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[Question:] "These were not good times for farmers."
     "No, they weren't. And that's one of the reasons I think that the women coming together and being supportive and partners in their family farming operations certainly gave them a better understanding of what we were going through. And times were very, very difficult. In fact I was looking at several clippings where bankers said that this was probably one of the most difficult times because of the very low prices. I think corn was like a $1.50 [per bushel]. And then our high interest rates – the rates of inflation [actually interest rates were] going to 19, 20 percent. Even over. We lost many, many young families. I think probably the biggest notice was farm women went to work in town. If there was any opportunity to find employment, this was the time when women would work just to buy groceries and have groceries on their table. It was a very difficult time.
     "And I think one of the reasons was about in 1973 Russia bought corn. And prices were good, up to $3.00, $3.50. And land prices escalated, as well. And so, people were paying as much as $2,200, $2,500 an acre for land thinking the prices would stay up, the interest rates would stay low where they were. But then the culmination of all these things happening in the late 70s and early 80s and that just put the squeeze on many families. And they simply couldn't make it."

Elaine Stuhr – Bust of the 80s

   

Excerpts from Elaine Stuhr’s Interview:

Beginning Farmers
Farm Strike Movement
Anyone Can Lobby
Women & WIFE
Raising Kids for Export
Immigration in Rural America
Environmental Laws & Agriculture