INTERVIEW OF AN AMERICAN FARMER !
As some of you may know, I've been an exchange student in America. I met and talked with lots of people and it was beneficial to know about their lives. I had the chance to be hosted by an amazing family. They are natural and authentic people and getting to know them was the best way to discover America and its different aspects.
My host mother is a cooker in a restaurant (she makes the best pancakes ever) and my host father is a farmer ! He takes care of his own farm and he is the one that is going to answer my questions about farming in America !
Here we are ! So let's start with the beginning, since how long are you a farmer?
"I have been farming for 45 years. We milked cows until 2005 when we sold them because the milk price dropped really low. "
How are farms pass (in general), from generation to generation or by buying lands? How did you do?
"Most farms stay in the family until the younger generation doesn't want the farm, then it is sold at auction. A lot of small farmers have had to sell out because they can't make a living and support a family.
When my dad died, the land wasn't given to me. I had to pay for it through inheritance tax. In reality, I paid for it but it was cheaper than having to go out and buy land. Still disappointing that you are given something but still have to pay for it."
And could you tell me how is the farming profession seen in Wisconsin, and in the USA?
"Sometimes, we are only seen as hicks for the elite people. Although, people who like fresh food love us, they meet and talk to us, farmers."
That's actually interesting how they treat you. The society would be very different without farmers. So, as the image of farmers evolve, did your job evolve through times also?
"Yeah, it clearly evolves. There are lots of new technologies. From breeding cows to new corn or hay technologies. If you are a grain farmer, there are different types of corn (drought corn, high yielding, blight resistant corn, bug resistant corn) which make it easier for us."
That's really interesting. And as a farmer, could you tell me what do you think about global warming ?
"I don’t think it exists, Greta."
Haha okay. Okay let's talk about the news. How do you farmers handle this pandemic? Does this crisis affect you ?
"It is really bad in America. With the coronavirus, corn and soybeans prices gets low. The farmers are dumping milks and it’s really not good. "
yeah, it's a very special period. I've seen that people are protesting in some big cities. Do you know what they are defending ?
"Outside, people are protesting about the lockdown, they aren't agree with that. It's all about socialism, democrats, China, gun control and all the issues in USA."
In your opinion, why do small farms are sometimes going through hard times?
"Some farmers expand. The bankers say they'll have money flow but the end up too far in deep. So, they sell out, some find jobs off the farm, like I do. Like they say, work doesn't always work out."
So even with all those issues, how do you like your job on a rank to 10?
"10, because I love farming."