This is the next installment of the My Farm Roots series from theWUIS Harvest Desk.
In 1986, Becky Doyle was helping her husband run the family’s hog farming operation. She also had a sidelight business of marketing gift baskets made from Illinois products. But that wasn’t enough: Doyle decided she would make a run for the Illinois House.
“I was young, naive and thought I could run as a Republican in a district where it was 11:4 Democrat,” Doyle said.
Jackie Dougan Jackson grew up like many farm kids. She spent sunbaked summer hours detasseling corn, tending the crops so it can be pollinated. For farm kids, detasseling is one of the ultimate chores. For the 85-year-old Jackson, those memories still put a song in her heart.
My Farm Roots, a series from WUIS and Harvest Public Media, tells Americans’ stories and memories of rural life. Because when you hail from farm country, roots run deep. Times are good on the farm right now, but that hasn’t always been true. Many of today’s young farmers grew up in the shadow of the farm crisis on the 1980's and watched as rural areas were ripped apart by debt and foreclosures. Those hard times will always stay with them. Today, an Iowa farmer tells his story: