The following article appeared in Acadiana Profile, a magazine published in the southwestern area of Louisiana. The author writes about problems specific to this portion of the state along with the rest of the state and even the entire country.
The cover models are none other than a two-year-old Wilson, his dad, grandfather, and great-grandfather. The man on the far left is Wilson’s great-grandfather, the Frank Martin of Frank Martin Farms, Inc. On the right in the back is Frank Martin’s son-in-law, Robert Judice Sr. Wilson’s dad is Junior (but called Bobby). Of course, the cutie pie in front is Wilson himself, already considered a “farmer” in the caption.
To me, the most interesting parts of the story are the points made by then-State Commissioner of Agriculture, Bob Odom. He hit on problems with costs of inputs versus prices of commodities, loss of prime farmland, and a need to educated consumers. These problems plague farmers of today!
In reading this article, though, we are reminded about the 1980′s, a time that ran many sugarcane farmers out of business. No matter how hard we see times today, looking back at things shows us how those who forged the path we travel had different difficulties. The price of sugar, for example has been up for a couple of years now, for the first time since before this article was written. Yes, input costs are still higher today, but the advances in technology have made our business both more productive and safe.
Wilson will always be proud of the five generations of farmers before him and hope that the next five generations of farmers will be just as proud of him.
(Note: I scanned and posted the article in its entirety out of respect to the author and the editor of the magazine. This includes a smaller article right in the middle, as is shaded in darker gray, as well as several advertisements. I hope you enjoy looking at those as well. It is almost comical to see how things have changed! Unfortunately, that article in the middle isn’t funny to us, given the recent auction here on the farm.)