Time Period: 1985-1990
Themes: business, economics
By the late 1980s, Iowa farmers Russ and Mary Jane Jordan had accumulated a
large debt. Faced with losing their farm, The Jordans came up with a dramatic
solution to hold onto their family farm as massive foreclosures swept the
Ask students how farming is different from other businesses. Have them
take on farm business practices as they watch the program.
Have students find out how local banks decide whether or not to give
someone a loan. What information did they find? What additional factors might
influence a bank's decision?
What business practices were presented in the program? What do you
think will happen to U.S. farms in the future?
How did the Jordans use loans? Have students write a report on how the
1980s farm crisis affected how farmers use loans.
Have students research the effects of subsidies for U.S. farmers over
the last ten years. In a class debate, ask one team of students to support
U.S. farm subsidies and the other team to oppose subsidies.
Jeanne Jordan says, "There's a way that growing up on a farm is like
growing up on an island. Your family becomes your world." How does this quote
reflect how the Jordans coped with their financial losses? Have students write
about how they coped emotionally or economically when they had to seek help for
a project in which they invested time, money, or both.
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