All over America, grown men are crying – okay, maybe just on the inside – as they put on a brave face and talk about next year being better. But make no mistake: Their hearts are breaking.
I hope North Dakota is not a leading indicator, because here, farmers are throwing up their hands like they were on Chopped and saying, “I’m done. I want to get out while I still have at least some of my land.”
In the ’80s, farm sales were the result of foreclosures, hard-fought battles with the banks, and Farm Credit. Today, farmers are looking at the writing on the wall (futures market), the massive bills in their hands, and the expressions on their lenders faces, and saying enough is enough.
Farming dreams are being auctioned off.
There are more than 80 farm auctions in North Dakota this month, one farmer told me. More to come.
Massive operations of 10, 20, and 40,000 acres are folding like a house of cards, and everyone else wonders how they managed to hold on as long as they have.
Farmers love to farm. Farmers love their farms. Today, farmers are being forced to give up farming to save their farms.
That’s a tragedy for us all.
Looking for a way to help your local farmer?
The mission of Farm Rescue is to help family farms and ranches bridge crises so they have an opportunity to continue viable operations. Farm Rescue provides planting, haying, harvesting, and livestock feeding assistance to farm and ranch families that have experienced a major injury, illness, or natural disaster. They have assisted nearly 600 farm and ranch families since their inception in 2005.