The United States proceed to go through an enormous expansion of the industrial revolution.
Even though many manufacturing industries, such as the oil and steel industry, started to grow, the actual value of produced goods has risen dramatically. Still, we farmers remain to encounter and face callous financial junctures. One-third of all US citizens labor on farms, and many different obstacles have made it tough for us to make a living out of farming. We have encountered many difficulties such as grasshoppers and boll weevils destroying our field products, dropping rates of agricultural goods, drought, and high-interest prices charged by lenders. Landowners have most of the farms crosswise the country, and most of the settlers only work the fields on a tenancy authority. The prices of farm products in the local market and exorbitant interests charged by creditors have left most farmers in debt. The situation is a bit better for large scale farmers who have the capacity to mechanize their large farms and buy additional land, but for the majority of small farmers who mainly operate their farms on a lease, the situation is not better. Discriminatory railroad rates charged to farmers, expensive farm equipment, fertilizers and pesticides, heavy taxation and private companies that purchase large tracts of land are factors making the problems of farmers even worse. New technologies for farming like combined harvesters have been invented, but most farmers continue to use old techniques of farming like oxen and horses, due to the costly nature of the new technologies. Most of the farmers settled in the plains because of sufficient rains and partly due to the free land promised by the federal government under the Homestead Act. The hopes of farmers have however been crushed by unexpected dry spells in the plains, which have led to massive crop failure.
The government must take urgent measures to protect farmers and save them from the financial trouble. First farmers need to access credit to buy farm machinery and farms. High interests charged on loans and mortgages have made it very difficult to acquire loans and repay them. The farmers also need credit to buy agricultural inputs like fertilizer and store their products in warehouses. Therefore, creditors need to provide credit at affordable interest so that farmers can access all the things they need to farm profitably. Railroads also need to charge reasonable rates on farmers in the transportation of their farm produce from the farms to the market.
Several organizations have played a critical role in the championing for the plight of American farmers. First, the Patrons of Husbandry have helped champion for the reduction of railroads and warehouse rates. Furthermore, the Patrons of Husbandry have also played an important role in encouraging farmers to form cooperatives, which will assist them to acquire land at an affordable cost and get credit at low-interest rates. The National Farmers Alliance, the Colored Farmers Alliance and Southern Farmers Alliance have also played active roles in encouraging farmers to form cooperatives. The Colored Farmers Alliance, in particular, has been at the forefront, arguing that land belongs to the public and should not be treated as private property.
The government should take urgent measures to address the plight of farmers in the country. The majority of people in the US rely on farming as a source of livelihood. If urgent measures are not taken the food security of the nation is at risk. The government must urge creditors to lower lending rates and also reduce railroad charges to help farmers operate profitably. It should also take other measures like reducing taxation and introducing subsidies on farm inputs, to make them affordable for struggling farmers in rural areas.