The Iman's Woodside Stock Farm is a combination
of the old and the new. Four generations of Iman men have lived and worked
there. Five generations of Imans have called it their home. John Saul Iman
came to Montana in 1909, living in Butte and Missoula before coming to the
Bitter Root valley in 1911 and settling on a farm at Woodside. He was born
in Illinois in 1861 and died June 25, 1931. He is buried in the Riverview
cemetery in Hamilton.
Jack, third generation, and his son, J.R.,
fourth generation, are carrying on the family tradition of combining modern
technology with years of farming experience as they care for their 600 acre
spread and the commercial cow operation. In the winter, they feed quite a
few cattle. They keep a few of their own, but custom-feed cattle for others.
In years past, they had swine, but when the packing houses left Montana,
marketing became extremely difficult.
Over the years, they upgraded their equipment
and have tried a lot of different things. Now, most of the land is sprinkler
irrigated. There was a time when they used a lot of teams with horses
and a lot of men. Now they hire sprinkler changers to move the sprinklers,
but mostly have automatic sprinkling systems.
They are currently involved in a Bonneville Power
irrigation program. It is sponsored through the local R.E.A.. It is a scheduling
system for soil monitoring. There are test sights in the fields which provide
information to help you with your own irrigation scheduling. By measuring
subsoil moisture levels, you learn when to start your sprinklers. The program
helps conserve energy by NOT overwatering. It may prove economically advantageous
if enough people are involved in it.
The Imans are diversified. They raise small grains
and cattle, have hay, pasture, and sell a little timber. And, they raise
and sell dried flowers for a mail order business they have established. They
have an old CASE Wheat Binder that is in "brand new" condition and still
has the owner's manual in it. It reads: " 'B' Series Grain Binder, Left Hand
6,7,8 foot. With Repair Parts list." It is dated, its vintage year, 1915!
Hugh McKillop, a former Woodside area resident hat
it. He keeps really good care of his machinery. You can see the binder in
use in the late summer. It is then, after the wheat is headed out, and before
the heavy dew in the fall that they harvest with the binder the wheat for
wheat weaving which they sell all around the country.
Jack, the senior member of the group, says he is
committed to the fact that he was born in the Bitter Root and will probably
die here. He looks to his son, J.R., to carry on the family tradition. Young
Trevor follows closely in the steps of his great, great grandfather, John,
who came here at the turn of the century.
The Bitter Root Star
June 10, 1987