Since old lore tells us that Lund was built in an alfalfa field, hay will be considered first. Although Effie Read's history states that the alfalfa land for the townsite was cleared with hand scythes, most histories, including Thomas Judd's diary, record that there was machinery on the ranches when the Mormon settlers arrived. That both the Lund and Preston settlers began freighting baled hay immediately after they arrived establishes the fact that there were balers so it is probable that there were also mowers and rakes. In any event horse drawn mowers and rakes were generally used in the first years and hand scythes were used only on small jobs or for cleaning ditch banks.
Lafayette Carter said, "The hay grew and produced well, often with only one watering so the water was used alternately on plots of ground. The hay was cut with a mower pulled by a team, then raked with a dump rake, but it had to be piled by hand. After drying for a few days it was turned over by a man with a pitchfork to dry on the other side." Sudden cloudbursts, fairly common to this area during the regular haying season, were especially unwelcome at this stage while the hay was down. When it had dried sufficiently a wide rack on a wagon was used to take the hay from the field to the stackyard. The wagon was driven between two rows of hay piles with a man on each side to pitch them onto the wagon. Another man on the wagon distributed the hay to make a compact, even load. The piles were heavy and a day of steady pitching onto the wagon was no small accomplishment. Just as certain ethnic groups use games of strength and skill in outdoor activities connected with their work, so certain kinds of work were tests of strength and skill to the early settlers and lent variety and interest to their otherwise hard life. So with pitching hay there was much friendly competition and certain workers had their supporters. It was generally conceded that a young man who could pitch along with Garr Ashby all day had proved his mettle.
When the hay was brought to the stackyard a derrick was usually used to stack the hay. The earliest was a crane or harpoon derrick which was light enough to pull from one place to another on the four poles that formed the base. One pole was braced to stand upright with a movable arm attached at the top. At the end of this a rope fastened to a pronged hayfork or harpoon and run through a pulley could pick up a sizable forkful of hay. A horse hitched to the other end of the rope, sometimes ridden or led by one of the younger members of the work crew but often trained to start and stop on command, would pull the forkful of hay as high as the stack. Then a man on the wagon would pull another rope to position the forkload over the stack and trip the fork to drop the load. A man on the stack would place the hay to the best advantage to make the stack solid and compact with a rounded top to better shed water. The net-carrier derricks were larger made of two poles about the size of power poles joined at the top by a shorter piece. The net to lift the hay covered the rack of the wagon and the hay was pitched directly onto it. The derrick pulled the two ends of the net together by means of pulleys, lifted the whole load at one time and dumped it onto the stack. Sometimes, for an extra large load, two nets were used and the hay stacked on the wagon in layers. Large cables anchored the derrick to the ground on both sides with slack to allow enough sway to put the hay where the men wanted it on the stack. In the early years three crops were usual and haying lasted through the summer and early fall.
The hay fed to the livestock was forked directly from the stack (a row of stanchions facing directly into the stackyard was the usual arrangement) or hauled on wagons to the feedlot. If it were sold baling was a separate process. Lafayette Carter said this, "The loose hay was fed by hand into a square box with sloping sides, one or two pitchforks full at a time. Then with a horsepower mechanism the hay was compressed, tied with baling wire into oblong blocks weighing from eighty to one hundred pounds. Jack Horsley, Joe Vance, Henry Gubler, David Gardner and possibly others owned balers."
Eventually tractors replaced horses and hayloaders pulled behind the wagons took over some of the work of men with pitchforks. Balers that moved up and down the rows leaving the hay ready for hauling were the next innovation and long stacks of baled hay have replaced the rounded stacks of the past. Today elaborate machines for baling, loading, hauling, stacking, etc. have increased the proficiency of the farmer immeasurably and, incidentally, increased the cost of operating a small farm enormously, but alfalfa hay is still the major field crop in White River Valley.