Good morning! Welcome to the February 12th edition of farm news and views.
Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809, 210 years ago today, in Hardin County, in northwestern Kentucky. His father, Thomas, was a farmer who eked out a living on hard scrabble farms first in Kentucky, where they lived until Abraham was seven years old. After his father lost his farm in a land title dispute in 1816, they moved 100 miles northwest to Spenser County Indiana. His mother died there two years later, and his father remarried in 1819. Abraham grew up on the Spenser county farm, which probably helped form Abraham’s work ethic and character. In 1830, Thomas gave up on that densely wooded, hilly, and rocky farm, and moved his family, with help from his 21 years son, to Macon County Illinois, south of Decatur. Abraham then when out on his own and worked at a number of different jobs before practicing law and entering politics with election to the Illinois State Legislature in 1834.
While this history summation doesn’t have a lot to do with Agricultural news, it brings us this story. Before Abraham became president, he bought 40 acres of farm land in Coles County for the benefit of his father, paying $200 for the lot. He leased the land back to his father for $1 for the rest of his father’s life.
Today, 30 acres of that parcel of land, which has been farmed for more than a century and a half, will be auctioned off as part of a large family farm liquidation due to retirement of the owners. Ten acres of that tract were previously split off of the original Lincoln purchase to become part of the Illinois Lincoln Log Cabin Historic State Park, with the remaining 4 acres being put into a trust. Whether that 30 acre Lincoln parcel will be more valuable than the adjoining land remains to be seen.
The land Abraham Lincoln Bought for his father cost $5 per acre in 1841, and the remaining 30 acres will likely sell for from $8,000 to $10,000 per acre unless it is bid up due to its historic record. In 1841, the original 40 acre farm land would provide a living for a family. The return on the land if it is continued in corn and soybean production today will provide a net return per acre of about $ 4,000 per year before principal and interest is paid.
Last week, I was able to visit with a number of farmers and ranchers, who were positive about what they did, and about their prospects for the future. On Friday evening, I attended a gathering of farmers and ranchers at the Colorado Young Farmers Educational Association at their annual state institute. While some of those in attendance weren’t young, those whom I talked believed in the importance that continuing education has had in their success. On Saturday, I attended the Southwest Livestock Association Banquet, where Pam Suckla, Southwest Cowbells member, former member of the Colorado Board of Education and an partner her families’ cattle operation was named the 2019 Cowbell of the year. Johnny Greene, who has been active in the livestock industry for decades as a rancher, livestock trader and auctioneer, was named the 2019 Stockman of the Year.
I can relate to this quote from Abraham Lincoln. I am like a man so busy letting rooms in one end of this house that he can’t stop to put out a fire that is burning in the other end.
Until next week, I’m Bob Bragg