Jerry and Sarah Juven farm at the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and County Highway 82 some 6 miles southeast of Fergus Falls. Their rolling farmland lends itself to corn, alfalfa and lately, some substantial sentiment.
The Juvens have nothing against sentimental gestures but they received a big surprise when they found a lot of "love" written neatly into a field northwest of their farmyard.
It seems that a young man who works for them wanted to express his feelings on Saturday evening while he was running a farm ripper on some corn stubble.
Hunter Hanstad, a student at Ashby High School who just turned 15 this week, used the ripper to carve out "love" twice. He then sent the Juvens a text message explaining that he had done it for his two grandmothers.
If Juven's field does not look like his neighbors at this point it is partly his own doing.
"Hunter comes over and helps with the evening chores," Juven said. "We taught him to use the ripper."
Hunter's dad, Dustin, worked on the Juven farm for a long time and he would bring Hunter along. Then it was Hunter's turn. When COVID-19 entered the picture Hunter started showing up even more, since distance learning gave him more free time. He is at a point now where he can do almost anything on the farm.
Jerry has farmed for 31 years and he taught agriculture in Fergus Falls for 17 years before retiring. One of his students was Dustin Hanstad.
Like many teachers, Jerry has a soft spot in his heart for kids. Asked to describe Hunter his boss laughed, "He's a Hanstad. He has a very kind heart and he's not afraid to get dirty either."
Since "love" came to the Juven farm the couple has been receiving a fair amount of attention. Drones have been shooting pictures from the air.
"It was a total surprise to us but it's been very well received by passersby," Jerry said.