Author of farm boy: growing up progressive in rural america


The story of a farm family


Farm Boy: Growing up Progressive in Rural America

US$ 18.00
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Dan's memoir of growing up on a family farm with roots going back to homesteaders.  This book makes you feel part of farm chores that become adventures laced with humor.   Dan grew up in a remarkable family you will get to know and love when you read this book.

Read what other readers have said


Here is what the President of the National Farmers Union had to say:


"Thanks for the letter and great book you sent to me earlier. I just had a chance to read it and found it a delightful read. While I am 10 years your junior I found your description of your life and times growing up on the plains of northeastern Montana brought me back over and over again to my experiences with plains living, farming and Farmers Union in west central North Dakota. I, as you, am so proud of the work our forebearers did in building cooperatives and bringing modern services to rural America. 

Your stories of the first crocuses, the miracle of birth, the wide open prairie and family and friends are precious. Your observations about being able to disagree without being disagreeable are so true, then as now. Your pride in your family, your community and those accomplishments shines through your words. Great book, thanks for sharing it with me!"

Roger Johnson, President, National Farmers Union


Dan,  That was one hell of a memoir.   I read it just about non-stop and it held my interest throughout.  The well done summary of the book's contents on the back cover hits the main themes and I hope you have the readership that you deserve.  Far from me to comment on "style", but I can't help noting that your memoir has the virtue (all too rare these days) of being written in clear, direct English prose.  Your meaning is never in doubt.  Was there a "class wit" when you graduated either from high school or college?  If so, I can easily see you in that role - your witticisms abounded !  Norm Sepenuk 

I really enjoyed your book.   Thank you!  Your words and stories spoke to me about kindness, tolerance and humanity.  Judge Judith Matar

Takes me back to my own family farm. Thank you. Such a pleasure to read.   Barbara Davis Kroon, Poet.  

My father died when I was 3 and my brother and I went to live with our grandparents on their homesteaded farm in North Dakota.  German immigrants.  I could relate so well to many of your stories.  "Farm Boy" is truly a love letter to your parents and your family.  Well done!!! Tony Auer

Below is the link to a really enjoyable memoir I am reading by Dan Skerritt [at Tonkon Torp] about how growing up in rural Montana farm made him a progressive.  Very easy read, lot of subtle humor, and bygone era few remember about how immigrants made our country.  No electricity, no phones until he was 6 or 7, went to two room elementary school.  I strongly recommend it.  N. Robert Stoll

Oh my goodness, what a wonderful narrative of a life simultaneous to, yet so different from mine....I learned much and am delighted.  Joanne Sandhu

Thank you so much for your book.  It arrived mere days before my parents came for a week-long visit.  My mom read  it in one sitting.  We all enjoyed it very much.  Julie Engbloom

 My sister Patty discovered your book, and sent me a copy.  Just finished it and really enjoyed it.  Hope you keep writing-you're a good story teller.  Ron Murphy 


Love your book. There is so much that is exactly the same as the way I grew up in Iowa, including MYF, Homemakers Club and more.. ... What a delightful collection of memories.  Joy Anderson

Hi. Just had to let you know how much I enjoyed your book—it was so delightful!! Had to read it all before the sun went down.  Ellen Linder

Thank you so much for your book. I enjoyed it so much. Excited to give a copy as a gift at Christmas. Susan Panek

Thank you so much for the amazing book that brought Scobey back to life in my memory…I loved your stories. Carol Erbe

Finished your book last night; good memories of your parents; they were real warriors for rural areas. I know my parents thought so highly of them.  Rev. Patricia Callaghan

I received the copy of your book this week and have already started reading it. I’m enjoying it and find it very interesting . 

Caroline Schell

Thank you so much for your book.  It was very enjoyable!  It brought back a lot of memories.  They were all part of that “Greatest Generation.”  So similar to my grandparents on both sides.  Jill Farver  

About Us


Dan Skerritt is a trial attorney in Portland, Oregon. In this charming memoir, Dan recounts his boyhood years growing up on a farm with roots going back to grandparents who immigrated from Ireland to northeastern Montana. It begins when Dan’s father steps down the gangplank of the RMS Cameronia onto Ellis Island as a six-year old. Dan carries forward his father’s adventure as one of five children raised by remarkable parents on a family farm. Here, everyday farm chores of egg-picking, branding, raising cattle, driving tractor and battling Montana blizzards turn into unexpected adventures laced with humor. The family’s role in the historic struggle by farmers against monopoly powers to bring electricity and telephones to rural America molded Dan into a progressive even as he grew up in a conservative corner of the country.


Follow the adventures of the egg-picker turned bomber-pilot


Twins: the special relationship between Danny and Donna

This memoir makes you feel as if you are part of the action.  Treat your self to a delightful read.


The Farmers Union

In FARM BOY, I write about the Farmers Union.  It was a huge part of our lives.  The National Farmers Union (NFU) and state and local chapters such as ours in Madoc, Montana,  were the driving force in the battle to electrify rural America and to bring telephone service to the farm.  I was delighted that Roger Johnson, President of the National Farmers Union, took time to write his wonderful testimonial about FARM BOY.  The NFU remains a vital voice for America's farmers.

Another Poem

Grrrr or Purr

Were I a dog, I'd say grrrr

Or a cat, then I'd purr

As a bird, you'd hear chirp

From a sot, a hic or a burp

My thoughts go this and that way

But I'll always have something to say

Poem for the day

Reading Glasses

Hearing songs before they're sung

Watching birds already flown

Learning thoughts yet unkown

Tasting air upon my tongue

Just silly me, I suppose,

Seeking glasses on my nose

I sometimes think farm children put themselves in the mind of animals more than typical kids.  Once you anthropomorphize , it's a tough habit to break.  So my mind wandered as I found myself in a room at the hospital waiting for a family member (all is okay). Here's the upshot of my musings:


A couple, black wings catch my eye.

Crows, I think at first.

No.  Too large.  Must be Ravens.

I've heard they are the smartest bird.

Do they see me and think, Swede?

No.  Too short.  Must be Irish.