Letter to Dave

 

Dear Dave,

 

I love the change of seasons. I am a sucker for introspection and there is no better time to take stock than when one season hands the baton to the next. I will spend the first few lines of this letter indulging myself.

 

I think I am healthier than last year as this time. Few know this, however I have lost about forty-five pounds of weight in the last seven years. It has been a very gradual decrease because I refuse to give up every indulgence (that would be beer) in my life. I want this weight loss to be a lifestyle change and not a diet, I also wish for it to be sustainable as I don’t want to do it again. Personally, life is good with Lisa as always and she seems to like me too-a good thing as we recently celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary.

 

On the agriculture front, we had a good crop despite the drought and the prices nationwide are quite good. This set of circumstances, joined to low interest rates, have driven up land prices. Land prices have increased four to five times over in the last seven years with the steepest incline over the past three years. It is said that there is “land for buyin’ and land for sellin’.” We sold again this year but I really don’t feel bad as we still have our nice little farm and we’re both happy. I also suspect that anyone who lived in the farming culture through the late seventies and early eighties remembers what it was like when commodity prices tumbled. I can easily remember the tractorcades, the penny auctions, Farm-Aid, farmers losing land or putting marginal land into crp and even some banks closing their doors. I think the banks will be fine even if there is trouble as they now demand a healthy down-payment plus collateral in addition to a provable cash-flow. Also many of the larger farms have such large critical mass that they can take a reduction in cash-flow or land value and recover the loss over time. I see young people taking on tremendous debt in pursuit of acreage once used only for hunting and this worries me. I hope everyone does well however I believe we will eventually see shelter-belts re-planted, land sold for pasture and the return of something other than row after row of corn. Again, I wish everyone wealth and happiness-I am just old enough to have seen this same musical production before when it played “off-Broadway” and closed sooner than first thought.

 

I hope all is going well for you out in Carrington, Dave. It has been such a long time since I last visited that I suspect it has changed. Carrington is kind of at the intersection of where the farm industry meets that oil industry so times must be notable. I bet my next visit will see a somewhat different Carrington, even though I really liked it as it was. I hope to soon send pictures of the grain bin I turned into a crowding tub next time I letter you however I am done for today. High-five the wife and kinder for me.

 

Your little bro’

 

p.s. I blew out the water lines this week and in answer to many inquiries, yes the pig flew this year!

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