SEGMENT: FARM BUSINESS, FAMILY BACKGROUND, & ORGANIC FARMING

Dr. Debra Reid>ISM Interviews M-Z>ISM Interviews M-Z, Segment 4

SEGMENT: FARM BUSINESS, FAMILY BACKGROUND, & ORGANIC FARMING,

duration 12:44
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CHILDHOOD ACTIVITIES
No conflict between town kids and farm kids. Most of her friends were from town. One friend Cheryl Holsom would come out to ride the ponies as a child. Couldn't do sports in school until she got her license, then did track. Most socialization was during school.
FARM BUSINESS
Describes the farm as a classic diversified, subsistence based farm. 180 acres with a orchard that died out. Fenced the fields for cattle, beans, and corn. Double cropped wheat with soy beans. Planted turnips every seven years or so. Registered Herford bull with grade Herford cows. Got rid of the cattle in 1998, "a sad day." Also at a time had hogs, and chicken, abandoned in 1970. Mother went to work at a cake mix plant in Steeleville, IL, part of the Gilster-Mary Lee Corporation.
FAMILY BACKGROUND
Father has incurable infections in his feet. They kept him in bed for a period of time and her mother took over the farm duties. They decided to get rid of the cows then. Mother developed cancer shortly thereafter. Brother couldn't help, had a family and worked in a cake mix plant in Percy, IL. Debra couldn't do anything, she was living in either Maine or upstate New York.
RETIREMENT
Farmers work a lot longer before they retire. Her uncle John Russell was in his 90s when he got rid of his cattle. Getting rid of cattle is a sign of mortality. It also changes the land, the fences go into disrepair, the brush grows freely.
FAMILY BACKGROUND
Bought the farm in 1954 from George Reineker. Barn and house built in early 20th century. Father would harvest fruit from the orchard there at the time.
ORGANIC FARMING
The cattle were grass and grain fed, but they did use modern medicine. Pink eye was a problem when the grass got too tall. Doesn't think they would be certified organic today.
FARM BUSINESS
Family was very thrifty. Non-materialists. Didn't buy the newest and biggest equipment because they didn't have a lot of income and only certain types of equipment would work in their small fields. Never borrowed money or carried debt. Paid the same for the farm in the 1950s as they did for a van in the 1990s or 2000s. Bought a new truck on the day she was born, had "H.G. Reid Farms" on the side. Put money into CDs. Got this thrifty mindset from living through the Great Depression. Father was in the CCC, wound up in Michigan. Mother was born in 1924 so she experienced the depression as well.