I spoke to a farmer-friend last month who had a big disappointment in his life: his son had decided not to return to the farm. He was saddened by the turn of events, but in some ways, he understood the young man may not have much of a choice.

This is a scene that has been repeated many times on other farms across the Midwest. The sadness is sometimes coupled with frustration, anger or even a sense of guilt or shame. In some cases, I have even noticed a sense of relief that the children are not going back to the farm.

Jeff Burbrink is an educator with Purdue Extension Elkhart County. He can be reached at 574-533-0554 or jburbrink@purdue.edu.

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