Another 'bumper year' on LDS Church farms, ranches

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  • James P. Russell Random Lake, WI
    Jan. 7, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    This is top notch journalism right here. "A few years ago an [unnamed] Harvard professor said our church farms were really cool!" This is just irresponsible and insulting. For those interested here is a citation, though access to the actual case study will require a few bucks.

    Goldberg, Ray A., and Eliot Sherman. "Food Security and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". Harvard Business School Case 508-002, September 2007. (Revised June 2008.)

    Jan. 4, 2014 6:03 a.m.

    I'd be curious to know how much more money the LDS Church would have to spend on frivolous lawsuits if more full disclosure were made. Seems to me there's a delicate balance between informing the membership (who are really the ONLY ones who have any business knowing) and protecting their sacred donations from fraudulent enterprises that do and will exist.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 3, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    I don't buy into the "ammunition for critics" argument for not disclosing for several reasons.

    First and foremost, disclosure (openness) is the right thing to do. If the Church is so sensitive to criticism, secrecy breeds lots of criticism.

    Second, most people simply don't care about the Mormon Church and Mormonism. Unless some MAJOR issue is uncovered through disclosure, most people will yawn and go on.

    Third, many members (including myself) want disclosure and feel the current level of disclosure (none) does not satisfy the "common consent" requirement of D&C 26:2.

    Fourth, paranoia and sensitivity to criticism are not valid reasons to not do the right thing. Some other churches and charities currently disclose. Why do we want to be behind the curve in this trend?

    Finally, there will always be detractors. Most (if not all) members and investigators are not bothered or affected by them. Allowing them to dictate or affect the actions of a large institution headed by the Lord is ridiculous.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 3, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    Accountability of Church finances is a reasonable thing to do. However, most of the time, it is critics who are asking for more openness in the Church finances, and we know that critics have one agenda - to unfairly attack the LDS Church and portray it in the most negative light possible. That is a big reason why some people seem to be so defensive of the Church and its privacy concerning its finances - they know critics don't have good intentions. With this in mind, if indeed the LDS Church was more open about its finances, critics would call out the Church on every dime spent, and in some cases, the leaders/financial representatives of the Church might have to take time to respond, wasting time that could be spent on doing things like, you know, helping others, serving the needs of the members, and yes, (contrary to critics' opinions that the Church doesn't help the poor), helping with humanitarian issues and the needs of the poor.

    I myself wouldn't mind more openness, but NOT to satisfy questionable demands of critics. With that, I think the Church is forced to continue doing exactly what it has been doing.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 3, 2014 9:26 a.m.

    There are 6 bishop storehouses to serve the entire state of Washington, so i would presume many coming through those doors traveled a fair distance. Here in CA it is the same. Our nearest storehouse is over 2 hrs away, requiring members/leaders to travel 4-5 hrs roundtrip to pick up food orders.

    Here's a statistic:
    The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported in 2012 that on itemized tax returns, Utahns contributed $2.4 billion to charity.
    What percent of that was tithing?

  • Juan Figuroa Seattle, WA
    Jan. 3, 2014 3:42 a.m.

    Spent four hours at the Bishop's Storehouse last month. Spent the entire time racing to restock shelves as an unending line of poor people stripped them bare. Exhausting.

    There's a heck of a lot of food (and toilet paper and tampons) going through that door. And we're in an area that's doing well economically. I can't imagine how much food the Church is distributing in harder-hit locales.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    "The Church produces large amounts of meat ... for consumption by the people of this and other countries. How is that evil?"

    Unless those people are starving to death, it is evil for them to consume meat. Those are the bounds set in LDS scripture. Or put another way, if killing animals for meat is a necessary evil, it must be necessary or it is evil.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 2, 2014 2:24 p.m.

    "Why waste your time and efforts paying your tithing and other offerings if you have the above questions?"

    God depends on mortal/fallible men.

    Would the Church ever have come into existence without someone questioning the status quo?
    What society progressed without someone questioning the status quo?

    Speaking in general terms, insularity and deeply entrenched organizations overtime can lead to an unhealthy group-think numbing and acceptance of the status quo that can harm the long-term life of the organization itself. Questioning is healthy.

    I reject the view that one should not question. Ultimately, paying tithing is a choice. One can make the choice to pay tithing despite concerns and questions while others may choose not to pay because of concerns and questions. But to suggest that questioning in and of itself is a waste of time or evidence of an absence of faith is just wrong.

    Previously the Church was forthcoming regrading financial records. Not so now. Why?

    Holding up the church as the premier example of charity/welfare is wrong.
    #1 there is little to no public data to substantiate the claims.
    #2 it is prideful, boastful and ignorant of work done by other organizations/denominations.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Jan. 2, 2014 1:39 p.m.

    Taxman is entitled to have his opinion and concerns. Actually, I think is always "healthy' to have an inquisitive mind that wants to know more about a subject that is so dear to so many people.

    Personally, yes I did my share of volunteering in a church owned farm. Good memories and happy times.

    The welfare program of the church is one of the programs that I find very noble and uplifting.

    Going back to Taxman, I think a more open system of information about church finances wouldn't hurt.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Jan. 2, 2014 12:54 p.m.

    When I read the headline, regarding another 'bumper year' for crops -- it made me reflect upon Joseph's experiences with Egypt and the seven years of plenty; followed by seven years of famine. I would be interested to know how many years of bumper crops there have been to date?

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Jan. 2, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    "A short time later, the professor sent Sperry a copy of his case study on the LDS Church welfare agricultural projects.
    “He wrote that there is nothing like this anywhere on earth — it’s unique,” said Sperry."

    It would be nice to have a link to the report / case study, or where we could read it.

  • Arizona1 Tucson, AZ
    Jan. 2, 2014 11:08 a.m.

    To "The Taxman's" response to evidence about his claims: Several people posting have asked for evidence about your initial claims. You gave absolutely no evidence, rather you simply said people that do a little basic searching can find it themselves and that no one has been able to disprove your so-called evidence.

    Everyone knows that the Church owns a lot of property--the article itself said that, so your Business Week article used to support your original post is laughable support for some of your original claims. Furthermore, if the Church is so secretive about all of this--hiding it from everyone--please enlighten us about your sources and their credibility.

    Also, the numbers in the article about production seemed fairly straightforward. Is the Church cloaking those numbers too? Please enlighten us, because the claim that no one has disproved your claims is downright silly. Imagine if our justice system ran that way. Let's not bother about evidence; lets just make outlandish claims about non-existent evidence, and if no one bothers to provide evidence to prove that the non-existent evidence is fake, then it must be true.

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    Jan. 2, 2014 11:03 a.m.

    Golly gee, now I don't know if I have "blind obedience" or faith. Maybe "Taxman" or someone else can help me?

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    Fani asks a Fair question, but this article is not about tithing. If the Church chooses to boast of its "bumper crop" through the newspaper it owns and goes further to say "welfare officials look to 2014 for more opportunities to feed those in need", then I think the door should be open to explore the subject a little.

    For example, I think it fair to explore why most of the assets are segregated into a separate unit that seems to be off-limits (i.e., not available) for helping those in need.

    I also think it is generally fair to ask questions because our leaders are human and freely admit to making mistakes. Finally, I think it's fair to ask for disclosure, you know, reporting back to the members, as required by D&C 26:2. I don’t know why certain people seem to be against disclosure given that blind obedience has been responsible for so much folly in this world.

  • Lyle Springville, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    I remember cleaning out the hog pens, back when they had a pork operation in P.G. or Lindon. I actually miss working there-- being a farmer for a day!

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 1:05 a.m.

    Look, "Taxman" obviously thinks that the LDS church shouldn't own these properties. Why, I'm not sure. Perhaps he wants to turn them over to the government, where they will be managed far better--just like our healthcare is far better off under Obama, right? Only a net 3 million more unemployed after obamacare than before!

  • fani wj, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 5:15 p.m.

    @ Truthseeker & Taxman
    "There are many claims made about the success of LDS Welfare, yet, there are few to no statistics available. The LDS church is a blackhole of information..."

    Why waste your time and efforts paying your tithing and other offerings if you have the above questions? The law of tithing is between god and the tithe payer period, nobody else. If you don't have the faith in the people that process your tithing and other offerings, you should not waste your time paying because questions above belong to someone with no faith in this law.

    Most people that believe in the law of tithing view tithing as god property. My job is to pay it and that is the end of my involvement. Those that are entrusted by the church/god to make good use of that "god's property" will have to answer to god themselves. If you believe that tithing belongs to god, why waste your time tracking something ain't yours. If you don't believe that tithing is god's money, why even waste your time discussing something you don't believe in?

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 4:20 p.m.


    "But your claim that the Church does not pay taxes on the corporate holdings is false."

    Please tell us where was this claim was made by Taxman?

    Now let me see if I understand your post properly. The Church has organized its affairs into two discrete units. One is a small (in asset size) welfare unit which it publicizes a lot. The other is one of the largest agribusinesses (in asset size) in the world which the Church does not publicize at all. The one makes very little and the other makes billions. If this is correct, then I do not wonder that people are confused. Perhaps if more openness were employed people would not be so confused. But of course people might be able to look beyond the compartmentalization tactic and question why so many billions in assets are being socked away by a Church while there is so much current need in the world. Ultimately the question is not one of legality, but rather propriety.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 2:34 p.m.


    Just some information: President Hinckley indicated the opposite -- the church could not operate without tithing. You can confirm this by reviewing his conference talk in April 1991 - "The State of the Church." Under Question 10, he said:

    "We have a few income-producing business properties, but the return from these would keep the Church going only for a very brief time. Tithing is the Lord’s law of finance. [...]"

    Also, another good talk about the matter is President Hinckley's, October 1999 talk - "Why We Do Some of the Things We Do." A tidbit from President Hinckley:

    "Are these businesses operated for profit? Of course they are. They operate in a competitive world. They pay taxes. They are important citizens of this community. And they produce a profit, and from that profit comes the money which is used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation to help with charitable and worthwhile causes in this community and abroad and, more particularly, to assist in the great humanitarian efforts of the Church"

    The 2nd talk also address why the church gets involved in legislative matters if you are curious. It's a very good read if you ask me.

  • Swimmer Honeyville, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    Taxman, the article was not misleading. It was about the Church welfare farm system. The corporate farming system is completely different. But your claim that the Church does not pay taxes on the corporate holdings is false. Those are for profit enterprises and pay taxes.

    The problem here is your fundamental misunderstanding of the Church's welfare system. Also, while you assert that everything you have said is true and claim that those attacking your claims have not cited to any evidence in support, you haven't either. The Business Week article is about the for profit holdings, not the welfare holdings. You need to get better informed before going on a rant about the Church's holdings.

    Also, what is so sinister about the Church owning property? Why is that even an issue? The last time a checked, the U.S. Constitution allows ownership of property. The Church produces large amounts of meat and produce for consumption by the people of this and other countries. How is that evil? Explain your sinister spin.

  • NightOwlAmerica SALEM, OR
    Jan. 1, 2014 1:04 p.m.

    Care to talk about how much property Monsanto owns and it's business dealings Taxman? How about the Catholic Church?
    You are just bitter because the LDS church, and others are tax exempt. In addition, the LDS church does not expand holdings to spend all and have nothing in the end. They save, just like we are taught to save.

    You claim that only a small fraction is used on storehouses. But actually your gripe is with the church holdings. Interesting that you don't bring up money used for many other needs like wheelchairs, water pumps & systems, disaster aid flown around the world, teaching, construction of irrigation systems, buildings and other in under developed and developing countries. The list goes on.

    BTW - I know an engineering student that returned from a mission in Nigeria three years ago. Guess what? He has sent there to manage and construct irrigation systems. Where do you think the money came from? that's right, the church. Prosyliting was only a small part of his service there.

  • portlander Arlington, WA
    Jan. 1, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    "O ye of little faith!"

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 1, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    Everything I have said is true and although some posters have seen fit to attack me, nobody has refuted anything I said or offered any evidence to the contrary. If you do the smallest amount of research on your own you can confirm that the holdings are vast (and increasing) and only a small fraction of the billions in "yield" make their way to a storehouse.

    For example, according to BusinessWeek (you can easily find the article) Church-owned agribusinesses own about 1 million acres in the continental U.S. alone. That is more land than the entire state of Rhode Island. The Church also has farm operations in Britain, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil.

    Now as to the claims that I am a hater. If you carefully read what I said above, my primary "beef" is with how misleading this article (published by the Church-owned newspaper) is. Misdirection and secrecy is what I do not like. Openness and honesty (and the light of day) are best. Peace.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 1, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    There are many claims made about the success of LDS Welfare, yet, there are few to no statistics available. The LDS church is a blackhole of information. We don't know what amount of fast offerings are collected and disbursed in a given year. We don't know anything about the ag businesses-for profit and non-profit--the Church owns. We don't know if/how much food produced by the Church goes to feed the hungry around the world vs for-profit purposes. Are "volunteers" used in Church-owned commercial businesses?

    These are important questions and I am surprised the Church is not more forthcoming with the information.

    The article doesn't even mention the name of the Harvard professor.

    "To line the pockets of the General Authorities? Ludicrous!"

    Who knows?

    (Or, alternatively, to build a billion dollar luxury housing and shopping complex.)

  • portlander Arlington, WA
    Jan. 1, 2014 11:12 a.m.

    Those funds are used to build the Kingdom of God upon this wicked and fallen world. Those are sacred funds, and whether we know it or not, they are used with the utmost of thought, and prayers, the way that the Lord Himself directs.

    I remember President Hinckley once saying that the Church no longer needs the tithing of the members of the Church to operate. That the Church has enough commercial enterprises making enough profits to cover the expenses that the Church incurs. But, he also stated that it is still required of us to pay our tithes and offerings, as it is still a commandment from God and that it still benefits us personally, spiritually as well as physically!

    And after this time of "fat" there will eventually, come a time of lean and hardness. The Church, just as Joseph of old, will be prepared, just as we should all be in our own homes.

    How about living the Gospel at home, in our own lives, and quit following those who would take us astray, into forbidden paths!

  • portlander Arlington, WA
    Jan. 1, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    I worked on a Church farm in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, 45 years ago, irrigating green beans. I was told it the largest farm of it's kind in the state. I was a paid "hand" along with a few other friends from my Stake in Portland. I also volunteered to work in a Bishop's Storehouse cannery, helping to can green beans.

    The beans grown on the Church farm, went to market and to local commercial canneries, like Bird's Eye and Flav-R-Pac, and the Church was paid the going rate. The beans we canned in the Portland cannery, came from commercial bean farms around the Blue Lake area, a well known and famous green bean producing area. The Church paid the going rate to purchase those beans.

    Now tell me, what is wrong with this system? It seems that one offsets the other! Now, if the Church makes a little profit, what is that money used for? To line the pockets of the General Authorities? Ludicrous!

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Jan. 1, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    Those who claim that produce grown and sold goes into some secret fund rather than the welfare program might consider other things.

    When visiting a Bishop's storehouse, there is more to be supplied there than just turkey, almonds, raisins and citrus fruits. There is also toilet paper, cleaning supplies - including mops and brooms, hygiene products and even candy for Christmas stockings. To the best of my knowlege, the church (or its owned companies) does not have the capacity to grow toilet paper and shaving gel. These are purchased, but who knows where the money comes from to do that - nor to purchase the packaging supplies, fuel the fleet of semi-trucks or other forms of ground and air transportation.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    Taxman, please include data, references and documentation with allegations. They appear to be sound, all sound with no evidence to back them up.

    If an organization owns a company which owns subsidiaries then the parent organization owns them all. I believe the holding company is Intellectual Properties Reserve or something like that. It makes sense to me that product unused for welfare uses is sold on the open market for profit to be invested in support of the owner’s goals (Church’s mission).

    Some properties do not lend themselves to volunteer labor due either to the nature of the work, location or OSHA rules. So people are hired to operate the business.

    Oh, once a gift (tithing or property) is given, it is the property of the recipient and the giver has no further claim on its use or information concerning its use.

    As to the article, I feel it would have been nice for the author to have included production numbers from 2012, 2011 etc, to document claims of a "banner year". Please include year of visit and or at least the name of the study or paper.

    Otherwise, the story sounds like an article from a ward newspaper.

  • mominthetrenches South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 1, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    @taxman, Why not offer a counter interview with the Des News? I don't doubt that the Church might be buying up small farms. I have never heard any of them clamoring against the Church for their conspiratorial, secretive take-overs, though. I also know that farming is becoming an increasingly difficult occupation to sustain, due to the expense of pretty much everything! How do you know some of these farmers aren't happy to sell out and let a larger operation help them out financially? It makes good business sense. Collectively, you can see how much the LDS Church is impacting those who need the food when disaster, unemployment or famine hit! Or people like me who just use it cause it is reasonably priced and I enjoy learning how to can things up myself. Sheesh!

  • sfcretdennis Nice, CA
    Jan. 1, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    The Taxman Los Angeles, CA. And were do you get your information? I remember as a child going out to the Farm with my mom and dad working on the church farms. This is a great program that helps millions and not just church members. Ill never understand people like you who hate so much you half to till lies and try to distort the truth or lie. What has the church member ship ever done to you for you to hate us so much you have to try to tear every good thing the church member ship does down?

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    Our Welfare Program is incredible and helps millions every day. I too, remember working on the farm and the good feeling I had as a young girl of how I was truly helping provide for others who were less fortunate. Everyone worked so well with each other - no fooling around - just good hard work with a positive attitude.

  • Lillith70 SLC, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    Better to sell and/or manage all excess instead of letting it rot in the fields. Better to buy the manufactured goods such as toilet tissue and shaving cream for the program?

    So many people would take something that works well/smoothly/and to the benefit of those in need and those who need to serve and change it? Tear down something that benefits so many and replace it with the emptiness of Babylon?

  • Mugabe ACWORTH, GA
    Jan. 1, 2014 8:02 a.m.

    Another indication that this is the work of the Lord. Nothing will deter the Lord's plan to care for his children. I am moved with tears and compassion.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Jan. 1, 2014 7:57 a.m.

    @ 1.96 Standard Deviation. I laughed at your post until I had tears in my eyes! Definitely very funny! And like all humor it has to have truth in it! Thank you for making my day/week/ month/new year! Happy New Year!

    @ McMurphy. I too benefited from the church welfare system the same as you! Thinning sugar beets builds character and motivates a person to further their education! I recommend it for people who have no motivation in their lives.

  • McMurphy St George, Utah
    Jan. 1, 2014 6:54 a.m.

    A personal benefit to me from the church welfare system. Thinning sugar beets as a young teen convinced me that a college education was essential to my future happiness.

  • el steve o Herriman, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 8:45 p.m.

    So the Taxman has all the inside info on the Church's "secret" and confidential ag-business dealings, good job Taxman. Thanks for enlightening us all. So, since you have all the answers and have read the Harvard study referenced in the article, maybe you can tell us of something that works better than the Church's welfare program.

    The LDS Church's local level of organization (Ward and Stake), are the best known and most efficient way of helping take care of each other, when it comes to helping out during times of crisis.

    Read the Book of Mormon, Taxman, it's true.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 4:06 p.m.

    The Taxman-

    Your post about church farms and welfare reminds me of some Bible jokes. Have you ever done a Google search for "Liberal Bible Headlines?" Here are some examples:

    On Red Sea crossing:

    Wetlands Trampled in Labor Strike
    Pursuing Environmentalists Killed

    On David vs. Goliath:

    Hate Crime Kills Beloved Champion
    Psychologist Questions Influence of Rock

    On Elijah on Mt. Carmel:

    Fire Sends Religious Right Extremist into Frenzy
    400 Killed

    On the birth of Christ:

    Hotels Full, Animals Left Homeless
    Animal Rights Activists Enraged by Insensitive Couple

    On feeding the 5,000:

    Pracher Streals Child's Lunch
    Disciples Mystified Over Behavior

    On healing the 10 lepers:

    Local Doctor's Practice Ruined
    "Faith Healer" Causes Bankruptcy

    On healing of the Gadarene demoniac:

    Manman's Friend Causes Stampede
    Local Farmer's Investment Lost

    In sum, doesn't matter how much good the church does -- there are always critics for some reason. These Bible jokes illustrate this principle. But don't worry, the truth will go on boldly and independent.

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Dec. 31, 2013 3:58 p.m.

    ... please excuse the errors... I dictate and the "autocorrect" feature does what it will.

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Dec. 31, 2013 3:10 p.m.

    Why would the Church and the DN moderators want to censor the truth and mislead the members into thinking it's farming operations consist of some volunteers Toiling with bent rakes and shovels.

    The truth is that the Church operates one of the largest, if not the largest, agribusiness in the world, and grosses billions of dollars each year from its hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland. Most of the crops are sold for profit with a tiny, tiny percentage used for the welfare program. The millions of pounds of almonds alone (produced by the church) would drown every storehouse if delivered to them. While secrecy and misdirection?

  • The Taxman Los Angeles, CA
    Dec. 31, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    Wow... what a misleading article.

    First, the "Church" does not own significant farms that I know of, but rather owns companies that own very large farming businesses. The Church-owned companies together form one of the largest agribusinesses on earth (owning hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland and grossing billions of dollars in sales each year). These businesses, along with other large agribusiness, have aggressively bought-out small farmers and supplanted small farming in United States.

    The notion that anything but the tiniest fraction of production is used for welfare purposes is simply wrong. Most of the farming production is sold for profit. Profits that are secret (not disclosed to the church members or public) and are "reinvested" in buying out more small farms.

  • Bearone Monroe, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:26 a.m.

    And there were Ward farms in a lot of the rural areas. As a boy, our ward had a farm in Idaho that raised grain and alfalfa. When we moved to Utah, our ward had a 5 acre farm that raised potatoes each year. The ward would trade land with local farmers for crop rotation purposed.
    It was sad when the church closed down those small ward farms.

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:24 a.m.

    Thanks for this interesting article.
    I've never worked in the church's orchards, farms, or ranches, but I have volunteered at the canneries where we have helped process some of the food grown. I wonder if the cannery packing is part of the volunteer hours referenced here, or if that is considered a different part of the process?
    From what I have seen of the canneries and that process...I have to say that it is really an amazing work that the church is doing. Very organized, very high quality, very good work people are doing to try to help feed and take care of untold millions.
    Also, a very good spirit seems to accompany us all when involved in this work.

  • markb Craig, CO
    Dec. 31, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    I can remember spending many hours as a youth at the stake farms. My dad was a convert and loved to serve, so whenever there was a job to do, we were there. He was blind, so pre-dawn irrigation was not a problem. Just plunk him down by the gate and tell him what time to open or close it. He used his cane to follow the ditch and counted how many steps it took to get to the next gate. The next time we had irrigation, he did it like a pro. When we picked fruit, we set up the ladder, gave him his bucket, and put his hand on the base of the branch. He would feel his way up the branch, picking every piece of fruit. At the time, I didn't like the stake farm, but now I cherish those memories and what it taught me about hard work and service to others. Of course eating your fill of sweet cherries while you worked was a perk. I usually made myself sick. I was sad when I heard the church was closing our stake farm on 800 South in Orem. So many good memories....