An address by educator-farmer-writer Hiram Drache on the family farm and the future of American farming before a conference on rural America, held in Crookston, Minnesota. The speech is titled "Agriculture in the Year 2000."
Drache teaches history and economics at Concordia College and is an expert on rural areas and mechanized farming.
Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.
Hiram draki received his m a degree from Gustavus Adolphus College and PhD from the University of North Dakota. He's been a professor of European and economic history of Concordia College in Moorhead since 1952. Although he has a doctorate degree you sell them addressed as Doctor people who know him and dress him affectionately as high Rocky operates a totally automated can find cattle feedlot operation in Baker Minnesota and serves as a consultant to agribusiness firms and Farmers throughout the Midwest. He's been researching and writing about agriculture and Regional history since the mid-1950s. His books include the day of the Bonanza the challenge of the Prairie as well as contributing to North Dakota decision-makers a book about North Dakota government, and he was one of 19 authors selected to write the bicentennial offering 200 years of American agriculture to new book soon to be available are beyond the furrow and tomorrow's Harvest.A man with seemingly endless energy is you will soon discover by listening to him Hiram's Rocky also serves on the Minnesota Humanities commission. And as a council member of the Minnesota Historical Society the title of his talk before the participants in this conference on Rural America was agriculture in the year 2580. I suspect that. This will be the most unpopular talk of this conference. In some respects. I hope it is on the way up here. I was thinking about how I was going to say it because as I heard a couple of people say well, you know, it's easy for us to give the answers because we don't know anything about it. Reminds me of a lot of environmentalist. I listen to a lot of mpreg kids and a lot of other things that are doing jobs around a lot of location today. They got all the answers because they don't know anyting about it and understand and it don't throw tomatoes at me yesterday. I was speaking at the Houston Texas at the presidents of the Texas PCA. And they said why don't you tell us something new because I just meant to speak to him on kapton agriculture is the great capital and management of pants industry up today the capital and management cancer and they told you today you better look for money someplace else and yet we got guys fighting. People who want to come in and bring corporate money into American agriculture. Where you going to get it from? North Dakota sent all of its money out. Because they keep the interest rates down in the state this the kind of thing that happens. This is no longer the good old days when the kids didn't have shoes when Dad didn't make a goal in the fire and when the wife didn't get a flush toilet. I didn't get a new suit or no coat or something else because pop couldn't make the payments in the fire. There is nobody going to do that anymore because the kids walk away from the farm the minute they get out of high school. Because so many of you want to perpetuate The Good Old Homestead. And I'm afraid there's some of you in the crowd here, but got some influence on that. They're trying to do that. Very thing. It really bothers me that this is happened the good old days of the family. The good old days when that happened 70% of all Leg of all capital generated and agriculture up till 1950 What generated right on the farms on the sweat are the children and a wise no wonder 8 out of 11 kids in the pros field family left the farm as soon as they could. And do your bank is better wake up to that. Going to keep going to find a better Finance. That's exactly what has to be done. But don't get too concerned about about me. If you don't like what I've got to say cuz I'm just a dumb farmer apologize. How many of you guys were that welder you were in your day. I was in my date and 25 years after I graduate from high school, Owatonna Minnesota. I got up and reminded him of the fact that here was I have to apologize to you. I hate seeing dumb farmer and why because that's where we put a lot of people in the old days. Andy good hired man could become a Any good hired man could become a fire. Well, how many million you going to loan him to start finding our quarter-million? How much you going to do? And yet Farmers don't feel sorry for yourself because you got the biggest Club. Let anybody in America's Got because first of all you own the choice collateral. land secondary three times a day. They got to come to you cuz their guts are empty and they want to eat and 3rd. And third we are the Dollar Savers because we are the only industry that is unrestricted by over legislation or by intensive unions that we have the free enterprise to do what we will want to do yet. Because even though agriculture has been one of the most poorly managed Industries the free enterprise system of the good Innovative Farmers has made America the great industrial power that we are past exports of this country for over a century came right off the land. Where would we be? Where would the American dollar be if it hadn't been for that surplus of about 12 billion dollars worth of agricultural products and yet there are a lot of you people Right In This Crowd. I'm sure they want a saddle that Innovative creative Progressive challenging agriculture that we've had because too many of you want to keep the good old days. Well re-challenge about the good old days and if you don't believe challenge read Giants in the earth and find out about all the insane people who never made a decent living on it. Okay. That's sort of the sermon but I want you to remember something want you to remember. I am a family-oriented farmer and I do not believe that there is a single thing in this country outside of legislation that can destroy the whole that the family oriented Farm has on rolling. I am absolutely convinced of that and I'm going to tell you why in a just a minute. These are not exploiters of the land I'm talking about. I'm talking about Good conservation oriented farmers who got the money and the know-how to save the soil for posterity Midwest agriculture the year 2000 Where are we today? And where are we headed? Iowa-minnesota have the greatest fire population of the 50th States. North Dakota and South Dakota have the highest percentage of foreign population of the 50th States and yet it is clear that the farm of the Jeffersonian a gray and Miss is nowhere to be found. Yes nowhere to be found except in the minds of individuals the farmer the Jeffersonian agrarian myth if you aren't sure of it, it's a great education and everybody could starve to death if Polly. you say bring down the line Alex and Ani. Everybody could starve to death equally including the consumers. NJ Department of Agriculture is always super conservative. I have never seen when their fingers have nothing and then they up and that started a pointed out what the optimum once a one-man Family Farm was what the optimum size one man Family Farms Vic Fitzsimons doing it all by himself. There is what it was. They Optimum row crop Farm was 800 acres that one man with a good set of Machinery could do with corn or soybeans. And what did they find out the average size row crop Farm in America? What's 263 Acres? And then I find out that the optimum size one man Wheat Farm was 1950 Acres, but the figures showed that the average size weed farm. What am I saying in both cases? The average size Farm today is one-third the size of what the USDA says the average well mechanized one man can do. Where are we going with the Farms? Well, it figures out to tell you where we're going to go because the bank is around here are not going to finance the guy who can't make a living farming unless his wife wants to work full-time and town and bring the money home. That's another Point. Don't forget that. Unless his wife wants to work full time at town to support that lovely little 4-H club project. And we've got a lot of those we're going to have more of them. All right? What else do we know you're 19 Pan the average size Farm in America was 310 Acres. Today is 391 acres. Does any of you have to guess anymore? Where are we going? We have more than tripled the size of farm in the last 60 years, and we ain't done yet. No, we're not. We got a long ways to go and then you look at something else with this industry that has an asset for death ratio of 5 and 1/2. You think we're going to stop when the farmers today have about 17 cents index to every 100 pennies they own. They're not about to stop now that maybe just the parts at least just distributed. It may be that the guy who is operating a little more efficiently as got a better leverage or any maybe better than that know how to leverage better one way or another what are tells you that barring some kind of major change in the free enterprise system. And I got a scare about that one. Barring some major change in the free enterprise system. We will continue to have larger family-oriented farms in America. Always remember how I'm saying this I'm not talking about mystical corporate Giants so much hogwash on the opposite side. There is not likely to be much of a decline in total Farm numbers. Oh, I sound like I'm talking out of both sides of mouth. No, I'm not a politician. What am I saying? All of you know that there is a very strong effort on the part of people today to want to move to the country and have Forty Acres and two sheep and a pony. And as long as I have a full-time industrial job and carry that Union card in the dinner pail at work every morning they can continue to support that little project because maybe they don't like a cabin at the lake. Maybe they like having chickens and I'm predicting then that they will be a long long time before we will get rid of about 2 million of these little hobby farmers. But let's not included with the man who provides the meal that we ate today. He is in a totally different position, but do many people try to tie together and how do I find this out? Because I find out that these are the strongest competitors for land in the rural areas today any place near industrial town? This is what we're up against now a quick survey of figures tell you this because you know that the top two brackets in the census figures are growing the one and two sides Farms 45 and 100000 girls. So you got to get up in that bigger back. So there's better what's happened to the 3 4 and 5 class Farms. They've either moved up or they taking a job in town, like my brother-in-law's have and I've never lived better than ever. Because they never could make a go of it funny. No, I don't know the classics V. Will it be snow is really almost willing that one point Sun million farmers who are less than $2,500 gross income of year. And I'll tell you people that's their right if they want to have a hobby they are entitled to it. They're entitled to it because they have to pay the cost of one man called me the other day and he said I got some cheap for my cat for my kids. He said I know somebody losing proposition and I said John place on therapy. That's the answer. These are not Farmers. Now. Let's stop kidding ourselves and let's stop ranting and appealing to these particular people with all kinds of legislation. Now the size of fun is always been an antagonist in American history. I'm just finishing a book by John sleigh Becker who is the creator of the historic of the Smithsonian Institute good friend of mine. And we did a wonderful job of Distributing the land in this country quite by accident. Quite by accident and part of that wonderful job was the Homestead Act which made more people suffer voluntarily than any act. I know. Because you know and I know that 90% of the farms in the rich fat County like Cass County North Dakota failed. And they were given to the people because they couldn't endure the price of a free Farm. That's exactly what are the month they couldn't do her that far and it was given to him and yet we are perpetuating that type of myth among agriculture historians. A lot of other two books, as you know that are coming out within the next year. I'm this type of Agriculture and what am I going to say? It is my conclusion that from 1910 to the present time with the exception of some major technological breakthrough. There has been no other external force that has hastened the girls of large-scale farms than the government programs. And who sold the politicians who did he sell it to 80% of the farmers down here. We're getting less than $5,000 payment a year was $387 and they voted for and who raped the prophets the 20% who got more than $5,000 a year in pants. And I know in a few farmers in the crowd here that you know, what I'm talking about is true. And so I asked what did you do? The same every year they found at home. How do I know this? Because read the chef buyers Brothers do volumes on Henry Wallace Henry Wallace the republican-democrat Franklin Roosevelt. soap in it where you want Put it where you want it? All right. And what did Henry Wallace say in 1934 when he wrote it? He said the one thing that disturbs me most about these programs and I have talked to Great Lengths with the Vampire Brothers on this one thing just read me more than anything about these programs is that they are going to hate somebody my age with a small farm. Because the built-in guarantees other government payments are going to be penciled in for the economics and a smart operator is going to take advantage of it and saw a lot of smart operators threw away their philosophy and their emotions and went to the pocketbook Makaveli tells you about that. And I bought out their neighbors and now we wonder what's happened to all these little fun 69% I'll take home pay the cheap food policy in the homestead at the cheap food policy in the land grant College act the cheap food policy and the extension service pay the cheap food policy in RTA. You bet your boots and we aren't done yet. And I don't care who's President United States. There is no president that can withstand the onslaught of 98% of the people who only think of food. That's exactly where we are in Rural America today and Lauren, you know that as well as I do because everybody wants to eat as cheaply as possible. I'm talking to Pharmacy when I'm dressing some of these people and they know what the problem is. They want to eat cheaply and I don't blame him because there's always other nice things to buy and trips to go on unless you have to pay for food the more money you got for the once I'd life. And so the food stamp program, you know, it's a great thing. In a bottle of his headed we still complain because we had to go after the stamps. Henry Wallace who personally like to think of himself as the father of industrialized agriculture. That was his great dream boat who his daughter mrs. Douglas. Talk to you about 2 years ago in Washington, DC. Nice out assault and we got to buy a bag of coffee now. We got a basic group. With Innovative challenging outlooks guards the future and the government programs to help but environmental regulations social labor legislation, which will have a greater impact on the Spotify more than the big farmer. The small independent farmer is just that small and independent. And he likes it, but he wasn't going to put up with all that rap god from Washington or Saint Paul or Bismarck. He doesn't like that's why he's out there in the far left alone when he went away didn't want to hear The Gunshot of his neighbors and these people are that way to the great the great the great yet. They don't want to put up with a guy who only wants to work 2/3 of the time that he's on the payroll. petrof alternate full pay That's the kind of man he is and this is fired. This is great. Now let's go back and talk about who are these big farmers in 1929 the USDA? And in that time they found out there were seven thousand farms in the country 7875 exactly that had more than $30,000 gross income. 30000 gross income 75-70 875 farms and land labor and capital then are the smaller firms then a 1964. We tried to go up to $100,000. Why inflation I suppose $100,000 minimum will be a call to the large farm 24% of the total of the total production on 1% of the funds. Okay. Where are we now today today? We have $109,000 in gross income and I can look at some right around here and see him and I don't have 109000 firms that produce more than a hundred thousand gross income and a half percent of all our produce where the guy everybody hates, but the consumer Nobody likes a big farmer, but the consumer. That's why we going to for carmakers cuz we've driven all the little any fishing once out of business. Lyndon Johnson say the 1965 and I know that doctor who was at the conference at Morris Minnesota and Jimmy Hillman got up and said there's nothing the matter with our culture today. For the top hundred for the top million farmers. And then he said but they're having to be 3.1 million farmers in America today. You know why we know that. The top men are doing okay there income tax returns prove it. And it just by butcher Glen Johnson when he made that statement didn't they? And yet it was a very honest level-headed statement. 1 million timer to do the job why because Sherwood Birds committee had proven it established that that was the case. Nasty food and fiber Committee of Lyndon Johnson, you can read all the material just like I have if you want to find out about fighter and you know, what else they are well-educated kids. Just like I found out most of them have master's degrees. And then Carlson Kyle come along and they find out make an attentive study throughout the Midwest and found out in the. From 1968 to 1970. That is far as they saw no upper limit. You know, what the biggest write it what the biggest restructuring was narrow bridges on the Township Road, so they couldn't get the Machinery to now we got him so we can pull them up five times. Dad's desk and field cultivator to think like that. We can pull them up five times. I have seen it in some of you have to I'm sure we get through. What else did they find out there saving Tampa $13 an acre and purchased inputs and he is selling he is selling at five or $6 more per acre than the farmer on a smaller scale because he's dialing up Duluth Minnesota and saying what's the price at the turnover is green and he's getting it. And he's ailanthus wholesalers coming to him. The wholesalers are coming to him because many of them total volume of the local elevators. I know I have had a told to me by both wholesalers and farmers and elevator managers by all three they come to you. You don't go to them and they offer you that well, what am I saying? There is a greater Revolution take place in Rural America than 95% of the people living here are even grafting. There's a greater Revolution taking place in Rural America than 95% of the people in rural America are even grasping. It's happening so fast if some of you read the article, I mean where I said let us alone and we'll produce the food. I had people from both coasts and from all over the Midwest diamond on it and pretty intelligently. Mr. Blackwood Farm Journal said the same is that they weren't too many critics. I said, I don't think they want to take too many shots. And I had one man tell me he said hi. I know you're right. And I'm glad that I'm old enough. So it isn't affecting me if I stayed the night over you want to know the states has Minnesota Montana in America right now talking head of me and left jawline, and he said I think the 2,500 Acres seems to be the upper limit for a lot of people. And I agreed with the other comment. He said because this seems to be the level of their management ability. But I know people who aren't satisfied and you've got capacity because I could take most of the farmers that I interviewed. I can put a blindfold on them and Chicago. I tell you I got 30 days to take over this Factory and you know what they can all do it. Are they done Farmers Paul jackets hayseeds Hicks? tell their water losses in Lauryn Hill lyrics Cliff Hagan's and a lot of other ones around here. That I kind of guys that can do it what they want to do that challenges the thing. The challenge is the thing, Texas BCAA after day. You know what I projected to them. I said in five years your loan average will double at $72,000 at 11 5 years and somebody said to me the president of Texas PCA said to me did you know our figures and I said no because that's exactly what are protections are. They expect the average going to be $150,000 instead of $72,000. That's at PCA. And our top loan right now is 8 million to a single farmer and I like him because he's got a wife who is a really good manager. That's one of the five M's bagriculture. Let's go on with this. What else did I find out? These are the man who come out with that bigger tractor? You mean to 325 horsepower is not big enough. That's why there's a six wheel drive 750 horsepower tractor working about 50 miles west of the river right now who wants to have a family farm and he is going to buy that tractor rides and have two smaller ones and have a Hired Man. The same guys that too many of our state legislatures want to legislate right out of business. That's right, Miss. What's going on? What did I find out? Operate 68 acres farms that I interviewed the average tractor was stealing 594 Acres 68 Acres table and average or the guy with 594 Acres average if I wasn't such a good friend. Did they tell you what I found out about thinking it's almost as possible. exact words 88% of the farmers. I interviewed had none Farm businesses. All right. These people are involved in a lot of things when I ended up with 161 quarters of land. They call me Atlanta. He was already supporting the bowling alley in town and had and financing 17 teams just for the time to take the heat off of. I think I know what the poor guy. Did he start buying oil wells at the time. I interviewed by producing Wells and he won't be about six months ago. He said hi. It's called pyramid. And permitting and some of the problem because you know what the internal revenue told me once they said we don't get to know we get 20 point your toes up. You bet your boots. And that's where I told the people in North Dakota at Northwest Farm managers in February. I said that's where the Farmers Union have done the greatest damage to the state of North Dakota when they caused the people to throw out the carpet. And I said it right in front of a couple of people who promoted and I think about half the staff bag econ from NDSU were there. And I know what they were thinking but they didn't dare to express it because they're paid by those same legislators. Isn't the greatest service Disorder so not to go to Farmers you could because you undermine what are the basic Avenues of them retaining their fun? And I had talked about wanting to raise the minimum level to $200,000 so you can hold your state. Well, that's pretty nice. I spent two years working with attorneys trying to figure out the same thing. You say you got them into a trap and now you want to snap or not. Now you want to snap it don't be so worried about that boogeyman. There is Boo buddy that's going to buy the family oriented Farm off the map going to drive a husband and wife team off the map. I know I know so many of you. And I got the Feeling by God and you got the right wife. You can do anything. You might like to know what are my five M's of Agriculture and I'm not being facetious now because I'm laying it on the line there five M's of Agriculture and least importance first and the most important one last Rose. I mention them mechanization. money management motivation mother who saved the family Homestead in the 70s and the 80s and the 90s + 10 + 20 + 30. It's the woman who gave up everything to save that time fits the woman who is the woman in my case going along with me the bank and told the banker you can forces in the Bank of seats, but I will not sign off. None of you have had that happen, but I have twice twice and I'm proud to say it because it's made me a better man. And I'm not stopping yet. It's the woman the woman and the man together. With the proper motivation are excellent managers, excellent managers who can show the bank where they've been and where they intend to go will gets all the money they need there is no shortage of money for agriculture is the farmers make up their mind that they're willing to pay the price that the rest of the industry does to get. And with money you can buy Consultants 139 year old man. I interviewed had four phds on his staff hired away from a college has hired away is fresh graduates. And you can buy mechanization and you just look at Walter Ross is 5 over here at fishing Minnesota water Ross is producing Beats at one-twentieth of the labor requirements now and 1927 21 the record for being the most efficient beef producer in the Red River Valley. And it's going to go one step further because as I'm saying in my chapter on the books, every time social legislation comes along that makes it a little bit tougher. The farmer finds out a way to eliminate the man with a hole that the social legislation that established the minimum $47 an acre for whoring beat land is the surest way to get electronic beats Hunters on America's and Landorus. So once again social legislation will take care of the problem because it will eliminate it by eliminating the job. And a Texans can stay in, Texas. You say and I knew that I have a nice I don't get all upset by this legislation cuz it'll take care of itself because they went after 10 11 12 2016 thousand-dollar betray electrictronic be tender just like the minute the legislation was passed. That's fine. That's fine. We do it all the time. We do it all the time and we did it this time now. Let's tell you something else because I know. And let me tell you something. You know what? I find out about everyone nobody likes. No more than a like college professors who write books will farm and going to go out and speak about it. And especially when you're so darn outspoken, you know, I could have been in the United States Senate race right now if I'd given the word but I said the guy like me will never win. Because I only speak out of center of my mouth. Alabama fundraise omigod, Washington If Alabama possibility who knows nobody likes. And so I went around the country to find out why doesn't anybody like the first I went to the sociology Department, you know why nobody likes? Because they are change. Pro Motors and most people just can't stand change. And I'll tell you if you want to get your belly full of the good old days. I'll give you the route that I just took to North Dakota and Montana through all these little old towns and then I'll ask you which one do you want to live in? Which one do you want to live in? Like one farmer said they are factors and change are the three absolutes in life changes. The only one I have any control over. And that man also ended up said it's the easiest way to make a million bucks I ever found. He's retired now, but that's the way he went and he was a big farmer. He's only seven hundred acres. What are you doing a pretty good job? I want the newspaperman person. I said what is it that nobody in this community likes about this guy he gave $50,000 to the ballpark. He's more active in church than anybody. I know he's a real promoter and Civic and I say that's because he's made it all on us and I want to try to be nice and give a little bit of it back. But you know what? The newspaperman usually give me the objective. They said they can't stand these people. They can't stand these people because they are they advocate for change in about this in a book. So I'm not feeling anything honey. And I said You don't even sound to the Russians. Well good that got rid of those plastic dressing price depressed and green bands on us. Where do those pens Farmers finally lived again? Okay. and then I said ma'am you think that I would be in Coon Rapids Iowa if Bob guards weren't here and she said Is the biggest employer in town a hundred and seventy-five people work for him right in town? And then he has another 35 working on his Farms. Some of you guys think that I'm trying to drive roll America right out of her own feathers from the thing. We got more things going to us than ever before. I got a boy to watch the farm and I'm doing everything I can to help him get going down the line after 5 years Beyond High School. Then I said I'll start helping you up till that time. I'm just encouraging you to keep farming upmost numine. Why we got more going from us and never before because everybody needs those three times a day who is everybody one fourth of the world eats something wrong in America every day. Did you know that did you know? That 900 million people eat something growing in America everyday. There's two people right here that can prove it. By our export I don't say full meals but something and we're all over stuff for 3300 calories. So you see there could be more of them that could eat if we really wanted to be charitable and give it away. But of course that's another problem. And then the other thing there is no other industry in the United States that is a competitive world wide as the free enterprising family-oriented Farm is through the rest of honors of the world. Why we cannot produce African Asiatic Farmers 70521 there wasn't a farmer that I was interviewed who is afraid of going on the free market they were just hoping for the chance. And they were just hoping they could keep the bunglers out of it. And is a pal of mine in Washington says and this of course, it will irritate some of you to the name is butts. Says the only good thing the farmers got going for them. As far as Washington DC right now is that the politicians can only do half as much to him as they like to and when we empty the bands we prove that. We prove that I told you I'd irritate some of you but remember. Another thing we got clout we've got clothes and agriculture like we've never had and all we need is all the people who aren't agriculture should be working with us. You know, who all the people are everybody on this faculty out to be with her King with us. Everybody downtown in Crookston ought to be working with us. Everybody at Steger ought to be working for us. Everybody had to be working for us everybody everybody estandar. 7 people off the fire one man going on the land. We represent 30% of the labor force of America, but only 2% of us are farmers. And why don't the rest of us, but that doesn't mean I grew up on a bicycle Sidecar. No, but there's all the time. There's there's there's there's Grand Forks. Halak viable midsize ruled American communities note. I did not say small town. I should buy a midsize American communities. I maybe I irritated some of you but never forget you haven't got a single person in this crowd whom are friendly believes in the family oriented Farm then I thank you. Hiram's Rocky Baker Minnesota farmer author professor of history at Concordia College Moorhead and his he says a strong advocate of Rural America. He spoke July 15th at a conference on Rural America held on the University of minnesota-crookston Campus following the Rockies presentation. I spoke with him and began by asking him about his strong feelings regarding the Homestead Act homesteads really cause a tremendous amount of suffering. I know that we would look at it and that you can see a tremendous family strength, which is a nice byproduct of that. But if you really study the history and you look at what the what the people went through whether to Northern Minnesota or whether it's out in the areas of the Dakotas are whether it was in the car stereos of Wyoming or Montana these particular areas, we legislate add people to a hundred and sixty acres of land and there was no way they could make a living on that and this was part of the strange part of this is part of Strange phenomena of History because obviously the intent of the Homestead Act was really great but it had a tremendously benevolent thing in mind, but you must also remember that the purpose was to fill out these Wide Open Spaces with people who are let's face it taxpayers and productive citizens. This is what makes us strong country and the suffering that these people had to go through because they are all had great dreams and Visions about owning a fire but a very very very large portion of all the homesteaders never never did have a firearm of their own because they had to give up before the five years, but just couldn't take through. I don't want to I don't want to downgrade the homestead. I don't think about a warm feeling towards add anything else very definitely if it was a democracy Nation process. There's no doubt about it. It came at the right time. It hastened the development of America and with the technology available. I suppose when it started in 1862. Probably they will find it. But then when we change and we came across this area, we we didn't have enough possibility of making a decent living in this is a terrible problem. I'm doing a history another Minnesota right now International Falls area and the biggest trap these people got into it was to come up there to International Falls and hope they can make a living a hundred sixty Acres. It just ate but it didn't put that was tortured Rocky. What is your definition of a good efficient Family Farm next books in this particular case the bank or feels that a family farmer is entitled to $12,000 a year net income for his family. And so then he says that they are Farm unit must be big enough to net $12,000. All right. Let's just say you're milking cows if you're milking cows and you need a pretty decent area. You maybe can get by with 320 Acres if you Reduce enough storage on that farm for enough cows to produce $12,000 net income or if you're having a six $700 income gross income for a cow. And then you take your expenses off of how many cards do you need to produce 12000 if Herobrine farmer now, this is changed a lot in the last few years, but prior to say 1972 lot of Green Farmers the net income of their land was really almost a government payment or maybe if they were doing $10 and they care if they were really efficient. All right. How many acres do you need at $10 an acre net profit to make $12,000 a year living and that would be at 12 Hundred Acres. But if you got some foul and obviously were talking about that. We may be talking about three sections, which the USDA says remember is the is the optimum size one man weed farm 1958 Kia Soul leasing salt. I pretty close together. And so sometimes you say well, I never made $12,000 and then I would question them because I'm No truck drivers were making more than $12,000 a lot of school teachers and making more than $12,000 and there's a lot of other people who are taking a lot last first and Farmers make it less $12,000 and in my estimation, there is no reason why a farmer doesn't have every bit as much right to make the viable standard of living that any other segment of our society. I think this day where the farmers got by with one half as much income as a wrestler people as the rest of the people in this country do is out to be a thing of the past. I just don't see why we have to expect our Farmers to deny themselves that much. I'm wondering if there is no danger in too large a farm. Are we looking you you said in your talk that 4% of the Farms are producing 46% of our produce. Is there danger from that population in the produce food in fiber production people are afraid of this and that I have been asked at some conference is where I've spoken in the past. What could I what can I foresee happening? And I and I and I just hate to mention this because I am such an avid free enterpriser and I can almost visualize agriculture be placed in as he placed into the whole picture as a utility another words what we might be regulated and wait and see in the past. We start a regulated by the through the price supports programs. We've minimize the opportunity to a degree to a lot of people because basically what we did is guaranteed a certain level of efficiency in farming and those men could make a living the rest of them kept dropping by the wayside. All right. Now we've got people who are very much. Capital and Advantage management oriented and doing an outstanding job and they can get quite large but then I remembered in my talk today. I said that one of the strong factors in the other direction is a very antagonistic Community attitude simply because these are successful people and and and this was immune to this because then we all basically like to be like is there is there no upper limit to the size of farms good Farms keep getting bigger and bigger buying out more and more neighbors until one's the size of North Dakota. I jokingly some people have said that and of course there is a very obvious upper limit. The upper limits are not is as small as many people might like to think because we must remember one thing as your friend becomes larger and asked to spread out. Are you having insurability factor in there like you don't have on a small farm because anybody who travels to the country knows that the weather changes dramatically every 50 Mi and it changes maybe every 3-4 miles. I know I have landed a that has is producing a real good crap and I have other land that is producing very emotional crap and I have some land that is producing basically no crop right now just an A on my rather limited besides operation and that's because we're spread out a little bit and I and I see the strength of that many people is a way out. You can't be the spread out, but if you're Spread out and you're well mechanized and enough Studies have been made on this two units have to be large enough in themselves. So when you go down and say you start from the south and you work for the north at yourself and it's got to be big enough to keep you busy. Then your natal unit 19 North unit of things like this and a lot of my actually practicing this type of farming. Do you foresee in the nation in the year? 2004 CE a continuance of a large number of hobby Farm Moonlight Farms part-time Farms or whatever you want to call it. And and it meant that number may even if it could even though we've got 1.3 million of those right now something like that and then we can have more time as more and more airline pilots. A week. They can go out there and take care of the farm or other people work in factories, and they like to work after the five battle is over and they do this and I know a great number of people who do it exactly this type of thing. They won't be able to continue this until late probably get to the point that they don't care for it. But understand another generation will come on and they want to do this very thing to this was Freedom the freedom to lose your shirt are the freedom to live the way you want to whatever you want to call her. I don't care and I don't think we should close that opportunity. I think we should be that open but when it comes to the real food producer. Alright today we have about 580,000 Farms that are producing about 88% of our food and fiber. Okay, we can still reduce that number greatly. It's in fact, it's really easy for me to say that the commercial Farms of this country and a very formidable future and let's say I'm saying the year 2000 couldn't number of quarter of a million and these people can feed and clothe America and these are not horrendously large firms. Do you realize to get to that plane the average cropland the average Cop Land of all those Firearms. Is he a quarter of a million? only have to be about we'd only have to be about 1400 Acres that's not big because you got to remember I was down as I was out of Texas yesterday and I spoke to the Texas PCA people down there. The average size Farm in Texas is 156 Acres, but I know many farms down there that are in the 15 to 20 Thousand Acre bracket. I'm wondering if the biggest threat to farming in the future is government. Do you see it that way cuz my stomach about an easy thing to get to have come about because remember politicians will cater to the boats. And the big thing here is simply this that that it's easy to raise the flag of danger. I was going to say the red flag of danger, but maybe that might be a bad kind of patients. I got an eye but it's easier to raise the flags in roeding unreal America. They're taking over Road America and they're going to buy Apollo land and then they're going to set the price of food. Well, do you really think so, I don't think so because I saw it Harry Truman did way back in his day view as steel and I've seen a lot of other presidents can do and and so I have no fear of everything is getting away bless. You got to remember to that. We only have so many people. In our society who are willing to take the risk to get to the size that you're talking about. We have a large number and I'm afraid the number is growing greater everyday in our society of people who are have a great aversion to risk they do not want to take risk and hands. They're satisfied to take a job that pays them a paycheck every day and I don't want to go find my pack. I know if I'm a recently who sold his phone because you said my son's all want to see a paycheck there on Monday morning from the previous week. What kind of person is that will take that risk manager. He is a motivator. He is an innovator and he is a challenge speaker. Now how many people are going to say? A lot of the guys you intubated are just money-hungry. This is not true. This is not true. They are not money-hungry people. There were three of them who I failed out of all of my interviews who absolutely were assessed obsessed by the dollar but the but the most of these people were very sound family-oriented people. But they did a lot with the family spent a lot of time with and they worked as a solid unit. The wife was a strong factor in this whole thing and I like one man told me he said well, I wanted to buy this million-dollar Farm but I wasn't sure until my wife some other suspected. I want to buy then she said well go ahead go ahead see because he was holding back because you said we're why don't we go bad on that. Then the family will have to suffer and she said we can take it. Are you optimistic about the future farming and obviously has to repeat itself. But are you optimistic about the future farming as you would like to see it happen? I'm excited about farming. I'm informing it. We're developing hours every day and and I'm really in production why I am expanding more vertically than I am horizontally because I don't think you have to be all over the map to do a really good job. I'm excited about that. But then one thing then I said hi and I never want anybody to miss read me this. I am cautiously optimistic about the future of farming here is why the First of all, the question that you asked me previously. I am concerned about social legislation which will be unreasonable which will affect the farmer. I am also concerned to a degree about maybe some unreasonable environmental regulation. Don't get me wrong again. I am a conservationist and I believe we've got to practice some very definite environmental regulations, but I wish we had more people more knowledgeable about what they're talking about then and then some of the people who are in the business that are doing it and then I course I have another a definite feeling about it in this hurts. And this is within a size farmers ourselves. And that is we have sexual latent potential to overproduce. Are we still have that right here? And if if for some reason others the rest of the world wouldn't continue to buy from us because of a catastrophe or something like this. I'm not worried about their overproduction because I basically they haven't got that but then they've got too many people to feed for too long a bit of time but a short run and the short run we could have some disasters years simply because Does Ivar tremendously prolific Farmers one of the participants in a conference on Rural America held July 15th through the 17th in Crookston, Minnesota. I'm going to see Hamilton.