For the last quarter century, Lewis Baumgartner of Millersburg has been entertaining audiences around the nation when he appears as "The World's Worst Farmer."
Baumgartner spins tales of his exploits after he bought a farm in 1979. It was a great year to buy a farm, he says, if you didn't want to farm very long.
Since 1987 Baumgartner has been the featured speaker as "The World's Worst Farmer" at more than 1,100 meetings and conventions across the United States and Canada.
Five years ago Baumgartner suffered a debilitating stroke and lost his ability to speak. But after a long and successful rehabilitation, he's hoping to return to the speaking circuit. This time in addition to entertaining his audience, he also has a lot to say about his experience in recovering from the stroke he suffered at age 59, even after he had earlier undergone six-way heart bypass surgery.
On Sunday at 6 p.m. Baumgartner will appear at the Richland Baptist Church just north of Fulton to discuss his experience as a humorist and his rehabilitation after the stroke.
With the assistance of Twitchell Productions, Baumgartner has produced a DVD with excerpts from his speeches before and after his stroke. The DVD also provides information about strokes, including the warning signs and what to do as soon as a stroke is detected.
Baumgartner said an Iowa farmer asked him what good farmland is selling for around his farm. "I don't know," came his reply, "the only black dirt we have around my farm is where we drained the oil out of the old tractor."