"Our son [Boyd Jr.] is on the farm. He has joined the farming operation [in 1991] although after he graduated in, let's see, in 1984 – no, yes – He graduated from the university [UNL] in 1984 and went on and worked as a bank loan officer in Lincoln and Kearney. We told him we thought it was a good idea to go out and work for someone else and hope that someday that he would come back to the farm but didn't really pressure him to do that. But we were very pleased in 1991 when he did come back and joined us in the farming operation. He actually is the full operator now and we're retired and love living out on the farm and helping. My husband helps and assists with the work whenever he can."
     [Question:] "Would he have been able to – Would your son, Boyd Jr, have been able to get into farming without your help?"
     "No, I don't – No, I don't believe so. I think there are very few young people that – unless they have someone that they very closely know, maybe a relative of some sort – I think the investment is just too great. And then the opportunity to find [and buy] land is also a challenge today…
     "But there is just something – It is so great to live out in the country. We have a son-in-law – our daughter Cyndy's husband and they live in Lee's Summit, Missouri -- and when he comes out on the farm he sleeps the best that he ever sleeps. [Laughs.] And there's just that love of land that you enjoy so much and the smell of the soil and the fresh air. All of those things that you really can't put a price tag on that – And the opportunity I guess. When we were deciding whether to stay on the farm or to, you know, move into an urban area. The opportunity for your children to live in a smaller community and get to know people and care about people [is great]. I guess just having the experience of living in California when you really didn't know your next-door neighbor. And sometimes you didn't want to know your next-door neighbor. It's just the sense of community that you have living in rural areas that means so much…
     "We're just grain farmers now. And that sort of happened after our children left. So that would have happened in the 80s. And there were again big decisions that were made. People were either expanding – I think technology sort of was coming in and you either went to a large operation or you didn't have an operation. A lot of the hog confinement buildings were being built. A lot of livestock feeders were expanding. So, we just kind of slowly went out of the livestock operation and never got back into it. And now we're strictly just to being grain producers. But I think back in the 60s everyone had a little bit, a few hogs, a few chickens, a few cattle. It was just a diversified operation."

Elaine Stuhr – Beginning Farmers


Excerpts from Elaine Stuhr’s Interview:

Farm Strike Movement
The Bust of the 80s
Anyone Can Lobby
Women & WIFE
Raising Kids for Export
Immigration in Rural America
Environmental Laws & Agriculture