News About Gordon
Honorary Chapter FFA Degree from the University of Minnesota Crookston Collegiate FFA for preserving Farm Heritage and promoting Agricultural Literacy through literature.
Article about Gordon in the Pioneer Press. Click HERE.
Article in St. Paul Pioneer Press, "A former farm kid shares his stories of growing up in Lakeville." Click HERE.
Prologue to Farm
Imagine an era
that’s diff’rent from now,
When times were not better,
but pleasing, somehow.
It’s the year 1950,
when farming was done
By Mother and Father
and Daughter and Son.
by Gordon W. Fredrickson
Reader Views Literary Award Winners
If I Were a Farmer Awarded first place in the children – toddler to 5 category
Farm Country Halloween Awarded second place in the children – early reader (6 to 8)
About the Farm Poet & Farm Heritage Authors
Gordon W. Fredrickson and Nancy A. Fredrickson grew up within six miles of each other in Scott County, Minnesota. Nancy lived in the small town of New Market, where even though the population was under two hundred, many businesses managed to scrape out a good living during the hard times in the 1940s and 1950s. Two service stations, a general store, a butcher shop, taverns, a feed store, a farm produce store, a hardware store, a bank, and a post office served the townspeople and the surrounding farm communities, which included the small dairy farm where Gordon was raised by his parents and his two older sisters.
Even though Nancy was a “town kid” and Gordon was a “farm kid,” their collaboration on a book about harvesting grain in 1950 is part of a natural progression of their lives together. The farming in their blood surfaced early in their marriage, during Gordon’s first teaching job at Chokio-Alberta High School in western Minnesota. Because the area offered no jobs for Nancy, they decided to buy 160 aces where they could raise cattle, hogs, and grain. Because Gordon worked days and often stayed late after school directing plays, Nancy handled the chores during the week. She raised calves, fed cattle, and farrowed hogs, and she eagerly learned to manage a large garden, bake homemade bread, and drive a tractor so she could help with the fieldwork. This farm experience reconnected both of them to their shared rural roots and even today gives them a common inspiration as they produce books about farm heritage.
After Gordon retired from teaching, he wrote a children’s book in the fashion of The Night before Christmas. He called the book County Road Christmas Eve and patterned it after his boyhood experience of waiting for Santa to visit his family’s small farmhouse as the entire family did chores after supper on Christmas Eve in 1950. Unable to get a publisher for the story, he and Nancy borrowed money to buy a small printer, and in the year 2000 they started printing and binding the books at home. Gordon performed the story at elementary schools and at farm shows, and they offered the books for sale afterward. Because the story was well received, he wrote a total of nine more books that Nancy printed and bound at home. They shared the goal of preserving farm heritage in the books for generations to come, but they realized the need for a more polished product. In 2007 they contacted Beaver’s Pond Press, a Minnesota publisher that agreed to publish the books as Gordon rewrote them and commissioned new illustrations.
In 2008 Beaver’s Pond Press published A Farm Country Christmas Eve, a new edition of County Road Christmas Eve with improved rhyme, meter, and illustrations. Beaver’s Pond Press has published a total of ten of Gordon’s books, including five in the Farm Country Tales series, three in the If I were a Farmer series, and two other books which are not part of a series. Farm Country Moments: Poems, Pictures, and Memories is the first collection of Gordon's farm poetry published by Beaver's Pond Press, and What I Saw On The Farm is an illustrated book for children. All of the books are inspired by actual events from Gordon and Nancy’s farming experiences.
A Farm Country Haying, by Gordon W. Fredrickson and Nancy A. Fredrickson, is the seventh book in the Farm Country Tales series and the fourth, along with A Farm Country Harvest, A Farm Country Silo Filling, and Farm Country Moments: Poems, Pictures, and Memories, to include photographs taken or collected by Nancy in an effort to give the story historical perspective and engage the reader in a more universal experience of farm heritage. Future plans encompass a total of five chapter books about the Carlson family during the year 1950, with each chapter telling a story about specific farm activities. The series of five books will examine the personal challenges that the family faces throughout the entire year. Gordon remarks, "What would we know of the specific challenges faced by the pioneer farmers in the 1870s if it weren't for the wonderful books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder?" Likewise, he hopes his series will preserve the personal farm heritage of the small farmers and townspeople in 1950.