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Staying positive in times of trouble isn’t easy; but it is important

55 Years And Counting From The Tractor Seat

By bill whitman 

It’s been a decade or two since farmers and ranchers have heard so much discouraging news. Almost daily we’re being warned that we’re not going to make any money this year and it makes me wonder how or even why we would want to invest our hopes and dreams in a bad year. It also brings a concern to the forefront. How will our younger generations deal with the stresses that a bad year entails?

First, we farm and ranch because it’s in our DNA. It’s the pioneer spirit that drove us to settle and “build” one of the strongest countries ever known. I’ve mentioned before that the older generations have seen times when there just wasn’t enough money to pay our bills and we rushed to our lenders for grace and leniency, along with more money. As we look at bankbooks it’s easy to forget about the entire agriculture industry. 

When you experience day after day of dismal news and your family, who have not gone through anything like this are asking “why” you will need to be aware of your own mental health. There’s no disgrace in seeking a listening ear and even a healthcare provider to help you deal with what can evolve into depression. Honestly, it’s so much better to get after it earlier than later. Personally, I think this is where our faith in the Good Lord can be a cornerstone of going on. 

If you can keep your head above all the things trying to drag you down you can find ways to save on expenses, cut back on extras and demonstrate to your lenders that you are making positive moves to abate the losses we’re being told are coming. I think in every case in my life, if I faced trouble head on it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be as when I have let fear in my head. 

Now, from someone who has been warning about this current environment for… well years, there are positive things to be aware of. We can begin with an absolute truth; the world has to eat. While we may well experience a struggle and disappointment, this will pass. We may be 1 percent of the population of this country but we are the 1 percent responsible for feeding ourselves and the other 99 percent. There are three things a human being needs to survive, food, clothing and shelter. What’s that first one? FOOD. So, you can rest assured that this economy will make sure we survive. 

Again, keeping your head above the news, you can look for ways to generate income from sources we don’t always consider. Since many farms are located near towns and cities, we can look for work for our equipment. Most of us have equipment that can be used for landscaping, bush hogging, gravel finishing, anything that will put money in your wallet. I promise you, there are ways to generate income that you haven’t thought of. 

Finally, it’s important to remember that you are NOT alone. The entire agriculture economy will survive and it’s those that remain the most positive who will recover the quickest and bounce back the best. If you need a sympathetic ear, let me know by email and I will attempt to connect you with support sources close to wherever you are. Is this going to be a challenging year? Probably, but we will get through it and be stronger because of it.