Daily VideoDecember 10, 2009
Iowa Farmers Squeezed by Recession
In this video report from Sioux Center, Iowa, NewsHour correspondent Ray Suarez looks at how the recession has hit agricultural centers and the farmers that produce the food that feeds the country and the world.
Over 95 percent of the land in Sioux Center is used for agriculture and more than one in six jobs is tied to the industry.
Until recently, grain farmers had been faring well during the recession and they were able to save up during the good times. But with the price of corn plunging 46 percent in the last year, and consumers spending less money on food, farmers are finding that they have to tighten their budgets too.
“This community is fairly optimistic. You may find people in different parts of the country a little bit more pessimistic, but people here are pretty much, will hunker down, as they say out here in the West, and get through the tough times. ” – John Hansen, Farmers Cooperative Society
“We’re real fortunate in this community to — to have had the cash to — to do a lot of things that other communities can’t do. We have always believed what our mother says. You have got to put a little bit away for a rainy day.” – Dennis Walstra, mayor, Sioux Center, Iowa
Warm Up Questions
1. What kind of community do you live in? Where do people work? What kinds of jobs are available?
2. What is agriculture?
3. What kinds of crops and food products are produced in the U.S. What areas do they come from?
1. What did you learn from this video? Did any of the information surprise you?
2. What are the similarities between your community and agricultural town of Sioux Center, Iowa? What are the differences?
3. According to the video, how are the farmers impacted by external factors like the economy, the weather and even swine flu?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Scotland voted against splitting from the United Kingdom in a historic referendum that could have granted the country independence. Continue reading
Scientists are developing a new breed of rice that could help improve public health in the Philippines, but some say it will harm the environment. Continue reading
President Obama announced the U.S. will scale its efforts to combat the Ebola virus in West Africa, which has spread exponentially throughout the region in recent months. Continue reading
“I’m hopeful that the dreams which I have now to see every child going to school, to see equal rights for women, I think, soon…I will see those dreams becoming a reality.” Continue reading
In Oakland, California, school officials are revamping the school lunch menu to bring in food from local farms. Continue reading