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How the man who makes those popular field drawings does it

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Edgeley, ND (WDAY TV) - Gene Hanson of rural Edgeley, North Dakota never imagined his shenanigans in his farm field would attract worldwide attention.

Gene got on his tractor following the death of Prince, and dug a design that captured the attention of fans and global news outlets but there is much more to the story.

On a perfect May day, time for a little Spring field work. And so Gene Hanson hopped on war torn Massey Ferguson 135.

With a 3-point disc trailing behind, Gene and his Massey head out.

Another day, another field, and one more design.

Now other farmers have made designs in their fields, often using GPS and auto steering, not Gene.

The longtime farmer and entrepreneur drives his fields with the design roughly attached to the hood of his tractor. That's it.

“The one on my hand, Feel the Bern, I  didn't have paper at the time , so I wrote it on my hand and went out into the field,” Gene.

“It all started after Prince died. It took just an hour.”

And it went viral.

“Prince is worldwide and I get calls from all over,” said Gene.

Then other designs followed – like Happy Mother's Day and a salute to Veterans.

Once he is done in the fields, Gene takes to the sky.

“I am always a little anxious to see after I put one on the field, what it is going to look like, because you can't tell from the ground,” said Gene.

‘Feel the Bern’ - the letters 24 feet across, 135 feet long, hand drawn and dug with only a rough design scratched out on paper.

Nearby, a message to his own party: GOP, get your act together. 

Gene's tractor steers a little to the right. It sure has been a ride, this toil in the soil, a little stressful. You mess up one letter, it's over.

“You want to set your disc down  at the right time, if you put it down at the wrong time, you mess up the whole thing,” said Gene.

More designs are yet to come. Being a political junkie, Gene says the next one, may ‘Trump’ all others. Kevin Wallevand WDAY 6 NEWS.>

That Prince symbol Gene dug into the farm field, measures as big as a football field.

Stay tuned for his next one.

Kevin Wallevand

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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