The Lady or the Tiger

Southeastern Missouri flooding along the Mississippi River

Southeastern Missouri flooding along the Mississippi River

As I write, the rain continues to fall and Flat Creek continues to rise, cutting me off from about a third of my farm. But the water will go down, we’ll clean up the debris and fix the fences and the grass will continue to grow. Some of my cropland friends should have it that easy.

As I chronicled in last week’s Food and Farm radio broadcast, I drove up to Indianapolis recently, past miles of flooded farmland.

In about an hour, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will blow holes in the Bird’s Point Levee near New Madrid, MO, releasing the Mississippi River onto roughly 130,000 acres of prime farmland for an estimated one-time loss of $77.6 million dollars. Question is, how long will it take the land to recover after the flood waters recede? A decision had to be made and I admire Gov. Nixon for his dedication to public safety, but know it was not a decision made capriciously without thought of the agricultural consequences.

My late neighbor and mentor Dick Rayborn used to say “Farmin’ ain’t nothin’ but gamblin’, and it’s high-stakes gamblin’ at that.” Our friends in Indiana may yet see a reprise from the flooding, but the folks in Missouri have lost their roll of the dice.

For all the farmers and ranchers around the country dealing with floods and droughts and tornadoes and wildfires, we offer up a prayer for better times and know full well that those who don’t understand us will continue to malign us and second guess us. We need to pray for them as well, that they never have to walk a mile in our boots and make the decisions we have to make every day.

Farming and ranching ain’t for sissies.


About raybowman

church of Christ elder, farmer, grandad, agriculture writer and broadcaster

Posted on May 2, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. mary schleifer

    Hmm. They should take some of the subsidy money from Pakistan and give it to the people who work so hard to provide food for our country.

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