Scattered Corn with hoe SHSND# D0566The irony of giving members of these tribes a prize for corn or squash appears to have been lost on the agents and the 1911 employees of SHSND which sponsored the prizes. The 1911 report (possibly written by James Holding Eagle, son of Scattered Corn) noted that many visitors “told us they were surprised that we could get up such a good collection of such a great variety of things.”
Fairs have a long tradition in North Dakota. They allowed gardeners to display the fruits of their labors, to receive prizes for the finest produce, and to exchange information about cultivation and varieties with other gardeners. The fairs were partners with the NDAC and with seed developers such as Oscar H. Will in finding the best varieties of vegetables that would grow in an unpredictable, but often cold and dry climate. They also proved to people too timid to live here that vegetables could grow, and that families could prosper, on the northern Great Plains.