The image on the two-cent stamp of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition Issue was a real scene captured by camera in 1888 - ten years before the stamp was issued. Bureau officials considered it the most representative 'western' image of the series and had planned to use it on the two-dollar denomination. Members of the Congressional Postal Committee suggested that the image would have the greatest exposure (widest use and greatest printed quantity) on the two-cent stamp; and so the subjects of the two-cent and two-dollar stamps were reversed.
This image that is commonly called 'Farming in the West' shows sixty-one horses and their respective drivers. Evan Nybakken, the driver in the foreground with his left hand up as if to say hello, was actually grabbing his hat so that it would not blow away. When he died in 1934, his obituary cited the stamp as his major claim to fame.
A total of 159,720,800 stamps were printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for the 2-cent Western Farming stamp. It was the largest printing of any stamp in the Trans-Mississippi Issue because it paid the two-cent domestic first-class rate.