"It would have been kind of a hard era to just start up in. We came out of the 70s. There were some obvious struggles in the 70s with farmer liquidation. And in the 80s – The early 80s were kind of a slow abandon [farmers abandoning their farms]. The mid-80s they had some drought periods and some lower commodity prices. It was kind of its own little recession in that time frame. So we didn't come without reservations, coming back to the farm. But I enjoy that and – You have to enjoy it to do it because you kind of live it every day. It's kind of like with any small business. If you own a Pizza Hut or a hardware store, whatever you're doing, you're living that job every day. And you have to enjoy it."
     [Question:] "Right and how would you characterize today as opposed to then in the 90s? How are you doing?"
     "Well this year [2007] is going to be – The last couple years have been a lot better just due to commodity prices. Obviously, we're such a cyclical business – with the fact we rely so heavily on commodity prices – that when prices are good, the farm economy is good, in general."
     [Question:] "And right now the prices are fairly good."
     "Right now prices are relatively fair, relatively high."
     [Question:] "What does that mean to you personally?"
     "It takes a lot of the stress out of life, the everyday life, just knowing that you don't have to worry about what the bank's going to want for this and that. It just takes the day-to-day stress out a little bit. It doesn't make the job any different or easier, but it at least takes one level of stress off the top."

Troy Otte – Starting Up in the 80s


Excerpts from Troy Otte’s Interview:

Logic of Large Farms
Why be a Farmer?
Who Runs Rural Communities?
Investing in Ethanol
Fertilizer Efficiency
Genetic Engineering
Are Pivots Worth the Cost?
Computers on the Farm