Family Farms Face Uncertain Future - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Family Farms Face Uncertain Future

Bobby NedBalek Bobby NedBalek
Tom Paben Tom Paben
Dan Looten Dan Looten

The average farmer today gets 19-cents for every dollar you spend on food. Thirty years ago, farmers got 31-cents per dollar. This decrease in profit is putting stress on many family farms.

The farmers we spoke with call the current situation a train wreck. It's simple math...they're spending more than their bringing in, which is causing some families to say goodbye to a lifestyle they've known for decades. Bobby NedBalek, the Texas Farm Bureau Vice President says "I like to drive John Deere tractors, but every farmer farms to make money." Here's the problem...many farms aren't making any money. Tom Paben says. "I've been farming since 1972 and this is the worst squeeze we've ever seen."

That's forcing him to rethink the future of his farms. New crops to remain profitable... The rising cost of fuel is the main concern for many farmers. One farmer we talked with says he spends about $3,000 a month on gasoline alone...that's three times what he was spending just two years ago. If some family farms are forced to shut down, it's not just money they're giving up...it's a lifestyle. Dan Looten of Panhandle says "I grew up on a farm. We had chickens and all sorts of things. I have fond memories of the times I spent on the farm with my family. I wish my kids could enjoy it."

While shutting down is imminent for many farms, in general, the farmers we spoke with agree that although the small family farm is a dying breed, they won't ever go away completely.

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