In 1979 the author of this article was hired to write for Successful Farming, a national magazine founded in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1902. This led to a privileged, front-row-seat perspective on the lead-up to the 1980s Farm Crisis, the depth of the financial turmoil, and its devastating aftermath on rural America. This article highlights the trajectory of the 1980s Farm Crisis, and reveals how her coverage documented the impact on farmers, as well as the efforts of support groups, farm organizations, and the US government to stabilize farms and farmers, and to keep families on their land. The financial repercussions are noted, but the focus is the emotional toll of the crisis, including stress, depression, suicide, divorce, dysfunctional family relationships, rural social problems, and how the Farm Crisis frayed the fabric of rural communities.

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