After nearly a decade of prosperity, rural America entered the 1980s with its agricultural base facing a severe financial crisis. Land values, export markets and the general demand for agricultural commodities were declining while the levels of indebtedness reached during the 1970s were becoming increasingly difficult to manage. By the middle of the 1980s, the existence of a crisis was apparent in farm failure rates that had reached levels that had not occurred since the 1930s and in the fact that large numbers of agricultural banks were failing and agencies that provide loans to farmers and ranchers were experiencing unprecedented losses. Small towns in agriculturally dependent rural areas were losing businesses, populations and related services, and extremely high rates of socioemotional problems were noted among rural residents in agriculturally dependent areas of the nation.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
part Part One|59 pages
The Context of the Crisis
part Part Two|114 pages
The Characteristics, Impacts and Long-term Implications of the Crisis