Families Coping: Saving the family farm

By Jerry Anderson - email | bio

STRYKER, Ohio (WTOL) - Think our troubled economy isn't changing lives? Head out to the farm where family and tradition are a way of life.

Farmers cope with adversity all the time: weather, high prices for seed, fertilizer, fuel and low prices for their products.

In our special reports, "Families Coping", we'll take you to a farm that's been in the same family for generations -- a farm the family is fighting to save.

"Where dad's living at now, that's been in the family for a hundred years," said Walter "Butch" Coy. Yes, there's history on this farm -- heritage Butch calls it.

But it was something much more contemporary that helped Butch meet a young lady nearly eight years ago. "Oh, that's another story," he says, "We met on the Internet." After a couple of weeks of online chatting, the first face-to-face was pure farm.

Carmen Coy tells us, "We just talked for a couple of weeks, and then he asked me to meet him."

"No, you asked me to meet you, "Butch adds, "at the tractor pull at the Fulton County Fairgrounds.

But Carmen says she's sure.

"I'd go with Carmen on this one," Butch concedes, "She says she saved all the e-mails."

The connection was immediate, and again, centered on farm and family. Carmen grew up on a Fulton County dairy farm. Her grandmother grew up in Stryker, where Walt's from. He knew her grandmother's family.

"I always said I wasn't going to marry a farmer," Carmen said. "because I knew what I was getting into. I knew what farming life was like. I knew how hard it was. But he took my heart anyway, and I just couldn't say no."

Over five years of marriage has seen the Coy family grow by two. Amelia is 2 and Logan is 15 months. For Butch and Carmen, life was good. All they ever wanted was farm and family.

As it has for all of us, things have changed for them too. "I didn't see it coming. Last year, we had a decent year. Crop prices were decent. The price was up there. Next thing you know, the bottom falls out of everything."

What happened to the Coys has them fighting to save the family farm.

We'll continue to share that fight as we continue to show you the ways families are coping. We'll continue this series with several families WTOL is following through these tough times.