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As new farmer starting in this time things look good. What I see is the lack forward vision, thing are going to change dads and grandads ways aren't going to work. Time to take the blinders off and steer this horse. My view on the childern is to include them in positve thoughts and ideas, they are our most free minds their though may provide the left field homerun we all need.
I think there are plenty of positive things to look forward to for family farms. First off, do what you have to survive the current economic downturn. I'm sure your Dad will appreciate the help he gets from you and your brothers. Second, evaluate how many families your operation will support in more normal times, if there is such a thing. You may have to expand if you can or work off farm and contribute differently to the operation. Or diversify if that interests you. The main thing is to survive right now, don't quarrel amongst family, they are most important to you and you to them. There were times in my life when my family was all I had and I am thankful every day for them. Don't give up, do what you have to inside the law and be patient, things will get better. Be creative if dairy is what you love. And for God's sake, insulate your children from this mess. The kids are what matter most. Good luck to you !!!
I hate to be pessimistic but I don't see any way for the small family farm to survive. One reason is this, every day you get a bill in the mailbox, and because that's the way it is, you definitely need income on a very regular basis. Ok, a milkcheck does that but the small farm check doesn't clear enough to pay farm expenses and living expenses too. A family needs at least $30,000 a year just to get by and that is just scrapping by. How much would a small dairy farm have to gross to clear at least that much, with all that has to go back into the farm operation. Then machinery has to be replaced, and well, there's the story in a nutshell.