SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– If you have ever wondered what happens when a farmer gets a new pickup, Lee Friesen has the book for you.

Friesen, author and farmer from Olivet, South Dakota, shares his passion for agriculture through his new children’s book, “If A Farmer Gets A Pickup“.

Photos courtesy of Lee Friesen.

This circular tale tells the story of a young farmer who gets a new-to-him pickup and as soon as he gets the pickup, the story walks the reader through what else he needed, one thing after another, all the way around until he needs a new pickup, Friesen said.

His inspiration for the book stemmed from multiple conversations with his dad and his kids as they farm, Friesen said.

“As we get a piece of equipment, then there always seems like there has to be another piece of equipment that goes with it,” Friesen said. “I guess it really just comes down to life.”

While traveling for work, Friesen was talking to his son over the phone, and his son was talking with him about all the things he wanted to get to improve the farm. Friesen said he had to tell his son to slow down before he did so much at a time, which is when he developed the concept for the book.

From there, he developed his idea into a PowerPoint that night, printed it and stapled it together like a book to give to his parents as a joke.

“As I folded it together, I thought ‘you know, with some refinement, maybe this can make a pretty nice book’,” Friesen said.

Once he wrote the book, he was able to partner with a illustrator who made his ideas come to life, turning his clip art and notes into pages that engage the readers, even including a hidden rubber chicken on every page, to help keep the attention of children who can’t read on their own yet, Friesen said.

Images courtesy of Lee Friesen.

Whether a person ends up on the farm or not is irrelevant to the concept behind young agricultural promotion, Friesen said.

“Ultimately, it comes down to knowing and understanding that we have got a very safe, equitable, food source and just to make them more aware of what farming life is kind of all about,” Friesen said. “And with this book, it kind of goes through a whole year, in a circular style, of what farmers do run into.”

One of the aspects of the book’s website is to grow the part of the project where kids will be able to learn more about the topics discussed in the book, such as planting, Friesen said.

Friesen is a part of the South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership program, which has provided him with connections that were able to help promote the book, along with help from his mom,  Donna who really pushed him to get the book in front of people. Friesen said his local newspaper, the Freeman Courier, also help to get the story of his book out there.

Friesen plans to continue writing more books.

“I love that process and I really enjoy it and I hope to get a whole bunch of them out there,” Friesen said.

Years ago, Friesen developed books loosely around the Character Counts program within the schools and he hopes to enhance that series, he said.

Photo courtesy of Lee Friesen.

Friesen also enjoys producing a series of comics called “Murphy’s Law Farm” which shows some of the issues that farmers faces in a humorous way and features a motivation moment to a more deeper meaning about what is going on and how you can correct it.

Image courtesy of Lee Friesen.

“In agriculture, as with in many businesses, you get to the point where you sometimes might be down and discouraged at something that goes wrong, that motivational part should help bring you out of that,” Friesen said.

Friesen grew up in the Menno, South Dakota area, where he was always evolved in agriculture through his family’s operation. He went to South Dakota State University where he graduated with a degree in Agricultural Education and went on to teach high school ag for a number of years, while getting his master’s degree in computers. Now, Friesen works in crop insurance while also operating his 250 acre farm with his children. Their operation consists of sheep, goats, cattle, corn, soybeans and alfalfa.