Montana Agriculture is Growing in More Ways Than One
The agricultural business is booming in Billings. This morning, the Flakes read a story about the rising value of farms and ranches in Montana.
Agriculture remains the biggest industry in the state and it's growing. Sales from Montana made products have doubled in the past five years and the value of the average farm or ranch has grown by nearly 60 percent.
As someone who has worked on farms and ranches for most of his life, Paul knows a thing or two about the business. While the recent statistics look great in newspaper stories, Paul doesn't think that there are many "rich farmers".
Even if the market value for the average farm in Montana is now over $150,000, Paul believes that most of them still struggle to get by. It's not cheap to run a farm. Most guys are lucky to have a few thousand dollars left over at the end of the year.
Paul also wants to dispel the notion that ranchers and farmers are big spenders. If a farmer buys a $300,000 combine, it's probably because his last combine is so old it doesn't run anymore. Either that, or they need the tax right off.
Yes, the Ag business is growing. And that's good. But don't assume that farmers and ranchers are striking it rich. It's tough work.