Weathering the Storm: Navigating the Marathon of Farm Finances
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When we said yes, to taking on the family farm, with all its debt, we knew that it was going to be a hard road. That we had a mountain to climb. What I did not realize at the time was just how long and hard that road was going to be. I was prepared for a couple of hard years. A Sprint. Buckle down, grind, and get ahead. 
But what it's actually been, is a marathon. A hard marathon. One that's uphill, through storms, and the weather beating down on you. 
I was listening to something from Trent Shelton and it caught my attention. We all go through storms. How do we choose to see that storm determines what we do with it and how it affects our life. 
Are you seeing this farm storm as something that's beating you down? Are you seeing it as something that is building you up, strengthening you and preparing you for something greater?
See, I've spent the past four, almost 5 years. Was my head to the grindstone trying to pinch things out. Personal and business finances alike. Minimizing all the costs I can, just to try and make ends meet and books balance. 
It's left me stressed. It left me burned out. I don't enjoy this life right now. The life we chose to build. So that our kids can have the farm life we dream of. 
During the nights I would go to bed wishing we had just walked away in 2020. Sold everything, picked up our cows and left. Did we? No. We chose to stay because the roots of our family run deep, 100 years deep and we chose to fight for it. We chose to stay. To dig down into those roots and rebuild. To build it better, so they can start off on a good foundation. Not with a crumbling foundation and mountain of debt that we got. 
It was and is hard. We made it through the first year. It was hard. The second year was harder. We physically made it through. But the books didn't balance, it was red. Not black, not break even, it was red. At the end of the year. 
By God's grace, the bank gave us one more year to try again. That year was 2023. We ran the year with maxed out credit lines, and bills piled high. At the end of the year, two of our landlords pulled their ground. The bank called the notes and now we’re liquidating. 
Looking back, what we should have done back in 2020, is happening now. We should have let the family farm fall then and then picked up the pieces, if any, that were left. We gave everyone 3 more years on the family farm. Was it worth it? I honestly don’t know. We paid for it with our health. 
The only thing to do now is to move forward. Pick up the pieces. Simplify and continue to pay off the debt that is left. 
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