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Senior Contributor

Where I'm coming from on gov programs

I'm gonna tell you my typical day from June 85' to Jan 93'. This is why I deplore government welfare.( I couldn't even get interest help in the 80's maybe thats why I don't like USDA.)

11PM to 7AM work at factory or I was also gas station attendent for about 6 months

8AM to 5PM farm work

5PM to 10PM sleep

repeat  for almost a decade

 

I'm not looking for a pat on the back, I'm sure I will get ridiculed more than anything else, but thats fine. Thats what i did to climb out of the hole I dug all by myself. I really find it disheartening that we justify all these handouts. I think that many farmers who truly love the land and the way of life would do the same and probably some have. I think a farmer is a man who is self reliant and prides himself on individuality. I think a" PAWN" is someone who justifys taking other peoples hard earned money and waits for Willie Nelson to give them a nice free concert. .  Take your shots guys I know there coming, this is truly not an attack, just a period of my life I wished to share.

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60 Replies
Frequent Contributor

Re: Where I'm coming from on gov programs

Know where you are coming from cowfarmer.  I worked public work for 20 years while raising grain, hay, tobacco and beef cattle.  Had farmed full time for 10 years and then went through the 1983 drought.  That really set me back financially.  It was either me or the wife get a job so I decided it was better for me to work 2 full time jobs than for her to go to public work.  She helped out on the farm a lot so don't think she did not contribute. 

 

Retired now and just grain farming.  Kind of like being on vacation compared to years ago.  Only problem now is the years and long hours have caught up with me.  

 

 

 

 

 

   

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Where I'm coming from on gov programs

That is the way a person used to start farming in the past unless you inherited a farm or were able work with a parent to get you going.

I started with working out in the winter.

Construction jobs were plentiful in this area in the 60ies and 70ies and paid well.

I was once told by workers when I started on one job building a water pipeline for London that they knew fall work was getting wrapped up when the company laid off a number of workers a couple weeks before.

Said they did that every year and then hire you farmers to work through the winter.

With more livestock and children in the house I quit that and became a house husband part time so my wife could work part time at a profession she enjoyed.

Still took off farm income to build enough equity since we did not have any rich uncles 'dieing to help us'.

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Where I'm coming from on gov programs

I deserved the punishment my hard times in the 80's came from buying too much equipment. Hogs hurt me too. Started farming full time in 77' those were good years to start, but I spent too much then Carter did the trade embargo then heavy interest and i found myself having to get outside job just to buy hay for cows. God that was a bad time, but got through it I was determined not to flush the whole thing. Then I slowly came out of it, and I'm proud to say I didnt have any debt forgiven everything was paid in full, will say my banker really stayed patient with me and saw that I was trying hard to get out of debt, not sure banks now would be so helpful. Wonder if the 80's happened again what these banks would do, every opertaing line anymore is huge.

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Senior Advisor

Re: Where I'm coming from on gov programs

Congratulations for doing what was right. It was a tough time in the 80's and I think it was a powerful lesson for all of us

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Advisor

Re: Where I'm coming from on gov programs

Mike pulled a shift on the railroad for 23 years, before he could take a step into fulltime farming.  In that period, i taught school some, stayed home with the three babies, ran equipment when they got big enough to stay with the grands,  and then eventually ran our farrow-to-finish and hauled my tops to Smithfield. 

He was on a train at least eight hours a day all that time, unless he was laid off due to downturns in the general economy.  If you ever want a decent indicator fof which way the nation is going, watch the trains...they slow down and speed up shipping in general right ahead of the rest of the system. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Where I'm coming from on gov programs

"I think a farmer is a man who is self reliant and prides himself on individuality. I think a" PAWN" is someone who justifys taking other peoples hard earned money"

 

You are living in the past.  Farmers in this day and age are not mountain men who went out and trapped beaver till they were all gone.  They are not welfare queens who hang on the government teat.  Farmers these days are part of society.  They contribute to and participate in society.  Modern farmers almost invariably find some debt a reasonable and proper way to grow their farm. They understand that the government has decided that an economic benefit for farmer participation in farm programs is in the national interest.  To choose whether or not to participate in government programs is up to the individual.

 

It may make a person somewhat more independent in the near term to opt out of government programs (recent EPA actions may mean we participate by force in the future) but in the long term it puts that person at an economic disadvantage.  If I played and won the Powerball, I'd likely get out of all farm programs because I don't want the government telling me waht to do, but as long as the reward is worth it, I'll participate in some programs as will nearly every neighbor I know.

 

It is not knock on a farmer to participate in a government farm program and many would say it makes so much sense that it shows foolishness to avoid it.  It is the world we live in, not the frontier and not the Brave New World (yet).

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Senior Contributor

Re: Where I'm coming from on gov programs Good points Jim

Jim found your points well said. I just disagree that government payments are and will be the wave of the "new farmer." This morning while feeding I heard on the radio the nations deficit is 1.5 trillion this year alone. This whole welfare thing is bleeding this country, and I think we as farmers need to get away from them, either by spending less or finding off farm income. As far as 'being part of society, most of this society doesn't receive gauranteed goverrnment subsidy for doing their job. We do, plant your crop, report it, receive check.  Factory workers, mechanics, construction workers, accountants, etc. Receive no gov. money for punching the clock 60 hours a week. And they give a valuable service too.

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Contributor

Re: Where I'm coming from on gov programs

It will be interesting to see how things play out.

 

The Government likes to manage everything.  This takes money.  If they've damaged the economy enough to the point that they can't tax or inflate their way out of the hole they've dug...  Its gonna get bumpy.

 

Yeah, you're part of society.  What that means, and whether you like it are debatable.

 

Personally, when I hear someone mention "society" the BS radar goes on full alert.

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Senior Advisor

Re: Where I'm coming from on gov programs Good points Jim

Agreed but when those folks need unemployment benefits we farmers should be supporters of that action. I think it is tragic the millions of folks out of work. For the most part, it is not a fault of their own.. Imagine being unemployed and the bills keep streaming in. It's tough enough keeping up if you have a decent job as many folks haven't had a raise in years.

 

While you consider the current deficits, please think about revenues being cut by a third in the last couple of years. Unemployed people not paying taxes and drawing benefits. I think farmers are somewhat immune to thos crisis and we really don't have a feel for it like the townies that are out of work.

 

I don't recognize the government control that supposedly is a burden on farmers. I beleive that I have the freedom to crop as I choose with the exception of controlled substances. I do not think that the USDA of FSA is posing onerous restriction on farmers. At least not this farmer.

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