It’s not just the trade wars. It’s not just the weather. It’s not just gov’t red tape.

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by jame, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. jame

    jame I don't even know....what I'm doing here....

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    It’s everything.

    https://www.greenwichtime.com/news/...truggles-to-recover-after-rising-14822724.php

    Just as an added bit of information, the average consumer spend on food in this country is 4.8%. Grocery stores are typically stocked well with a wide variety of food.

    In other parts of the world, that spend can be up towards 50%, with a very limited selection and quantity.

    Dad and I quit last year. I’m glad we’re done.
     
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  2. Jonesee

    Jonesee

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    Do you own the land still? or were you leasing and able to walk away.


    The link was too depressing for me to finish reading. Truly sad... :crying:
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
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  3. PeterG

    PeterG

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    It’s also DEBT


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  4. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    He didn’t kill himself because of a surplus of grain, crushing debt, facing the loss of his farm. Those are just the reasons given by those that can’t understand what depression means.

    I am not making light of the challenges family farms face every day of their existence. I am just saying that isn’t why people kill themselves, especially people with family.
     
  5. jame

    jame I don't even know....what I'm doing here....

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    I appreciate the empathy, Jonesee.

    Yes, we still own 180 acres, and we just purchased another 60 about three years ago. It was a questionable purchase, but it surrounds Dads place and we’ve been farming it since 1961. The land currently owned is collecting enough income to make the payments. I’ve been farming part time with Dad since the early 80’s when a different president made a similar move, and markets went to hell, and my planned life went south. Otherwise, I’ve had multiple “town jobs” and Dad’s been holding down the fort. At any rate, I’m always a farmer first.

    Dad’s 84, and I’ll likely inherit pretty substantial debt, but that’s nothing new in this business.

    It’s a very different type of business that most can’t understand unless you’ve lived it. Asset rich and cash poor is pretty typical.
     
  6. First shot

    First shot

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    Bummer of a story for certain...I gotta think there was more going on inside that man than struggling with debt...I grew up knowing and working for many small time (20-30 milk cows on 150-300 acre family farms) in NW Pa... prime dairy country and the majority of farms had been in a family for years (paid off) and the only serious debt was buying and upgrading equipment...now that I look back 50+ years I realize that many of those farmers were just plain stuck in the old ways and refused to consider changing with the times... My late father in law was 4th generation on a dairy farm...absolutely would not even consider homogenization or pasteurization...”Been selling milk straight from the cow for a 100 years...ain’t a changing now”...dairy went belly up and he took a factory job at 48 years old...believe me, I know of plenty more and very similar..Point is, farming is a business and must be well managed like any business by someone with management skills... The mega-farms in the Midwest are a whole different ball game.. nonetheless, if you have a business that large, of any type, and you’re continually in the red, there’s something wrong besides just a trade war...just my thoughts...
     
  7. jame

    jame I don't even know....what I'm doing here....

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    Well, I guess I’ll say that it is all of those thing to a point, but one of the biggest contributors, by far, is loneliness.

    Losing a farm isn’t the same as losing a job. Culturally speaking, losing a farm can mean that you’ve failed to properly plan and manage, as well as the feeling failing as a husband, father, and in the eyes of a community and God.

    When that much pressure is brought to bear, farmers typically don’t have anyone to tap for counsel. Drug abuse and alcoholism are a couple of other typical components.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  8. Jonesee

    Jonesee

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    I'll likely inherit the family farm.
    In financial terms, all I will get is a tax bill and expenses. I will keep the land and keep it up as best as I can until I pass it to my sons.

    I can't see letting it leave the family. I'll do my duty then pass it on to the next generation.
     
  9. First shot

    First shot

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    Asset rich and cash poor... Bingo my farming friend...farming is a constant gamble from the weather to future prices...some good luck always helps, but experience from the past and the will to change gears and direction are priceless...breaks my heart to see many of the farms that were thriving in the 50’s & 60’s all rundown...everything must change whether we like it or not.. My dad had a big falling out with his father over buying a tractor and to quit farming with horses.. that was in the late 30’s...it’s a great life, but it can knock you right on down...
     
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  10. jame

    jame I don't even know....what I'm doing here....

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    Well, then you understand it.

    It doesn’t make much sense, does it? You spill blood, sweat, and tears in an effort to hold on to something that may be worth millions, yet returns only a few thousand dollars per year.

    That same land could be sold, and if the proceeds were properly invested, it might provide a comfortable annual stipend, yet we hold on. I wish I could explain why.....
     
  11. catman71

    catman71 Spewer of TROOF

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    I’m sure that’s a hard job. You do all the work and someone else sets the price.

    I have a buddy that quit “farming” to raise pheasants for game farms.

    he seems like he’s doing ok. That phone rings like a son of a gun

    is there any alternatives you might try?
     
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  12. Glockresistor

    Glockresistor

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    Why pass on the misery ? I just don't get it. I remember a farming show on tv a few years ago where a farmer worked like a dog sun up to sun down making next to nothing, having to have a small part fixed on a tractor by a welder took him 6 months to pay back and I think it was a 100 dollar fix. and people say it's about the life style, what life style? work yourself to death to keep some family dirt ?
     
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  13. Jonesee

    Jonesee

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    It's about family, heritage, knowing where you came from, knowing where your family is from.

    I left and made my way in business. I've been lucky enough to make a life that can support keeping the property. Others aren't so lucky.

    It's not in me to turn loose of it. I don't know what my sons will do, it will be their decision then, not mine.

    I live literally 1/2 way across the country from my parents. As my dad aged I started returning to help him out once a year to work on it, then twice, now its going to 3 times a year. A friend of mine returns home monthly for his parents. I admire him for that.

    Family, heritage, and legacy is all a man has.

    That may not make logical sense to some, but it is the only way I can explain it
     
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  14. jame

    jame I don't even know....what I'm doing here....

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    Good post.

    It’s all about that and scale tickets. It’s the most grueling of all annual reviews. They almost mean more than money. They are the one true measure of how good you really are.

    And I can’t say enough about legacy. Grandpa started in 1929 as the son of Norwegian immigrants. We hoped to make it 100 years, but came up short by 10. That hurts a little.
     
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  15. Rizzo

    Rizzo Garbage Day!

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    Interesting. I’m currently reading a book about a farm family in Kansas, and it said that farmers going under get no sympathy from farmers who aren’t, and are seen almost as outcasts.

    Any truth to this?
     
  16. FullClip

    FullClip Native Mainiac CLM

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    Lot of the family farms where I grew up have been sold out to big business. Was all potato farms in Aroostook County, and they had good and bad years, but managed to keep going. That all changed in the 80s and 90s for some reason. Very sad as the vast majority of them were very good people.
     
  17. PeterG

    PeterG

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    My grandfather bought our farm in 1928 and it got the family through the Depression, dad worked it till he went to war(WWII), uncle milked till early 70’s. I’m the only family still on it(50acres of the original 230). Now I hunt deer and sell timber, love the land and plan to leave it to my kids and make the 100 year mark.
     
  18. flyover

    flyover

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    I have not seen that so much as the larger operations tend to look down on the smaller operators like myself.

    If anything those still farming look at those going under and thinking, damn, I could be next.

    Side note: In my AO several months ago one of the local farmers/rancher/stockman committed suicide. He was terribly in debt and stood to loose everything. Now his family will loose everything. His family heritage was of a long time family operation. The pressure to succeed in some farm family operations can be overwhelming.
     
  19. jame

    jame I don't even know....what I'm doing here....

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    Absolutely.

    This business is brutal, and your neighbors will smile and help you through it, but by God, you’d best not fail.
     
  20. jame

    jame I don't even know....what I'm doing here....

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    While we didn’t actually financially fail, we did just get tired and quit.

    My Dad’s surviving brother and sister know we quit, but we’re keeping it relatively quiet in the family. We assured them all a few years ago that we would carry on to make it at least 100 years, but we didn’t make it. Mom is now in a nursing home under hospice care, and Dad, at 84, just can’t handle the pressure anymore. I just turned 60, but I still need a town job, and there just isn’t enough time in the week for me to get it all done. There will be some family members that won’t be happy with us.
     
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