Well readers I am or we are all still locked up and it is impossible not to look at what the stock market is doing or how we are all going to fare when we are released from our homes. The one thing that I have thought about is that this is really the third time that I have experienced this economic disaster. There was the farm depression in the 1980’s the 2008 economic disaster and now the Coronavirus. The one that made the biggest impact of my life so far would have to be the 1980’s and the farm depression which many believed to be as bad as the Great Depression for farmers. I had just bought a 500 acre farm for $500 per acre with a FMHA loan and everyone kept telling me how smart and rich I was going to be. Who in the world would have thought that we would have embargoes and in a year’s time the land would be appraised at less than $100 per acre. I was flat out broke with a wife and two kids and another on the way. There were so many great people who lost farms and families broke up. It was hard as the disaster was isolated to the farm economy. We would take trips to the city and everyone was living in their newly made up work McMansions. The city people were going gangbusters and they could not nor would not relate to the problems on the farm. The government tried to save as many as possible with their CRP, PIK and loan programs but for the most part the money and programs were quickly hijacked by the people in the city with their flush money and they bought the land and capitalized on the government aid. Today we have everyone involved and it is still too early to see where the money ends up. As in the 80’s there were families that suffered and lost everything. Many people thought that this is what happened in a true open economy. The little get eaten by the big but I wonder if this is really true. Today we have the government handing money over to everyone. In a way it is nice if that is the word that we are all in this together and hopefully there will be no one profiting on someone else’s misery. The 80s were hard years and I wonder if the same people who thought that this was a normal economical event to get rid of the mismanaged or non competitive farmers and replace them with better managers would believe that we should do the same now. People think differently when they also have skin in the game. When someone you know gets sick or loses their job it should make you think twice. There were good farmers who deserved to keep farming but lost it all because we were not all in the game.

Thank you,

Drennan Bailey