Attorney shares story of farm crisis fight – WV News


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sarah Vogel’s story is A strong one.

Vogel, an lawyer and former North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture, was Definitely one of many key figures Inside the wrestle To save tons of household farmers By way of the Nineteen Eighties. Now she is telling her story in a e-book titled “The Farmer’s Lawyer, The North Dakota 9 and the Fight to Save the Family Farm.”

“I wrote the e-book feeling that, if one other farm disaster comes … if the farmer Isn’t making it, All of us Ought to be apprehensive,” she said when talking On the annual meeting of the North American Agricultural Journalists. “… We’d like them They typically want us.”

When the farm disaster of the Nineteen Eighties started, Vogel was a youthful single mom, an lawyer who had labored in Washington, D.C., however had Unlikely had a lot courtroom expertise. She had recently transferd again to her house state of North Dakota.

Quickly she turned the lawyer who talked to pretty A pair of farmers who have been dropping their land and livelihoods all through a crackdown by USDA’s Farmers Home Administration (FmHA). She had no money and little expertise, however she traveled the state talking to farmers and making an try to work with FmHA. Finally she led A class movement lawsuit that was worthwhile, forcing the federal agency To vary The biggest method it dealt with farmers.

She later served two phrases as North Dakota Agricultural Commissioner.

The thought of farmers stopping For his or her land was “embedded in my DNA,” Vogel says. Her household had labored with the Nonpartisan League in North Dakota and her father had been a U.S. Attorney and state Supreme Courtroom Justice.

But that didn’t make her job Inside the Nineteen Eighties straightforward. Lots of her farm consumers mightn’t afford to pay her. She misplaced her house. Her utilities have been shut off at her office.

“These have been very strong occasions,” she said. But she was transferd by the “burning injustice” of what was occurring to farmers.

She gained the lawsuit. Some farmers managed To survive. The agricultural financial system eventually recovered. But she said one other farm disaster might happen.

“We as a people overlook the final melancholy,” she said. “I don’t Take heed to ag economists.”

She additionally said the transfer in the direction of ever fewer And greater farms Isn’t a healthful one, including that she Need to see extra medium-sized farms. The USDA might assist encourage that enchancment, As a Outcome of it did Inside the Nineteen Thirties. And she or he said that regardless of the enchancment in the direction of greater farms, she Is joyful to see farmers making an try new ventures.

“There’s A lot of hope,” she said, including “I’m an everlasting optimist.”


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