Post by strojanherefords on Apr 28, 2019 23:28:02 GMT -6
Only around 1/3 of family farms make it to the next generation. The estate tax, high land prices and low interest rates don't help but they are not the reasons why family farms fail and "corporate" farms fill the void. The problem is that making a family business work is hard and it takes a great deal of care to ensure that the next generation has a chance. Farm families are like the seeds that were sown in the parable of the sower. Like the seeds sown in the path, some family farms fail because the young people are encouraged to live an "easier" life off of the farm. For some family members getting their hands dirty is beneath them. Like the seeds that fell on the rocky ground, some family farms don't make it because the children don't develop the roots to make it on there own after the parents die and the are left to the whither in storms of life. Lastly like the seeds sown among the weeds, some family farms don't make it because some family members sabotage others.
The holidays are tough times for me because thorns came up and cost me my grandparents. The last time, I remember seeing my grandfather was Christmas time when I was 14 or 15. I had taken an interest in the cattle and for spring break me and my dad were going to the Graham School to learn how to preg check and AI. I remember sitting with my Grandpa, Dad and Uncle talking about the niceties of bovine reproduction before Christmas dinner. After that Christmas, my aunts, uncle and cousins coerced my grandparents into kicking us off of the ranch. So, my grandfather never got to see me check the cows and fix the fences on my own.
My story is not a unique one, most family farms have issues in their own unique way.
No I don’t think you’re unique Paul, none of my 4 sons have stayed on the land, it’s not because they didn’t necessarily not want to, there is not the money in it anymore. The money they make in servicing agriculture is far greater than the income the poor old farmer makes so I don’t blame them. As the saying goes Paul ‘ we buy everything retail and sell everything wholesale and pay the freight both ways’ Pretty hard to convince the next generation to follow in Dads footsteps.