Below is part of an e-mail I shared with NFU president Roger Johnson about his participation at the KFU state convention and the Farm Crisis documentary. I felt this is something you-all should see, all too many of us remember those days…The young man who posted the Facebook piece is Matt Ubel from Wheaton, Ks. –Donn
And I appreciate your attendance at our state convention. I know it’s part of your job, but the Farm Crisis documentary wasn’t. I watched us all on the stage as we expressed our thoughts to the crowd of the movie and our experiences, and I think we all aged 10 years on that stage forcing ourselves to do that. Probably wasn’t my best move letting that evolve into what it became. But one of the youngest farmers there posted this (below) on his Facebook last night, if we helped one young farmer from falling into that trap it was worth it. His post moved me deeply.
We watched this documentary this weekend at the Kansas farmers union state convention. When I sat down to watch this video I had no idea how emotional the evening would be. I sat at the front of the room with a group of friends we were there to learn from the mistakes made by farmers in the 80s. We were not prepared for the lessons surrounded us.
About 15 minutes into the video I realized these farmers did not make mistakes. These farmers were victims of a perfect storm. Crop prices dropped land prices dropped and interest rates went through the roof.
As I sat watching this documentary I heard sniffles coming from around the room. I looked around to see grown men wiping tears from their eyes as their wives held them for comfort. That’s when it hit me I was watching this film with a room full of farmers that were victims of the farm crisis. They had lived this very film. They were the ones with the story to tell. As the evening progressed farmer after farmer came to the table my friends and I were sitting at and told their story’s of how they lost it all in the 80s and built it back from scratch. I came away with a new respect for the previous generation of farmers. These people sacrificed it all to live what I call the American dream. THE FAMILY FARM!
Thank you Donn Teske and the Kansas farmers union for this eye opening experience!”