Saturday, July 15, 2006


Many farmers in Colorado are going through a tough time this year. This is a cornfield on the eastern plains. Actually, it is in better shape than most. The corn is patchy and ranges in height from four inches to fourteen inches. Not good for the middle of July.

I probably notice this more than a lot people for several reason. One is my friendship with Cliff. Another is Jerry’s blog. Yet another is because of a dream that is now a couple of decades old – I’ll write about that later.

Water is the main reason farmers are facing this situation. It rained on July 4th. That was the first significant rainfall in over six weeks. Another reason is the irrigation water to eight plains counties was cut off. There was a possibility of having a major water shortage in the metropolitan area. People would be driving dirty cars and not having lush, green lawns. Gosh, we can’t let that happen!

A few days ago in the paper, there was an article saying by the year 2010 our state would lose another 2.1 million acres of agricultural land to commercial and residential development. 2010 is only four years away. Seems like many cities and towns are more interested in increasing their tax base than anything else.

What you can’t see in the first picture is Ray. He is standing behind me. He farms this property. I met Ray when I stopped to take the picture of the cornfield and we got talking. Ray readily admits his crop is gone this year. He also said he is being contacted about once a week by a developer wanting to know if he is interested in selling.

I asked him what he was going to do. There was a long pause. Then he gave the most determined and confident answer I have heard in a long, long time. Ray said, “This land is a way of life. It’s not suited for a damn outlet mall.”

That is determination.


Blogger Triplet Dads said...

"four inch corn" in the middle of July is almost an oxymoron.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Poor guy. It's sad that they keep building and taking the land. That corn is pitiful looking.

I sure hope Ray can hold on. I admire his determination, and he is right about what he said!

Good post Ralph.

9:07 PM  
Blogger Raggedy said...

Good post!
I am sorry the corn did not work out this year.
It looks very dry.
Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) meow hugs
(")_ (")Š from da Raggedy one

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Jerry said...

Wow. I thought Illinois' corn looked bad last year. That's really sad, and it's probably just gonna burn up more in this summer heat.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Aravis said...

We've had too much rain, and I only wish I could send some your way where it's so desperately needed. My whole-hearted admiration to Ray for his determination and conviction, and to others like him. I sincerely hope it's rewarded!

11:22 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

That is sad for Ray. I might advise him to sell in a minute and cut his losses.
Is it a farm that has been in the family? That could change things.

11:51 PM  
Blogger Cliff Morrow said...

Sadly, Ray will eventually be offered enough money so that he can sell and by 5 times that much land somewhere else. Urban sprawl needs to be limited somehow. The march is relentless.
Excellent post my friend.

5:38 AM  
Blogger Aravis said...

In my town, a lot of farmers who want to retire sell their property to The Nature Conservancy. The land is allowed to return to its natural state and is preserved. It cannot be used for anything other than the study of the ecology, or as a subject for painting. Our mil rate is high but our town is beautiful...

1:22 PM  
Blogger Cheyenne said...

Thank God for people like Ray. Our farmland here gets gobbled up by developers and it aggravates the poop out of me. And yet, after all these new houses are built and lived in, our taxes go up every year.
BTW our corn is taller than me and we have plenty of fields left. Between corn and soybeans, that's about all that's grown around here. Potatoes used to be big but not any more.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

A term that says determination to me --- RALPH GOLF! Which btw I am changing the spelling to Ralph Golph.

7:42 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Stay Ray, stay!

7:17 PM  

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