Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Small farming

Photos and story by Kyle Bruggeman

June 29th, 2009, Cambridge, Neb: Farming is changing. It used to be if you had a thousand acres of land you were considered a large farmer. Nowadays that amount is considered "hobby farming" according to Dale Wilson, 60, a farmer near Wilsonville, Nebraska. Wilson started farming in 1979 with his wife Mary after leaving the oil industry. The couple wanted to raise their family in a rural environment, much like how they were raised. So they packed everything up and moved back to their home town where they live today.

Over the years the farm industry has seen much in the way of change. "Nobody tills the ground anymore, everything is chemical" says Dale. "Its to the point now, your input cost is so high that if you don't have a crop every year; your gone" says Dale when referring to how expensive farming has become. The Wilson family also raised hogs, but with the increase in corn prices they stopped.

"there was a time we sent em out by the semi-loads, but we don't anymore" says Mary when referring to their hog business. Mary started working for the post office in 1981. In 2003 she became the Postmaster for Cambridge, Nebraska where she works today. Both Mary and her husband Dale have sold a large majority of their farm land and plan to retire soon. Mary says "We encourage our kids to keep their jobs in the city, because there is not enough to say: come back and take over the farm."

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