• Tom Bechman

    Where Have All the Farmers Gone?

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on January 31, 2011

    There was a time not so long ago, about 10 years or so, when it was standing room only in a cafeteria that holds 225 people for the annual meeting of the Johnson County Soil and Water Conservation District. Each soil and water district is required to hold an annual meeting during the winter months in the New Year. No two are alike. Always a strong one, it was disappointing to only come up with 75 people at the 2011 Johnson County SWCD meeting a couple weeks ago. And that may have been using…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Those Before Us Faced Challenges Too

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on January 24, 2011

    As I sit here and write this today, it occurs to me that my father, George Robert Bechman, a lifelong tenant farmer, a Pearl Harbor Survivor, and my guiding light, even when I didn't know it, died exactly five months ago today, on Aug. 21, 2010. It was about 85 degrees warmer and the grass was brown, not white, but in my mind's eye, it hasn't been that long. Wherever I go I hear people talking about the challenges we face - the deficit, rising input costs, weed resistance, you name it. There…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Ten Reasons I Like This Indiana Winter

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on January 17, 2011

    Just the thought of 90 degree plus days when I have to be outside working makes me break out in a sweat even now. I don't just not like hot days- I loathe them, hate them, detest them- OK, so maybe I could use anger management training. I physically and emotionally can't stand super-hot days. So I promised I wouldn't complain about the winter. Of course I didn't know it was going to be this cold and this snowy for this long. But I still haven't complained, not really. If someone says, "Oh man…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Caught In A Time Warp

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on January 10, 2011

    The wallpaper border around the top of my office walls is a bucolic scene of Holstein cows in the pasture. My late father milked for 20 years, during my 'formative years' and I think happy thoughts when I see those cows, even though there was a lot of hard work involved. It seemed like a simpler time. You knew what work had to be done, you did it, and then you went on to the next job. The shelves above and to the side of me hold farm toys- everything from a red Tru-Scale picker on a John Deere…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Answering Phone is Like Playing Russian Roulette

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on January 3, 2011

    The land line office phone for Indiana Prairie Farmer doesn't get the workout it once did, what with much business transacted by email. But it's still the official way to reach us. Some days it rings more often than others. What's certain is I'm never sure what will be on the other end of the line. Since I work out of my home, and our grandson, a one-year-old lives with us, I usually hesitate long enough to listen for background sounds, like him cooing or crying, before I decide it's Carla…

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