Farming: The Only Industry Where Wages are Garnished

Here are two scenarios to make you aware of how much control banks have on farmers and ranchers, more so than any other business or industry.

First scenario:

Farmers take their grain to the elevator and the bank’s name is alongside theirs on the grain check.

Second scenario, very similar:

Ranchers sell livestock at the sale barn and the bank’s name is also alongside theirs on the livestock check.

This has happened for so long farmers and ranchers actually consider it the norm. Why wouldn’t they? They do not know any better.

My question is this:  Why only farmers and ranchers?

It’s absolutely the only business I know where the business owners’ “paychecks” are taken from them before they can even decide what to do with them. It’s the single occupation I know where business owners have to give the bank money before they have any to live on. The only business I know where the business owners have to ask for their money and then be told how much they can have.

NO other business. None. Multi-million dollar corporations that borrow money do not have to do this. Small business owners who borrow money for startups do not have to do this. All these businesses have collateral just as farmers and ranchers do.

So why farmers and ranchers? Is it because of the 1980s debacle banks got themselves into for loaning too much money to farmers for overpriced land? If so, then someone please explain to me why since the 2008 housing crisis homebuilders don’t have their bank’s name on the check they receive when one of their homes sells. And, why don’t homeowners get their mortgage garnished from their paychecks?

Farmers and ranchers have collateral just the same as anyone else borrowing money, because you and I both know banks don’t lend money they can’t get back in one way, shape or form.

Banks can do this for two reasons.

1. Those with the money make the rules.

2. Farmers and ranchers are conditioned to think there is no other way.

Farmers and ranchers need money, and when you need cash, you follow the rules of the one with the money. You need money to operate and you can’t go without it, because operating costs are not decreasing.

It’s not as if you as farmers and ranchers have never sat back and asked if there is a better way. I know you have. I hear it all the time. I also know you are frustrated with the banks, but you feel as if there is no other way. It’s the way it has been done for hundreds of years, and if there were a better way you would know.

NO, you would not know. Think of all the quickly changing farming techniques you now use. What if you just sat back and said, “There isn’t a better way to seed, we may as well stick with the old way.” Where would you be today? Farming with horses and buggies!

There ARE other ways. Read my 98-page book and get the answers. This book will take you the same amount of time to read as you spend getting ready and sitting in your banker’s office justifying why he should lend you money again this year. It will change the history of farm finance. And, I hope in two generations we will have farmers banking for themselves and only using banks as Plan B.

If you have not read my book, Farming Without the Bank, get it by going here. The frustration will never end until you end it. Those with money will always be making the rules.

You may not know any better now. But you can educate yourself to do better for yourself, your family and your farming legacy!

Mary Jo

P.S. I am NOT bashing bankers. Bankers are nice people. It’s the banking system that takes money from farmers before they ever get the chance to touch it that is broken.