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"In a community like York, I just don't think the people realize the impact that ag has on a community. You know, the requirements for fertilizer and fuel alone are just phenomenal. And seed! And the demand for monies to keep and start a year off. The banks have to be very cooperative with these farmers.
     "And I don't think that city folks really recognize what we do in agriculture to keep our food costs down. Of course, we're subsidizing it, but that's okay because we do have a good food program. And the city people do not realize the impact of agriculture because I think less than six percent of the population is directly in farming. But if you take on the peripheral businesses, like ours and John Deere and Caterpillar and Case and all those, it's millions and millions of people. So it's a great part of our economy. I think it's one of the few that will give us a plus in our trade deficit is the ag part…
     "Each year the crop certainly has a big impact on the economy, particularly when it comes to, like, new pickups, new equipment. If the farmer doesn't see a good income year, rather than just a money year, he certainly will pull back and not spend money for equipment, not spend money for a new pickup. And of course, you go through the economy change five times, that's a heck of an impact on the community… A dollar spent at the repair store for some chain for his tractor ends up being five dollars by the time it leaves the community because it pays the clerks, it pays the owner of the company, it pays payroll, he buys services in town such as laundry service or supplies. And so it just keeps on expanding. And that's how the five times comes about. Even if it's twice, it's better than no expansion at all.
     "If you really thought about it very hard, every community is dependent upon agriculture. Everyone. Because we all eat. We use fiber that the farm produces. And of course, the income that's spent by the farmer, here again goes through the chain of expansion. So, anybody who says they aren't effected by agriculture has got blinders on. Absolutely."

Don Freeman – Ag Economy

   

Other Excerpts from Don Freeman’s Interview:

Building a Fallout Shelter
Vietnam
Anti-War Protesters
Swanson's TV Dinners
Green Revolution in Mexico
Bigger & Bigger Equipment
The Atomic Behlen Building
Government Programs
John F. Kennedy
Agribusiness
Supermarkets
Raising Kids for Export Today