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Old 01-22-2008, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Central Nebraska
1,821 posts, read 4,629,294 times
Reputation: 5065

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Reading the North Dakota forum, they really didn't like Nat. Geo's portrayal.
Anyone read this drivel?

North Dakota Pictures Read pages 3 and 4

This has been talked about alot, also called the "brain drain." Farming and Ranching is not easy, not something that is easy at all to get a start in from scratch, and something that is not a chosen career path for many youngsters. So when they get their education, they leave for jobs where they are available, or they leave for a more "exciting" place.
Saw a story the other night about a program where when a person graduated from the ag college in Curtis, the university would help in the purchase of cattle to get the rancher started on his own operation, can't remember all the details. There are also programs that will pay so much on your college loans a years, especially for people in the medical field, if they go into the real rural areas. I think my wife could have got 20k paid a year, the biggest area we could have moved to being the McCook area. We were benefical of demand for medical care in rural area, as she could make much more money than anywhere in Omaha. The jobs in her field are here, the problem is getting people to live in rural area where there is "nothing" to do.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,883 posts, read 102,281,764 times
Reputation: 32946
Quote:
I know WalMart can wreak havoc with a community's main street. But I also know that that is not always the case.
I had an "epiphany", if you will, about Wal-Mart a while back. I was discussing this issue with a VERY conservative shirttail relative. I was surprised when he said that Wal-Mart has destroyed small business in little towns, etc. I said that when Wal-Mart came to Lafayette, CO near where I ive, there wasn't much left of the small town shopping to destroy. No sooner were the words out of my mouth when I began thinking that may be the case with many of these small towns! The example of Chadron, in the post above, is a case in point. There was a show on PBS about Sears, Roebuck and how they were blamed for destroying small town business. Malls have been blamed for same. Business has to adapt to trends. It sure does seem that people like what Wal-Mart has to sell!
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 5,340,732 times
Reputation: 2406
Quote:
Saw a story the other night about a program where when a person graduated from the ag college in Curtis, the university would help in the purchase of cattle to get the rancher started on his own operation, can't remember all the details.
The way I read it, they'll basically prequalify you for FSA loans (direct ownership, operating, etc.)
BTW, Curtis is a two-year school.
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:10 AM
 
Location: West Omaha
1,181 posts, read 3,646,494 times
Reputation: 477
I agree. I don't think Wal-mart is the problem. Yes, I hate Wal-mart and can't stand going into one of their stores, but the bottom line is they offer an identical and cheaper product.

Small town "main streets" have been gradually dying for decades. You can have all the nice novel stores and shops that you'd like, but we live in a capitalist society. There has to be an economic benefit to the existence of the stores in order for them to be viable. They can't just be "neat" looking. While novelty may keep things afloat in populated areas, it doesn't fly in smaller communities. You simply don't have the numbers of the more affluent customers to keep things like that afloat. Wal-mart offers affordable products to people that need them.

Again, I hate Wal-mart and wish main street America could flourish again, but its a matter of economics.
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,527,342 times
Reputation: 890
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittnurse70 View Post
I had an "epiphany", if you will, about Wal-Mart a while back. I was discussing this issue with a VERY conservative shirttail relative. I was surprised when he said that Wal-Mart has destroyed small business in little towns, etc. I said that when Wal-Mart came to Lafayette, CO near where I ive, there wasn't much left of the small town shopping to destroy. No sooner were the words out of my mouth when I began thinking that may be the case with many of these small towns! The example of Chadron, in the post above, is a case in point. There was a show on PBS about Sears, Roebuck and how they were blamed for destroying small town business. Malls have been blamed for same. Business has to adapt to trends. It sure does seem that people like what Wal-Mart has to sell!
This has been a fairly recent "revelation". For years small towns were destroyed by the WalMart effect. Small towns were in the shrivel up and die mode, there isn't anything we can do so just curl up and feel sorry for ourselves and shrivel away.

A few years ago, some town (can't remember where, but wasn't in Nebraska), basically got the whole town together and said, "ok - its a reality that WalMart is here and its a reality that we can't compete, but what is it that they don't offer and what's the new needs of the region"... they used the answers to that to redefine themselves. Basically every small business in town did a little reinvention of themselves - most stayed in the primarily same business but just expolited a weakness of WalMart. A few businesses couldn't do that, but a few new ones also opened. That town then became known for its little niche and the economy revitalized.

I wish I could remember the exact town and niche so I could share more, but mind is going blank.

That story started a little movement with the economic development and planning organizations/consultants. Now when WalMart comes into an area there are actually some resources to help take a town/region thru that same excercise. It won't always work and it will never been easy, but it removed that idea of I can't do anything so I'll die and flipped it around.

I still think the University/College systems in Nebraska could make a huge difference in this arena.
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,231 posts, read 7,241,537 times
Reputation: 6679
I grew up on a farm and I love country living but I have absolutely no desire to farm for a living. I left the farm in 1964 when I graduated from High School. There were several reasons I left at that time and the reasons I left are probably the same reasons why a lot of the current farm kids want to leave.

I was a "hired hand" even though I worked for my Father.
The wages sucked.
I was not allowed to make any decisions involving the operation.
I wanted adventure.
I wanted to attend College and that meant moving away.
I wanted to sow a few "wild oats" but not in my own backyard.
Just out of High School the only job skills I had were farm related.

So I left. I imagine most recent High School graduates with a farm connection feel the same way I did 40+ years ago.

GL2
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Ne
884 posts, read 756,618 times
Reputation: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by momlady530 View Post
"Small communities can not pin their hopes on ethanol. They absolutely must diversify. Maybe there should be a larger focus on more novel agricultural products...find a niche that the mega farms don't compete. The point is, whatever they do, they can't continue to do things the way grandpa used to do it.
"

Matt, you mentioned a "niche". Perhaps this could be organic products? From what I understand organic farming is fairly small-scale. There definitely is a high demand for organic products here on the east coast. Just another uneducated guess.[/quote]


How long will the Organic crop industry last? The word is spreading pretty quickly regarding the lesser nutritional value of organic foods.
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 5,340,732 times
Reputation: 2406
I guess I haven't heard this "word" yet...

Beef, I know, has been proven time and again to be healthier when raised naturally (ie, no feedlots!) I don't do much with fruits and veggies, so I can't speak on that for sure, but I have a hard time believe organic is of lesser quality...
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Ne
884 posts, read 756,618 times
Reputation: 119
Produce is supposedly the worst when growth organically. To be sold "naturally fresh" the produce has to be harvested sooner than normal (before completely ripe). Evidently the ripening process is the time period those foods gain most of their vital nutrients which makes them so healthy.
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Western Nebraskansas
2,707 posts, read 5,340,732 times
Reputation: 2406
is this true of farmer's markets or just for supermarkets?
It doesn't make any sense to harvest before ripeness in a farmer's market where you're selling straight to consumers...
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