In the Upper Midwest, farming maintains a wholesome glow. Red barns, picket fences and photos of kittens weaving among jugs of frothy milk loom large in our collective psyche.
But reality is more stark. Farm bankruptcies are up. Thousands of farms have simply closed. Farm debt is at an all-time high. Add in a trade war, severe weather and tanking crop prices, and it’s not hard to understand why health workers are worried about a spike in suicide and depression.
At the same time, new farmers — usually young and passionate about regenerative practices and helping others — are entering the field.
Thursday, for our Flyover 2020, we talk about the changing farming identity, and what it means to be a farmer today.
Jenni Patnode, whose blog post “The Last Milking” went viral after the sale of her and her husband’s fourth-generation Wisconsin dairy farm
Hannah Breckbill, co-owner of the Humble Hands Harvest farm outside Decorah, Iowa
To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.