Friday, August 6, 2010

A Friday farm story

If you aren't interested in our government and what they can do to a thriving, fertile farm or in farms period, then you may just want to skip this post!

The photo below is of a piece of land that my father once owned.  It is now overgrown with brush and trees, but when my father owned the farm it was a fertile field where corn was planted or maybe soybeans.  This is what has happened to a lot of farms that the government got their hands on in this area.

This photo is taken from a parking lot where people who want to hunt can park.  There are two fields in this area of the farm, one on each side of the highway, they both look much the same now...overgrown with trees, growing right up to the highway.

My father sold his 550 acre farm when he reached retirement age to a family from out of state.  They had a government loan (not sure what it was called then) to buy it and began building more grain bins and doing things that were too expensive right from the beginning and without a lot of farm knowledge (at least for this area).  It soon became apparent that they might lose the farm.  And sure enough, when they couldn't make their payments,  they were foreclosed on.  The farm, at least a good part of it, was turned over to the Conservation Dept.  They let the land lay idle and trees and brush take over and this supposedly makes for good hunting.  (I've seen the trees so thick that I doubt a very big deer could run through it, but that is just my disgruntled opinion.)   A couple did get to buy part of the farm, after much legal hassle ensued, and still lives there today.  The part that the Conservation Dept. has taken over is still growing trees and brush. 

The photo below is what the fields used to look like when they were planted in soybeans.  The photo really doesn't do justice to the depth or length of the field, but you get the idea of what it looked like before.   We had wooded areas too, some with a creek running through. 

I never have understood why the government will take a good farm and just let it lay idle.  This was a wonderful farm that raised a lot of crops and livestock.  It hasn't made a dime for the government just laying idle like this.  What a waste!

And, yes, it makes me a bit angry to think of the waste...the money that could have been made from the land now overgrown, the food that could have been raised to feed hungry people.  I really think sometimes that the people in Washington just don't have a clue.

I am so glad the couple that fought hard to buy part of the farm got to do so.  I have many special memories of growing up on that farm that I'll be sharing here in my blog from time to time.

One of those memories is of my years in a one room school house.  That school house was on a few acres just next to our family's farm, so I didn't have far to go.  I'll be sharing those memories soon.

Until next time...


  1. I understand your frustrations.
    What the farm used to grow we are no doubt buying from a foreign country now.
    My grandparents had a farm in Missouri around Tuscumbia, I went there every week end with my folks.

  2. Another, in a long, long line of examples, of how distant government doesn't have a clue.

    They leave decisions to desk/chair jockies, who know nothing of the true conditions out there, where their decisions resonate.

    There's only one comment for this. But I don't think you like 4 letter words in your comments.


  3. This post brought tears to my eyes. The waste and bad decisions are so prevalent. This is a perfect example. I'm glad you at least have those wonderful memories. I'm looking forward to reading about your years in the one room school house. I've always envied those who experienced such a life.


  4. I don't get it either - I live in potato country, and there are so many fields that are sold and just lay idle, for no apparent reason. Or they are sold to a developer who puts in huge homes - that are mostly foreclosed on! I don't think most politicians would know a potato from a hole in the ground!

    What scares me even more is - who is growing our food? Where are we getting our produce and meat? To be honest with you, it scares the daylights out of me! I would love to be self-sufficient just for that reason, and believe me, I am working on it!

    I had the opportunity to buy my grandfather's farm once, and didn't do it - I kick myself for that one everyday!


  5. I have often thought that the life of the farmer is one of the most difficult in our country. Government subsidies and government intervention have just about destroyed the small farmer.


  6. I have to be honest and say that I am a city girl; born and raised in the suburbs. I have never spent one night on a farm of any kind. I have never planted a seed myself that has ever produced one bite of any food I have ever eaten (we have a garden, but hubs takes care of it). AND, in SPITE of all this, even I can see the folly of reducing our family farms by squeezing them out and replacing them with mega-company-owned farms, or flat out leaving good farmland that once produced our food lie in waste.

    You hit the nail on the head about "people in Washington just don't have a clue." One of this city girl's pet peeves, because it's not just farms and food source they don't understand. Out of touch, out of line, and out on a limb somewhere.

    I'm off the soap box now! Thanks for visiting my blog!

  7. Cheryl this is a beautiful post. I can hear and feel the sadness in your typed words. I see all around us the farmers being forced to not farm or being told what to not grow and having to leave the farm to do other work to make ends meet. I hate seeing farms that have been in families for years that get bought by developers and chopped up into quarter acre lots. I fear someday there will be no more beautiful Missouri farmland with the huge round bales of hay, cows and horses munching in the fields that I love to photograph. All I have to do when I'm feeling anxious or sad is drive the roads around us and look at all the farmland and I instantly feel a sense of peace. And a tractor out in the field makes me smile. I will be looking forward to the memories you have for us to read :)

  8. Thanks for all the kind comments on this post. I agree that there is a sense of peace to be had from driving through the rural area and seeing the farmland, "the waves of grain", seeing a herd of cattle standing together under the shade of a tree, the farmer on his tractor planting crops, big hay bales dotting the landscape, and I am fearful that someday in the not too distant future that all this will be gone. More and more, even in our neck of the woods, I see farm land being divided up into lots and houses going up. I don't know what the answers are, but it is a concern. And as said before, the suits in Washington don't have a clue or I'm beginning to As long as they are pleasing their special interest groups for the votes so they can stay in office.....grrr. I better quit you can see, this really saddens me. Again, thanks for your comments everyone. ~Cheryl

  9. There are many things that government does that make little or no sense. This is another on that list. It is always disheartening to see what your family once owned lost to something so different from what you knew. Looking forward to hearing about your days in a one-room schoolhouse!