The Farm Crisis is a 90-minute film produced by Iowa Public Television that examines the economic and personal disasters that afflicted the agriculture sector in the 1980s.
Narrated by NBC News reporter Harry Smith, The Farm Crisis examines the tragic circumstances faced by farmers for most of the 1980s, when thousands were forced into bankruptcy, land values dropped by one-third nationally, and sky-high interest rates turned successes into failures seemingly overnight. Original music by Iowa-based recording artist Chad Elliott sets the tone throughout the program.
The program features interviews with policymakers, business owners, economists, and farm families, including Gov. Terry Branstad, Sen. Charles Grassley, Sen. Tom Harkin, former Rep. Jim Leach, the late Mark Pearson, former Sen. Tom Daschle, economist Neil Harl, and recording artist and Farm Aid Founder Willie Nelson.
Funding for The Farm Crisis was provided by: Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa; Humanities Iowa; John and Carole Lea Cotton and Tim and Wendy Haight.