|Art Thicke, 66, and his wife Jean, of LaCrescent, Minn., were|
featured in a recent story in the Winona Daily News about aging
farmers in Minnesota. (Daily News photo by Andrew Link)
The situation is especially bleak for small farmers, who tend to be most in debt. A family farm with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's reported average 12 percent debt-to-asset ratio owes about $200,000. And those who don't have debt likely make far too little profit to benefit from the increased inheritance tax exemptions in the recent tax overhaul, which were touted by Republicans as a boon to family farmers.
"It’s a problem that’s likely to continue until a money-following, PAC-driven Congress obsessed with problems of the ultra-rich finally sees the problems real farmers face," Oswald reports.