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Fallout on Main Street: A Farmer’s Tale
By Mike Fritz

Rossburg, Ohio
Population 224

JIM ZUMBRINK, OHIO FARMER: Boy, you really have real communities here. Well, in this farm here, there’s 120 acres. And now we kind of own about every corner of this section through here. My brother and I own 440 acres altogether. These areas are so conservative that, you know, I think they don’t like to chance change. But I think now that the way the economy is driven, it’s making people think again that, you know, there might be a better way of doing things. As far as what happens in Wall Street, you know, I don’t own stocks and bonds or anything like that, so that doesn’t affect me personally, but it affects me what’s happened to the rest of the economy. So, yes, it really concerns me that it’s where it’s at. As Wall Street started falling apart, that’s when our prices really started falling apart. They’d been slipping since late spring, but, boy, here in the last month or so they’ve really tumbled down. And our corn crop looked real good, but the yields were down. I just called the local elevator last night, and corn last night was $3.84. And from the highs, I think you might have been able to squeeze $7 at one time. And, yeah, just everything’s fallen. These prices hadn’t started affecting yet. That’s where this will all show up is next year; whenever we start buying the inputs and our fertilizer, our fuels, chemicals, that’s where it will really start showing up, that’s when everybody will start biting the bullet again. I think that everybody’s just kind of setting on the edge of their seat and wondering what’s going to happen. Are we at the bottom? You know, are we propping up the economy for another month or so? Or what’s going on? Whenever they first started talking about the bailout program, it concerned me. But then I started thinking about, you know, it almost comes to the point where it’s country first. If that’s what we need to do to keep us going, yes, it’s alright. But if it’s just going to help a few people on Wall Street and the Richie Rich people that really have sapped the system, it’s ridiculous. They shouldn’t have done that. We just can’t keep running debt up. We just can’t. Well, I can’t as an individual, and I don’t see how our government can either. The day of reckoning’s going to come, but when it comes I don’t know. Is it coming fast? Or is it down the road a few years yet? But someday, somebody’s going to pay the piper.


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