I caught a TV program report and have had a devil of a time finding it again. The story caught my eye and then was off. With my aging mind (which has always be a bit scatter-brained) I cannot for the life of me remember what show it was on.

What caught my eye was a trend that we in the rural areas have not detected yet. We hope that it is true, because all of the stories and statistics of the fate of rural America is, for a better term, dismal.

Our statistics have shown that we are losing population which in turn loses business and industry. The Ag sector has bought into the lie that you have to get bigger and produce more in order to be competitive in the world market.

The battle cry is ‘we feed the world’! In order to do this we have been led to believe that we have to produce more and more. Farmers feel the responsibility to feed the world. In doing so we are suppose to be able to raise our sons and daughter to excel in the coming world. Up until now this has always involved sending the kids away to get that magic diploma.

This was because they would be able to have a family and have a better life than what we had. When we graduate our kids now we wave good bye and know they will never be back. We set them up for this. Yet we know, and a lot of them know, that the life here in the rural areas was a great upbringing.

Once the party spirit is out grown and the responsibility of raising their own kids happens they long to come home. Because our way of life was a better foundation to build a life on than the bright lights. But they cannot get home because of ridiculous mortgages, student loans, and the buying into the ‘I can have it all’ mentality.

When a decent paying job is finally found the responsibilities of making all of the payments, leaves no room to figure out how to come home again.

Yet there is a trend that is almost not recognized in all of our wailing about how bad it is. The average age of the rural resident is starting to lower. Even allowing for the natural passing of the former generations, there are ways that young families are managing to come back.

There are many reasons for this trend to sneak up on us. With the improvement in technology there is the ability of people to bring their jobs with them. Access to technology is improving. There are niche industries that are providing opportunities.

There is a trend of councils and commissions to start being filled with younger and successful people who did not run for office just to ‘keep the taxes low’.

Crunching numbers is not a strong suite for me. I have been reading reports and the stories from reporters, who come from outside, to report on what is happening to us. It sometimes takes an outsider to see what is right in front of our faces.

Is there anything we can do to change the down turn in our economy? Yes. But it starts with our attitude. It also requires free thinking. Sometimes it takes breaking free from traditional ways of looking and doing things.

Positive attitudes can make changes. But if we don’t figure it out ourselves, it will never be done in Topeka or Washington.

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