Against the Odds: A Farmer's Tale of Survival and Legacy with Keith Lowry
When you're face-to-face with a life-or-death situation, all that matters is survival. Our guest, Keith Lowry—esteemed member of the River Valley AgCredit Association and a soul deeply rooted in farming—opens up about his chilling encounter with fate when his excavator turned treacherous. His story, bathed in the stark reality of farm work's perils, brings to light the indispensable role of technology, as an SOS from his phone became his lifeline in a land where cell service dared not tread. Keith's unwavering spirit and his brush with death serve as a stark reminder of agriculture's unpredictable nature and the lifesaving grace of modern devices.
Carving a life in agriculture is more than just tilling the land; it's crafting a legacy of service and community. In our heart-to-heart with Keith, a man who embodies the very essence of farming excellence—honored as Kentucky's Farmer of the Year in 2015—we celebrate the richness of a life dedicated to the soil and to others. He shares insights on the true wealth found in family, kindness, and a sense of belonging to a community, and how these values are ingrained in every furrow of a farmer's field. Keith's journey from a loan in '74 to becoming a cornerstone of his community reminds us that the fruits of the land are not just crops, but the seeds of human connection we plant along the way.
The tapestry of agriculture is woven with threads of generational wisdom, steadfast toil, and the gentle touch of nature's hand. This episode paints a portrait of a family’s agricultural odyssey, reflecting the generational baton passed from a supportive grandfather to the loving hands of a grandparent eager to nurture the next crop of family farmers. And with the yearly gamble of harvests hinging on the whims of weather and markets, we shed light on crop insurance's role as a modern farmer's shield against the unforeseen. As we share these tales from the heartland, we invite you to join us in embracing the true spirit of farming—a blend of challenges and triumphs that forges the resilient backbone of our rural communities.
[00:00:08.410] - Chris Griffin
Welcome to Back to Your Roots, a podcast that provides insight into all things farming financing and farm life guiding you back to your roots.
[00:00:17.710] - Chris Griffin
Thanks for joining us again on back to your roots. I'm your host, Chris Griffin.
[00:00:20.920] - Jordan Turnage
Hey, guys, I'm Jordan Turnage. Thanks for listening to us again. We sure appreciate your time. Today we've got the man, the myth, the legend, Mr. Keith Lowry, in here. He's a long-time member of the River Valley AgCredit association. He's a farmer in Graves county. We're so happy to have you here. Thank you so much for coming in. We've got you locked down in the past to do tv commercials, radio commercials, other ads, but now we got you actually nailed down for this podcast. And I tell you, I saw what happened to you about ten days ago, and I'm just thankful that you're here to tell the tale. We got you here in person.
[00:00:57.650] - Keith Lowry
Thanks. I'm happy to be here, and I'm literally happy to be here. I had a kind of misfortune of an accident about ten days ago, and I'm very glad to be here.
[00:01:09.450] - Jordan Turnage
Oh, my gosh.
[00:01:10.220] - Jordan Turnage
Yeah, I saw that on Facebook. For our listeners out there, Mr. Lowry was out working on excavator and the dirt came in on him and covered him up. And luckily, where he was like always had been the last place you'd want something like that happen. You didn't have cell phone service.
[00:01:31.680] - Keith Lowry
[00:01:32.340] - Jordan Turnage
So luckily you had that SOS signal on your phone to ping to give a location for you to get you out of there.
[00:01:40.480] - Keith Lowry
That is correct. That was my main post, facebook post was I'd been down in that hole about 25 foot for about almost 30 minutes and trying to get out with my phone. And I was fixing to power my phone down. And as I powered my phone down, I just stumbled upon SOS right in the middle of my phone. And I said, well, it won't hurt anything because I said, I'm in a little pickle here. I hit it, and within five or 6 seconds, the operator, come on. Said, 911, what's your emergency? And I said, hon, I sure am glad to hear your voice.
[00:02:17.110] - Jordan Turnage
[00:02:17.610] - Keith Lowry
And for the next 30 minutes, she kind of stayed with me and we stayed down there and the ambulance got there in the rescue squad and finally got picked up out of my biggest fear was it caving in again? I was sitting down in the bottom of that was a big fear.
[00:02:31.870] - Jordan Turnage
I mean, just God's mercy on that.
[00:02:33.890] - Chris Griffin
[00:02:34.660] - Jordan Turnage
He certainly had you in his hands that day.
[00:02:36.850] - Chris Griffin
The first time hearing of the stories.
[00:02:39.330] - Keith Lowry
But hopefully something good comes out of it. And I put that on there, like I say, not for sympathy, but just to alert everybody. And I've had a bunch of calls that they weren't aware of that on their phones. I've currently talked to Dale Dobson, which is safety, with KDL.
[00:02:59.670] - Jordan Turnage
[00:03:00.560] - Keith Lowry
And he's going to add it to his programs because a lot of people that when he goes out and does safety programs, he didn't know that. They didn't know that. I sent him some pictures. I have pictures of the hole and how it fell down and what all happened and everything. So maybe something good to come out of it.
[00:03:18.750] - Chris Griffin
That's a blessing. And that's an awesome story. We haven't met each other. I've seen you a few times from a distance and shook your hand, but heard a lot about you since I started working here back in 22. Glad to have you here. So I want to know a little bit more about you. So if you tell us a little bit more about yourself and how long you've been in farming and what commodities you farm and kind of let the public know that story.
[00:03:45.560] - Keith Lowry
Yeah. We came back from Birmingham in about 1974, and actually that was my first year that I actually took a loan out with then the PCA. Everybody in this room wasn't born.
[00:04:01.590] - Jordan Turnage
[00:04:03.630] - Keith Lowry
But I want to tell you a little history and show you the passion of what I've done in my farming career. We moved off for five years to Birmingham, Alabama, from about 70 to 75. My dad drove a truck and we had to leave the farm. And I sure didn't like it. I wanted to stay, but I couldn't. But I understood that. But in the state of Alabama in 1973 or 74, you can get your motorcycle license. This is a motorcycle license. So first time I was old enough to get them was, I think, 14 year old and didn't have a Motorcycle. I had a little dirt bike ride around. We get to ride around in Birmingham there. So my granddad always wanted to come back. Every year, my granddad hatched a scheme up, I guess you might say, against my daddy and my mom. And my granddad bought me a motorcycle not too far out of little town of Pilot Oak I live in. And I rode that motorcycle for two years in a row. As soon as I got out of school in Birmingham, high school, I would load that motorcycle up with two duffel bags on behind it and I'd go down there to Huffman high school and get my report card and bring it back that morning.
[00:05:21.690] - Keith Lowry
And it wasn't the best report card in the world, I'll tell you. I don't know. I wasn't top of my class, let's put it that way. And then I'd get on that motorcycle, and I'd take off to Kentucky. Really? I'd come up I 65 to Coleman, Alabama, get about halfway between Coleman and muscle shows, had a dollar in my pocket. My mama gave me a dollar for gas, put a quarter in there or a dime in the machine or the telephone. I called back home and said, I'm fine. I go to Savannah, Tennessee, another 2 hours, I would stop at Savannah, Tennessee, get another dollar gas, call my grandmother, which was in little town of Pilot Oak waiting on me, and I told her I was fine. And then about 2 hours later, I'd roll in there and I'd stay all summer and farm and then do the same thing in the fall. Some time middle of August, when we'd have to go back, I'd go to church with them, got my motorcycle loaded, and my grandmother shipped me off. She's crying like a baby when I left.
[00:06:21.150] - Chris Griffin
And how old were you?
[00:06:22.170] - Keith Lowry
And I was 13 and 14 and 15 year old. And I'm assuming some, I know some of you all might have kids that old, and I know for sure one would not let her son get on a motorcycle and drive 300 miles down I 65. But the traffic wasn't as bad. But still, I mean, my mom, the whole time, my mama just backed up, but my daddy said, let that boy go. And I did. And when finally, in the winter of 74, at Christmas time, my granddad got hurt in the fall, and my dad was home for a Christmas, and I guess I was 14 or 15 year old, and he said, my granddad, which was B. They called him B. Yes, sir, said he got hurt and he's not going to be able to farm. He said, do you want to come back and farm? And I said, I don't care what you do, but I said, when I get out of high school, if I stay in Birmingham, I'm coming back to Kentucky, and I ain't never coming back. I'm going to farm. He said, let's go back and farm. That's kind of how my farming got started, but I've had a passion for it for a long time.
[00:07:23.330] - Jordan Turnage
I'd say so to get on that motorcycle right up there every chance you got.
[00:07:27.540] - Keith Lowry
That's very true.
[00:07:28.340] - Chris Griffin
That's an awesome story.
[00:07:29.280] - Keith Lowry
It was not a Harley either.
[00:07:30.680] - Jordan Turnage
Oh, yeah. No ape hangers. No ape hangers.
[00:07:36.270] - Keith Lowry
No. Chopper? No, it was a Honda 450.
[00:07:40.470] - Chris Griffin
Those middle schoolers back then were just built different.
[00:07:45.890] - Keith Lowry
I tell that story and they said, well, that can't be true. I said, it is. It's the truth.
[00:07:50.210] - Speaker 2
I mean, Shea is over here shaking her head.
[00:07:53.510] - Keith Lowry
No, I can see Maddox. No way Maddox.
[00:07:56.150] - Jordan Turnage
I can see it and you're just rolling down, rolling up the step of wolves in the back.
[00:08:02.730] - Keith Lowry
Little red, white, blue helmet on.
[00:08:05.000] - Chris Griffin
Yeah. That's an awesome story. So what are your main commodities that you farm there?
[00:08:10.140] - Keith Lowry
Currently I farm corn, wheat, soybeans. We have a small excavation business. We have a trucking business. I've actually turned most, some of the farming over to one of my sons and some of the trucking, but the trucking is staying busy. Okay. But those are the main things we do right now. And I will touch a little bit on we might later. But our construction business really stepped up after the tornado in December.
[00:08:41.470] - Jordan Turnage
[00:08:42.440] - Keith Lowry
And we were there at 08:00 that morning, the following morning on that Saturday, and we stayed almost a year and a half, cleaned up, helping clean up our city. We're just a small part, but we'll brag on the other farmers. There was quite a few other farmers there and everybody stepped up, but that's been taken off. It slowed down a little bit now, but that was one of the bigger. I don't know if it's a highlight now, but that was one of our bigger jobs we took on.
[00:09:06.290] - Chris Griffin
I got you.
[00:09:07.870] - Jordan Turnage
You had to do what you had to do. And you proved that when times get tough in the community, that we're all one community and we've all got to put in and do what we got to do.
[00:09:20.310] - Keith Lowry
[00:09:21.040] - Jordan Turnage
And I've always said that to be in this line of business, and especially in agriculture itself, it's a chance to be Christ's hands and feet on this world. And you have to have a servant's heart to be in this. And you have to be able to handle the ups and downs. And I don't think anybody else does it better with more grace than farmers myself to deal with the input costs year to year, and then dealing with the same virtual commodity prices that you dealt with. Not too much off from when you first started farming to today, but to take that on the chin, pick it up, go with it, and then always be there for it's you yourself. I know that you're not a humble bragger, but I will say on behalf of everyone here as my part, just thank you so much for all that you've done not just for Mayfield, but just what you do for us as an Association.
[00:10:24.730] - Keith Lowry
Well, I appreciate that. I really do. And I'm not going to toot my own horn here, but I was honored in 2015 to get the farmer of the year in the state of Kentucky.
[00:10:36.100] - Jordan Turnage
[00:10:37.290] - Keith Lowry
And to do that, we wound up in Georgia. Cannot think what it is down there at the expo or something, but Sunbelt. So they interviewed us. They had to interview us, and we were coached a little bit in the interview of questions going to ask. But one of the questions they asked that I did not know was coming is the last question he asked me was, what do I want it to say on my gravestone? On my headstone? Excuse me. And I said, well, I'm looking at Rita reading, my wife's sitting there with me, and she's just shaking her head, said, you're kind of on your own on this. So this is what I said, and I'm going to say it again. I want to be remembered as a good husband, as a good father, a good grandfather, and somebody that helped the community. I do not want to be remembered by how many tractors I had, how many bushes of corn I had, how much land own or what my net worth is. Because when it's all said and done, I hope I'm remembered by what I said the first time. Yes, sir. All that instead of that.
[00:11:45.140] - Keith Lowry
But I'm going to just say I've been blessed in my 50 years. It's my 50th crop. I've been really blessed financially, and I don't mind helping out. I really don't. It don't take much effort to be real nice to people. It takes more effort to be ugly to people.
[00:12:01.990] - Chris Griffin
You're saying that most people always, people always remember how you made them feel. And I think that's what you said kind of sums it up. You can have all the money in the world and all the successes, but if you didn't build good relationships and friendships along the way, it's not much anything.
[00:12:22.190] - Keith Lowry
Take it with you. I've said this two or three times. I'll say it again Sunday at our church. But when I was in that hole 25 foot deep, and I was sitting there looking around and there was water oozing in, never once, never once sitting in that hole for an hour did anything cross my mind, such as the corn prices. How much is a tractor price? I'm working on a tractor. Got trucks, never. Nothing like that cross. The main thing crossed my mind was my family.
[00:12:55.060] - Jordan Turnage
[00:12:55.580] - Keith Lowry
And what I said, main thing, one of my concerns was, what was the last thing I said to my wife? Shea knows my wife real well. And every morning, granted, it might be just repetitive, every morning when I leave the house, when I walk out the door, the last thing I say is, I love you, and goodbye. And I thought that when I was down that hole, not knowing if I was going to make it out, I said, did I say that that morning? And I did. And I texted some stuff on my phone, still got it on my phone, that if I didn't come out alive, that maybe they would find it and stuff like that. So there again, money meant nothing to you when you get that close to death. I'll be honest.
[00:13:40.000] - Jordan Turnage
God's tests are our testimony.
[00:13:43.760] - Keith Lowry
[00:13:44.700] - Jordan Turnage
But getting back to you said that this was your 50th crop year. This year, I want to kind of talk about how you got started working with River Valley. I guess it was Jackson Purchase at the time. And what year you got started?
[00:14:02.030] - Keith Lowry
My first loan was in the best I can remember, about 1974. Wasn't even old enough to drive. I had a small tobacco crop. My granddad needed just a little money. And the loan officer at the time, I believe, was Roy Skinner. Nobody remembers him. Some of them older ones might remember him, but my granddad had to co sign for that note. It seemed like it was about a $5,000 note, just a little note to get things started. And I had a couple of acres to back, and I was still in school. And then as I went along, he was at, I guess at the time it was Jackson Purchase PCA. Production Credit Association. And I went to visit with him. And then about 1988, a farm come up, and I will tell you, it was an 80 acre farm. The man wanted, it's about 50 acres tilled, he wanted $40,000 for it.
[00:15:00.050] - Chris Griffin
[00:15:00.790] - Keith Lowry
I thought, oh, where am I going to pay for it? My granddad didn't. So I went back to PCA again, told them, they said, well, do you have any money down? And I didn't. Everything I ever took, I just paid back on my operating.
[00:15:13.730] - Keith Lowry
And I said, well, they wanted $10,000. That's a bunch back then I didn't have it.
[00:15:20.150] - Jordan Turnage
[00:15:20.810] - Keith Lowry
So I went back home, told my granddad. He said, how'd that go? And I said, well, I said, they want some money down. And I said, I don't have no money. How much you need? And I wasn't picking up on. I know where he's coming from now, but I didn't at the time. I said, well, I need $10,000, and I think I can get the rest for 30 years. I said, I thought, I can make the payments. So he called me in there, and he says, I don't know if he said he's going to loan it to me or give it to me. I think he said, loan? I said, I'll pay you back, B. I will. I'll pay you back. And every year. So I went ahead and got the loan, got the farm bought, tickled me to death. It was about in 88, I was 28 year old and had an 80 acre farm, and I was working on it, and I'd make the payment every year, and I'd try to give my granddad money every year. He never took it. Never took it. And he went to his grave still owing it, but that's what he wanted, and I'm very proud of that.
[00:16:15.470] - Keith Lowry
And my dad's helped me, too, quite a bit, too.
[00:16:17.770] - Jordan Turnage
Yes, sir. Family affair.
[00:16:20.950] - Keith Lowry
[00:16:25.530] - Chris Griffin
I think that's a legacy your granddad left for you.
[00:16:28.620] - Keith Lowry
[00:16:29.630] - Chris Griffin
He's probably smiling pretty big now, seeing all the successes that you had and really kind of stemmed from probably that one gift.
[00:16:39.150] - Keith Lowry
I do the same thing. I've got eight grandkids, six of them are boys, and some of them come around on the farm, and I can see, I enjoy helping them. I don't give them everything they want, but it does make you feel good. I can see what my granddad was feeling at the time.
[00:16:56.150] - Chris Griffin
Oh, yeah, I've got a kid, grandkids and grandparents. They've just got a special relationship. So at the end of the day, it's different for sure. So I know you just finished up. It's been a little bit, but harvest a few weeks ago. I know there's a lot of hard work and hours that go in prior to that. And during. What does that mean to you? You got late nights and long hours and meals out on the farm and everything else. So just kind of explain what that truly means to you.
[00:17:27.840] - Keith Lowry
That's very true. For people to think that farmers don't put in long hours is a misconception. The way the crop is nowadays, when it's time to harvest, we got to go. We typically don't work on Sundays, but we did this year. Had a good crop this year. Back in July, I had 12, 14 inches of rain in about 16, 18 hours. That took a toll on it, but it's always a challenge. But we had a good crop this year. Spring times are busy. They're long nights. Currently, I'll be honest, I'm getting slowing down a little bit. I've taken initiative. I leave about dark. I've got a couple of, some hands that help and they'll stay after dark. But I leave and I go home and rest up and it'll be there tomorrow. But this year has been very challenging as any year is. Next year it might be something else.
[00:18:32.690] - Jordan Turnage
We had dry spring, dry summer, pollination for corn didn't take off like it should have. And then I guess all that praying for rain we did. God listened to us, but he gave it to us in 16 hours instead of.
[00:18:49.450] - Keith Lowry
And I've said this before, it's just the nature of the beast. This is what I chose and I don't regret it one bit. But occasionally I have to kind of put something out there just to tell everybody that it's not as easy as it looks.
[00:19:04.190] - Jordan Turnage
[00:19:05.870] - Keith Lowry
It's very, very stressful.
[00:19:07.290] - Jordan Turnage
I don't know, it's not turn a steering wheel.
[00:19:10.120] - Keith Lowry
That is very true. That is very true. I'll tell you another little funny story. Years ago when we came back, we were a 16, 17 year old working out there and we were working out in the field. Didn't have a cab, didn't have no auto steer, didn't have nothing. Had a little topper on there it was hot. And I told my daddy, I said, I don't like this, I don't want to be the boss. I said, I like this, I want to be the boss. He said, boy, you don't want to be the boss. And I see what he says now. Yeah, I'm getting the point now where.
[00:19:41.020] - Jordan Turnage
Well, that's where Ms. Rita comes involved.
[00:19:42.480] - Keith Lowry
That's right. That's very true. I got a boss. Trust me, I got a boss. I got a boss. But when I had big crops, I've had larger crops in the past. Some of my best days when we'd take off on Sunday and I'd get out there and work by myself.
[00:19:56.450] - Jordan Turnage
[00:19:56.910] - Keith Lowry
And I knew eventually I would cut back a little bit and have a little more downtime and have a little more. I'm enjoying it a lot more than I ever have, I'll tell you.
[00:20:07.010] - Chris Griffin
You saying that sometimes people have a misconception of what farming is. When I started here, my ag background wasn't much anything, to be honest with you. And I've got a portfolio of some farmers and stuff and my appreciation, it's definitely opened my eyes up a lot to what you guys go through the stress, you're putting everything on the line every single year. There's things that are completely out of your control and people don't see your people who live in the city and get their food at the grocery store and everything else, they don't see that out, what you guys are doing on a regular basis. It's definitely when you say that, I 100% believe that because there are people who do not understand what it truly means to be a full-time farmer and do that for a living.
[00:21:01.840] - Keith Lowry
That's true. Used to 75 to 100 years ago, people would the population is probably half of what it is now. I don't know this for sure, but everybody, most people had a cow out there and raised a few hog killed patch farmers. Patch farmers, they lived off their own land, self sustained. Now, well, there's very few of those left. And they just go to the grocery store and pick up a pound of bacon.
[00:21:31.790] - Chris Griffin
It just doesn't magically appear there. Know we're talking about the rain and different things like that. Do you carry crop insurance? We had a crop insurance agent in here, Hunter Bray, about a month ago, last podcast, and just kind of curious on if you carry that and how that's helped you.
[00:21:50.840] - Keith Lowry
Absolutely. I've told many in an interview that actually I don't mind telling you I stood in line with Mitch McConnell in Washington and told him point blank that the most important tool on my farm is not my tractors, not my combines, not all my equipment, but my most important tool nowadays is my crop insurance policy. And he looked again, he said, say that again. And I said it to him again. And I think by far, I think most farmers will agree with. I'm sure most lenders will also. That's the most important, most important.
[00:22:31.490] - Jordan Turnage
And having a good person that can help you market your grain and timely for prepaids, that's an aspect of farming that folks do not realize is the business side of things, making sure, getting it set up. A lot of folks think you're just all right, well, we got the harvest done, now we get to hang out until it comes time to plant again. No, I'm sure with how the market is now, you're already, before you probably get into the combine, fired up to start harvest, you're already getting those seeds planted to start thinking about your next crop. I know you're working on crop 50, but you already got the ball rolling for 51.
[00:23:13.360] - Keith Lowry
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. All in the summer and prices get up in a good for 24 crop. I've done sold some for 24 crop. It's just so much more to it. My brain is thinking, just not only day to day, but I'm thinking today what I'm going to do next week and then what next year. Because July is going to be here for we know it. June will be here for you know it. We're going to have a wheat crop come off. I've got my inputs already bought for it. I know about where I'm at as far as what I've got in the crop. I try to contract forward, contract enough to pay the bills, hopefully, and if anything left, and it's always good to have some leftover.
[00:23:57.800] - Jordan Turnage
Then having your bin stored. Right now you store grain, trying to figure out when a good time to pull the trigger on that is. And then when you get that opportunity, it's always going to be cold as a well diggers butt. Probably when it comes time to go out there to take the grain to the elevator.
[00:24:14.190] - Keith Lowry
[00:24:14.940] - Chris Griffin
My dad used to say that all the time. That's the reason I chuckle. My dad used to say that all the time when we would go duck hunting.
[00:24:23.490] - Keith Lowry
We do a lot of hauling for Monsanto and Bayer and Becks. We haul a lot of seed hauling seed for genetics. For genetics. Yeah. All of the seed beans are sale. We grow seed beans and we haul them 200, 300 miles. We go most all over Kentucky and pick them up, go down Tennessee, some pick up, and we're always busy. This theory of farmers working six months a year is.
[00:24:51.310] - Chris Griffin
[00:24:52.170] - Keith Lowry
[00:24:52.680] - Chris Griffin
Yeah, I know that's false.
[00:24:55.310] - Jordan Turnage
In the coffee shop, watching your crop, there's only 1% of you all in the entire nation that farms, and then you have 1% of farmers that make up the entire nation's product. But it's not just the products that we produce here in America, all the exports that we give to other countries, too. Like you thinking about today, you're thinking about next week. You have to think about, all right, well, I'm planting a wheat crop. How's the stuff in Russia and Ukraine going to affect me with commodity prices? How's things looking in Brazil and South America as far as their soybean crop? Because they get two crops a year. It's a lot of stuff in there you got to balance. And I feel like that as big as the world is for farmers like you, it's gotten on a much smaller plane and you have to factor in a lot more other stuff than you had to in the past.
[00:25:55.600] - Keith Lowry
Oh, yeah, absolutely. It's just some of the best laid plans. And next thing you know, Ukraine gets invaded and that just shoots all your plans right out. And it just happens, like, or just.
[00:26:08.390] - Jordan Turnage
Local for us right now, dealing with the river levels on Mississippi, dealing with getting barges moved up and down the river, and worrying about flood stages and worrying about when we're going to get some rain.
[00:26:20.650] - Chris Griffin
One more factor as a farmer is completely out of your control, is the problem. Some of that is out of weather and economic factors and external foreign factors, and everything else can change on a dime.
[00:26:37.310] - Keith Lowry
As I got older, like I say, my 50th crop, a lot of that is still very important, and it is very important. But I have come to realize, I hope, that being 63 year old, that that is out of my control.
[00:26:49.970] - Jordan Turnage
Yes, sir, 100%.
[00:26:51.190] - Keith Lowry
But you take a young farmer, 30, 35, and it's very difficult for him to understand there's nothing he can do about some of that stuff.
[00:26:59.180] - Chris Griffin
I understand that. I'm 37.
[00:27:00.600] - Keith Lowry
Okay. Some things you just let slide. I let a lot of stuff slide that I used to really bother me. Really bother me.
[00:27:08.360] - Chris Griffin
Shea's over there laughing at me right now. She knows.
[00:27:13.450] - Jordan Turnage
Of course, operating interest rates are high right now. They've virtually doubled in the past two years. But you said you got started in 88 and everything prior. There's only horror stories for folks, really, for trying to put a crop in during the pray. My generation never has to deal with that. But you guys made it through it, and we'll just have to find a way to do it ourselves. That's.
[00:27:42.660] - Keith Lowry
That's true. True. Of course, if we had had crop insurance in 81, 83, 88, we barely did survive it. I had to get an outside job. Of course, I didn't have a big operating loans, as I do now.
[00:27:58.880] - Jordan Turnage
[00:27:59.480] - Keith Lowry
But I keep coming back to the crop insurance. It's just if we don't have nothing else that we get from the government, that's the number one thing. We've got to have it, because I don't know very many other people that put everything they've got, all their money, everything they got to every year, every year, every year, hoping for a little bit of the rain for the crops. And there's not very many occupations that does that.
[00:28:27.510] - Jordan Turnage
For the thousands of dollars, millions that go into the genetics for the seed fertilizer, to put that crop in. It all still comes down to how much sunlight you get, how much rain you get, and what kind of soil you got.
[00:28:42.710] - Keith Lowry
Very true. And that they cannot control any of that.
[00:28:46.010] - Jordan Turnage
No, that's out of our hands.
[00:28:48.650] - Keith Lowry
We do irrigate on our farm, but that's a very expensive.
[00:28:54.070] - Jordan Turnage
[00:28:54.840] - Keith Lowry
That's very expensive cost.
[00:28:56.970] - Jordan Turnage
I just want to say personally thank you. And then I just want to make sure that we note that one thing we all noticed is that when you talk about River Valley AghCredit, you refer to it as we. And I know that you are fully invested in River Valley AgCredit and believe in our mission and fully support us on what we do. And it's incredible to have folks like you out there in the community to be that thermostat. I think there's folks that deal with conditions and there's folks that help change conditions. And I think that you're one of those folks to help change things. And I just really appreciate that and your sacrifice and time that you put into the community. And just want to say congratulations on 50 years of crop or your 50th crop. Job well done and looking forward to seeing, doing another 50.
[00:30:01.650] - Keith Lowry
All right, well, thank you very much and I will toot yall's horn again. Anytime I've ever had something at the shop, we have events out there. I've always called you all and we all worked together and it was been very supportive. And I really appreciate the wish you all ain't been around 50 years, but all the 50 years that I've been with everybody down the line has helped, has been a great, great asset and it's helped my operation. I would not be here today. I know I bragged on my family and everybody, but River Valley played a big part of it, has for the last 50 years.
[00:30:38.990] - Jordan Turnage
Well, we're here because of you all and we're here for you guys. So now you get to enjoy the winter time, get to wait for those six.
[00:30:46.590] - Chris Griffin
Months off, that everybody,
[00:30:48.770] - Jordan Turnage
For sure you are going to get your SEC tournaments. UK basketball is going to turn.
[00:30:52.210] - Keith Lowry
UK basketball, I do enjoy that. We do enjoy dressing up. That's another look for him.
[00:30:58.420] - Jordan Turnage
Look for him on ESPN, folks.
[00:31:01.330] - Keith Lowry
We do get, we go through a travel agency to do all that. And as soon as we get there, and he says, here you go, Lowry, he said, your fourth row from the bottom, you're right on the end, right there by the camera. And when we get down there and we sit down, we tell everybody around, I said, just get ready. And sure enough, here they come. We've met more good people like it and we have a big time. We meet a lot of famous people, don't we Shea?
[00:31:28.650] - Jordan Turnage
Well, thank you so much for coming in. I really appreciate it.
[00:31:31.010] - Speaker 2
We really enjoyed it.
[00:31:32.400] - Jordan Turnage
Well, guys and gals, thanks for listening and we look forward to seeing you back here on Back to Your Roots.
[00:31:39.070] - Chris Griffin
Thanks for tuning in to back to your roots where we dish the dirt on all things aG. Be sure to never miss an episode by following and subscribing while there. Leave us a review about what you want to hear next. Stay in the know between episodes by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok. For more resources, go to our website at rivervalleyagcredit.com.