Land Sales: Another Farmer Goes Under

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  There's a land auction happening as this is being written. Not my land. Or my extended family's land. But land in my community. And whether people want to talk about it or not, this sale affects each member of the community. It's a reminder that our farms are in the balance. Another reminder that the farm economy is pushing in a direction that no one wants to go. It leaves us asking, "who will be next?" Or, "will I be in his shoes soon?" With rising costs of farming, we see farmers and ranchers being pushed to the limits. Those decisions last winter on what to plant, what equipment to fix, how much fertilizer to put down, or how to market my commodities, have a tendency to come back to bite as summer drags along and the rains still don't come or the commodity prices continue to drop. The "would-a, could-a, should-a's" set in and pretty soon guilt, regret and frustration sets in, too. How can we help each other to fight off the fears and depression that have a nasty way of setting in on days like today, as we wait to hear who will now be farming that piece of land that adjoins ours down the road? As community members, let's look for ways to provide hope and encouragement to neighbors and friends going through a difficult journey called "farming". Be deliberate to find ways to laugh together with them. Be a listening ear. Ask difficult questions but give them grace to answer or not answer. Go the extra mile to meet them for lunch or coffee or just to chat. At the very least, send a quick text to let them know you are thinking of them and care. We are in this together. Let's keep supporting each other as best we know how. They say roots run deep. Farming roots do, too. Not only deep but also tangled and intertwined in the lives of our neighbors and friends who's land bumps up against ours.

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