whole more for growing grass than encouraging riders ...

But nonetheless, the weather cleared for Sunday, and the day and the once-a-year excursion brought out over 320 riders for the occasion.

Besides many local riders, clubs came from Anaconda, North Idaho Mule & Donkey Riders, and single riders from Washington, Idaho, Helena, Kalispell, Darby, Hamilton, Stevensville, and Noxon.

Range animals cooperated well in being viewed. Antelope, buffalo, deer, and mountain sheep were all sighted — and in turn got a look at the longest line of horses and mules seen in Western Montana on May 22.