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Jul 26, 2018

Trade, not Aid

My husband and I are young farmers. We are 4th generations on a 1st generation budget. We've purchased our farm, our equipment and we work together trading labor for bin space to help my father in law and grandmother in law get their crops in as well. It's not your average farm set-up, we all work off the farm and that's how we roll. That is our story.
We would love to grow. We'd love more than anything to farm full-time. However, with the prices of land, the lowering grain prices, the influx of inputs and the rightful competition, it's been a struggle. We have a calling and we will do what we can to make sure nothing gets in the way of that.

We want a market for our grain and those markets don't show up over night. We don't expect them to. The agriculture industry has worked for many years on having options and markets for our products. We can can do a better job of educating the public on what we do and what we grow. We are getting there. This requires many of us leaving the farm to work hand and hand with many organizations and constituents. Farmers can no longer stay on the farm and expect things to continue. We must also suit up and show up.

There's a huge political elephant in the room and like usual, people have their opinions and of course they are entitled to them.

Although the offer is appreciated, I am here to tell you that this farm does not want a government bail out. We don't want a temporary band-aid that will help line our pockets short-term. We want a long-term plan of fair trade and open markets for our grain and an honest living. We want to generate an income because people use and want our products. We want to provide top notch, valuable, safe, sustainable commodities that are well sought after. Farming is a very unique business complete with unique trials and struggles but there are also other industries out there who work just as hard and struggle just as much.

The air is thick right now and it will continue to get thicker as we wait all of this out. In the meantime, it's important for you to share you story, regardless of where you stand. You have a voice. Use it, but be kind when you do.

The American Dream is a wonderful thing, but it's not handed out. It's a continual fight and it doesn't or shouldn't come easy.

For now, I will stay off Ag Twitter, Ag Talk and listen to some Frank Sinatra because, sanity. And people are mean.

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