SEGMENT: FARM EQUIPMENT, HIRED HELP, & FARM BUSINESS

Bill Gommel>NIU Collection>NIU Collection, Segment 7

SEGMENT: FARM EQUIPMENT, HIRED HELP, & FARM BUSINESS,

duration 11:22
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CHILDREN'S ACTIVITIES
Family was involved in 4-H, church activities. Children built things, played with toy tractors and trucks, & read. Didn't have television for a long time - didn't need it.
CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Left school to work. Martha left home after mother died to work. Bill, high school (difficult to understand), had to work. Martha left home young to make a living. Education is important.
TRAVEL
In the 1970s, Gommels had some extra money & traveled more.
CHANGES IN FARM EQUIPMENT
Bought new machinery when they could. Explain "bottoms," with respect to plows & plowing. Newer equipment saved labor.
HIRED HELP
Mentions need for hired help when landowner increased farm size. Talks about a part-time man who was with them for 11 or 12 years. Hired an extra man to operate another machine during harvest.
FARM BUSINESS
Bill tells about his duties, managing, making planting decisions. Draws on his experience to do that. Considers prices, government programs & what he'll be able to sell for in the coming seasons. Good discussion of government programs, but very difficult to hear. Surpluses versus demand, subsidized markets. Importance of bringing in a crop that will "pay." Refers to the 1930s, compares it to the structures in place today.
CONSERVATION
Good discussion of use of cover-crop on fields not in production (set-asides) to prevent erosion, but again difficult to hear. Describes how government keeps tabs on what a farmer grows by aerial photography.