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1986 Farm Protests


By Laura Ziegler

Chillicothe, Missouri – As farmers look ahead to next years debate over a new farm bill, this fall marks the anniversary of another time they were looking to the federal government to make some important changes in farm policy. The fall of 1986 followed a summer of protests against a wave of farm foreclosures across the Midwest. One of the largest was in Chillicothe, Missouri, where hundreds of farmers rolled their tractors into the front of the USDA building and civil rights leader Jesse Jackson addressed the crowd. It began in March, but the tractors stayed until the end of the summer. Laura Ziegler covered the protest and went back recently to see what some of the farmers who organized it were doing today.

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