Miscellaneous Rambling: Agriculture
Well, this was a disconcerting headline: Why are America's farmers killing themselves in record numbers? As an agricultural proprietor (I just came up with that title; I kinda like it), am I at risk? Probably not. I'm not dealing with the thing that apparently drives the suicides: the stress of dealing with both market forces and weather. I've noted to Marie many times, "I have to check myself and make sure I don't get stressed when things start to go bad for one of my small crops due to weather or plant disease . . . things I have little control over. I can't imagine how I'd react if my entire livelihood and the financial well-being of my family depended on such things."
BTW: I would bet $1,000 that the huge government ag programs are botching up the pricing mechanism, creating far more long-term problems than they're solving, and that's greatly contributing to the suicide rate. But I know very little about the economics of agriculture, so this is pure conjecture from premises on my part.
If I were a full-time farmer, I'd definitely develop a side hustle, kinda like how I've developed farming as a side hustle for my law practice. For me, agricultural proprietorship
is half hobby, half side hustle. It's enjoyable, but only because I don't have much riding on it. It's kinda like an elaborate fantasy football league with moderately-high stakes.
I wonder if this is why so many farmers' wives work. I work with a lot of farmers, and I'm not sure I've ever met any with stay-at-home wives. All their wives work, at least part-time, even those farmers with a net worth in the millions of dollars, and most of them work at some job away from the farm. Maybe the wife is the side hustle.
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