cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Friend

The Key To Happiness: Satisfaction in what you have! Concerned Family Farmer ** A MUST READ**

Where are we headed in the rural community? I am very concerned, and bordering on angry.  I am a fifth generation farmer, farming 750 acres in Shelby and Logan Counties ( Ohio).  During the past fifteen years I have witness social upheaval in the rural community rising at an astonishing rate.

 

There seems to be no morality or family values.  Greed, the almighty dollar, and lust for "all" the neighbor has, can be seen everywhere.  When I was a boy, neighoring farmers helped one another get things done.  I witnessed over 25 combines harvest in one field when a neighbor was injured and unable to complete his harvest.  Now all I hear is farmers chattering about one another at the local coffee shops.  I see neighbors pass each other on the road, where once existed a friendly smile and wave, now is disgust and a nose in air.

 

I'm not sure where the policy to go out door to door every year and try to get your neighbors farmland started?  I hear of local operators offering cash rent of $300-$500, yet the number is irrelevant.  The number will always end up being whatever it needs to be to secure the land. LANDOWNERS BEWARE!  Cash rent values have escalated in the last five years, but how fast will they com back down?  The farmers paying these high rents will be the first to come crying when the bottom line doesn't support the rent money they promised. 

 

Many smaller family farmers have hung it up because realistically they know they can't pay these exorbitant rents and make a living.  I have heard of families haveing "votes" after the head of the household died to decide who will farm the family land.  Problem is a grandson was farming the land for several years and was ousted by family members "voting" to accept the bid of an "obituary watching volture"! 

 

Some will read this letter and cry that competition is healthy and the AMERICAN way. YEAH RIGHT. That is why the moral decay of this country has become epidemic! Competition NO, Greed Yes!  How much is enough? How many acres does one need?  When will you be satisfied?

 

The livestock industry is a foretast of what production ag is to become.  Large factory type operations with little concern about the land they are in care of.  Less and less farmers doing more and more might be efficient, but what of all those left in ruin, without the only job they've known?

 

I have talked to landowners that currently rent to these "high paying" operators.  They state that these operators say they aren't trying to drive their neighbor out of business: they are just trying to justify their equipment costs. (Less cost per acre over more acres.) How about this?  Don't buy or lease brand new equipment every other year and then you don't need more land to justify your equipment costs!  I farm my 750 acres with equipment that is paid in full.  The newest piece of equipment I have is ten years old, yet I am always done in a timely manner.  These large operators could also be.  There is plenty of good used "big" equipment available that could get the job done, and keep their bottom line down!!

 

Their cry for a new farm bill is also a joke.  Once again who is being catered to here?  The large operators!  Farming is a very risky business, but no one forces us to make this our occupation.  There is risk in EVERY job field available.  Last time I checked there was no "safety net" for the auto laborer when his job is shipped to Mexico.  Direct payments and crop insurance subsidies have done nothing but skew the playing field to the side of large operators.  Where do you think these skyrocketing cash rents come from?  This is the profit many large operators have to leverage over small operators.  Farm income has been at record levels for almost six years, yet we farmers are given a direct payment ( essentially welfare) on top of the record incomes and we feel that the government should subsidize our crop insurance payments ( of which they already pay approx. 75%) as well at greater levels!  Who subsidizes the common laborers insurance costs?  IF you can't take teh risk of farming, GET OUT!  Get rid of the safety net and we will see who is who!  MIght get back to the small family farms who cared about their neighbor and valued what country living is all about?

 

I am very blessed to have the best landlords to farm for.  Some are family, some are not, yet the commonality they share is a respect for their fellow man.  I am 100% positive they could rent their ground for more money, ( I should know, they are offered it every year). Yet they put their trust in me.  I treat them fairly and that is all that is expected.  I care for every single acre as if it is the ground I own.  I am satisfied with the acreage I currently have, it's plenty to care for my family.  I have never ( Nor will I ever) contacted a single landowner about bidding a farm away from a fellow farmer.  How many of you high rollers can honestly say that? Honestly?

 

Sincerely and respectfully submitted by a concerned FAMILY FARMER.

 

Aaron Lenhart

 

6 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: The Key To Happiness: Satisfaction in what you have! Concerned Family Farmer ** A MUST READ**

My situation is very similar, except that I am the owner. Retired and 88 years young. I see the community declining also. The lust  for more land is overwhelming. My land is rented to my daughter and son-in law. He is looked down on because he cannot afford new machinery. He is on the school board. And my wife and myself get to know our grandchildren.

Yes, I could get more from a big time operator but what good would that be. I can't take it with me. An honest reputation and taking care of your family and duty to the community is more important than another dollar

Honored Advisor

Re: The Key To Happiness: Satisfaction in what you have! Concerned Family Farmer ** A MUST READ**

Well, I hear ya, but if you want to date the hot cheerleader you`ve got to have swagger.  Everyone thinks that "the other guy" is the problem, I`ve even listened to those that I consider BTO`s cry in their soup about how difficult it is to rent land.  It isn`t just farming that has had a moral drain, everything has been "Walmartized".   We can only row our own boats and usually things work out in the end.  Good Luck.

0 Kudos
Frequent Contributor

Re: The Key To Happiness: Satisfaction in what you have! Concerned Family Farmer ** A MUST READ**

Yes, things are much different in small towns now compared to when we were growing up in those communities. But, at least where I live and farm if has maintained a modicum of decency. Neighbors still wave and friends still help someone dealing with tragedy. In many ways there has not been that great a change. However, in the less rural areas I feel we can find the greatest societal change. Just look at any urban area and we find great personal indifferance clearly displayed. As I see it, the cause of our problems is that we now live in a society that has lost its faith, values and beliefs.

0 Kudos
Senior Advisor

Re: The Key To Happiness: Satisfaction in what you have! Concerned Family Farmer ** A MUST READ**

Quantity is no substitute for quality. I want only enough land & livestock that I can take care of by myself. With the exception of harvest, the day I need to hire help to get over all my land is the day I ask myself a serious question. There is great gratitude in farming your own paid for land using your own paid for equipment. I am a puppet to no one, if my banker calls me, I don't need to screen the call.
0 Kudos
Senior Contributor

Re: The Key To Happiness: Satisfaction in what you have! Concerned Family Farmer ** A MUST READ**

Shaggy98. I like your what you say about not being a puppet to any one

0 Kudos
Senior Advisor

Re: The Key To Happiness: Satisfaction in what you have! Concerned Family Farmer ** A MUST READ**

Feels kind of awkward saying this but thanks Old Man.Smiley Very Happy

0 Kudos