[Question:] "How were you and he able to start farming?"
     "His dad was just about ready to – He was thinking of retirement. But he wasn't ready yet. So, my husband worked one year in town to raise some money, and I was also teaching. And then we were able to have enough money to, like, buy a tractor. And so, they started farming together, and Cal rented some land. So, he and his dad did the land that they owned plus rented. So probably for about eight years he and his father farmed together. Eight or 10, and then his dad retired. But I don't know, without my income how a couple could have made it back then. Even now, to start farming is very difficult. If you don't have anyone in your family farming you really, really can hardly do it which is a struggle."
     [Question:] "It's not just the income, right? It's also the health insurance."
     "Oh yes, a lot. And see, with my teaching, I have had health insurance. So, that's really saved us over the years. And I've only taken two years off, and they were leaves to have my girls. I took a year off for each girl and I just paid my own insurance for that year and then came back to teaching…
     "And I think my girls have loved living on the farm. We moved to the farm in 1980. So my girls – My oldest daughter, at that time, was five months old. So they don't know anything else except living on a farm."

Suzanne Ratzlaff – Rural Women


Excerpts from Suzanne Ratzlaff’s Interview:

Rural vs. Urban Life
Moving to a Small Town
Declining Towns
Urban Problems in Small Towns