Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Good Prices, Uncertain Futures

While waiting for soybeans to unload the other day, I had a discussion with our dairy farmer friend. He had a satisfied look on his face when he commented on the current price of beans. "Almost makes you want to get more into crop farming," he said. We talked about the price of milk. Right now it's pretty good, though there have been times when I imagine he's had a hard time breaking even. He told me about how Michigan will be banning BST (a hormone additive) in January. "I never used it," he said, "but a lotta guys do. When they stop using it, their production will go down. And less milk means higher prices." Then he grinned.

You need to know that this man is not rich by any stretch of the imagination. You can see through his Ford pickup's fenders. His wife has worked for as far back as I can remember. I don't mind the idea of higher milk prices quite so much if it means hard working farmers like him will have a little to put away.

Then the discussion turned to the future. "I don't know what to think," he said, soberly. "Farmers so small like us are a dying breed." I agreed with him. He doesn't have any children who want to farm, and who can blame them? He gets up and begins his chores at about 7 a.m. and finishes his second milking a little after midnight. I know he catches a nap most evenings, but what a life!

2 comments:

  1. This makes me sad. The end of his way of life?......wow.

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  2. That's a shame, I guess Big Box doesn't only happen to small store owners. I think we as a country are headed for a major disaster in the infrastructure. Too many imports too many job exports not enough to keep anyone happy except the major corps and the credit card companies.

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