It Can’t Get Any Better Than That
That's what Brady area farmer Gary Gollehon tells me when describing his life "down on the farm". According to Gary, "Good neighbors and a good place to bring up a family" is the single best thing about living/working on a farm". It's Ag Appreciation 2012 here in the Golden Triangle and I put forth some questions to my friend Gary Gollehon out at the Gollehon Place east of Brady on Hells Gulch Road. That area is known as "The Knees". The Arms and Legs are up the road a piece. Gary doesn't take a "party line" when it comes to success for the ag industry but "wishes all farmers could receive a reasonable profit for their goods, after expenses are taken out" but he's not optimistic that's ever going to happen. Gary tells me that while the country life is a good life and a good place to raise a family and one is his own boss, your income is not guaranteed. While physical work might be less now than 50 years ago, the stress level is higher. Gollehon impresses me as a true Montanan when he talks about how faith, optimism and intestinal fortitude keep him going through challenging times such as drought, poor prices, and increased rail rates. I got the impression that like everything else, while in years past, prices have always seemed high, but -they cannot hold a candle to today's prices. I asked Gary what he thinks has been the worst time/years/season at his place. Not blinking an eye, Gary told me "the drought of the 80's and 90's". He says one never knows when a drought is coming; a hurricane, blizzard, flood or other weather elements of nature, you can see coming, but a drought is scary, and something one has to experience to feel the real pain. Gollehon says the best years were in the 60's when he was listening to Bob Dylan and it was raining all the time! As far as safety on the today's modern farm, Gary tells me that conditions these days are safer than in the old days, mainly because of the mechanization of the occupation. I believe it still more dangerous than writing blogs. So is it all worth it, I wanted to know. The affable Gollehon tells me that "good neighbors and a good place to bring up a family" is the single best thing about life on the farm. He says, "our grandkids are the 6th generation and live a mile and a half from us; can't get any better than that". I agree Gary and the best to you and future Gollehon generations as we celebrate Ag Appreciation 2012.