Imagine that you live on a farm in the country and you have invited your cousin from the city to come for a visit to your farm. Write a letter to your cousin to describe what happens on a family farm so he or she will know what to pack! If you haven't had a chance to learn all about family farming in Farm School yet, do the best you can. When you have spent a lot of time in Farm School, try writing a letter again to your cousin. Are your two letters very different? What things did you learn about family farming that you didn't know when you started? If you already know a lot about family farming then writing this letter should be as easy as milking a cow!

The visit was a success! Your cousin had so much fun working with you in the fields and with the animals that he/she wants to return for another visit. Your cousin wants to know more about what the life of a farmer is like. You want to tell a little about what has been happening in agriculture over the last twenty-five years to give him/her a little better understanding of family farming.

The Grassbaugh Family is a farm family in Knox County who has noticed the trend of changing farm size. Kathy Grassbaugh, a dairy farmer from Howard Township, feels that a part of the expansion of their operation has been as a result from outside pressure.

"I don't like the idea of getting bigger and bigger. I guess I like
the point we used to be at. I don't even like it that we have gotten
this big [nearly one thousand acres and one hundred head of Holstein
cows]. It is almost like the fun of doing some of the things has been
taken out because you are under so much pressure."

As the size of operations increases, many farmers feel their farms are becoming more business-like. Kathy's husband, Dale, feels this is true.

"You've got to look at farming from a business aspect now.
Definitely there is still a trend, a way of life, part of farming
but you have got to make decisions and they have to be business

  • Read about one pressure on farmland.

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