The farm crisis that started in 1980 and the extinction of the family farm is a subject near to my heart. It is a topic very difficult to fit into 150-words. Here’s one try:
“Maybe we could sell the tractor,” she said.
Selling the tractor would pay the mortgage on a field they couldn’t farm without it. He shook his head. “We’ll figure something out.”
Out the kitchen window, the broken bronze stalks of last summer’s corn waded in a thin skim of snow. The money from the harvest was long spent. Maybe sell the south forty, he thought. It was higher up and dry most years. They’d still have the rich eighty by the river.
But what if it flooded? What if next year’s crop was just as poor—what then? What would be left of his grandfather’s farm if he had to cut off a piece of it for every bad year? He never should’ve gotten the mortgage.
Eddie flung his sippy cup from his high chair and gurgled.
Insurance money, he decided. He stood. “I’m going out to the barn.”