this is what we have to do to earn a living and defeat our families we’ve been farming here this land for seven generations now we’re here at my mom and dad’s house but just out the window there’s the field that was targeted by NRCS as a wetland back in 2008 sent a letter with a little red dot on the map and dad wrote back and said what is this red dot this is not a wetland in fact you tiled this for us you helped in cost-share back in 1964 and that initiated a series of administrative reviews it evolved preliminary technical determination to a final technical determination then that was appealed administrative Lee and then that administrative appeal was denied dad went to mediation twice in the mediation in our opinion was a complete waste of time I attended the second one because eventually he hired me because he needed a lawyer to navigate all of these rules the rules for this are mind-numbing Lee complex I mean I’m a trained attorney and I spent many many hours figuring out the rules so if he didn’t have a lawyer I don’t I don’t see how a farmer without a trained lawyer can do this very effectively it went from the administrative level then to we ended up in federal court and in federal court we were in Grand Rapids and unfortunately the court ruled against dad we went into mediation again tried to settle it we thought we had it settled and then they came back and they said okay we’ll settle it but you have to know that we found all these other spots on your farm that we also now suspect are converted well is and it’s just like oh my word work we thought we’re making progress and then he ends up working backward the Sixth Circuit issued its opinion and it was so gratifying and the opinion that came out was so favorable they really chastised the agency and said it enacted arbitrarily and capriciously it went back down to district court we thought we had won and then the NRCS basically said okay well we get a do-over and so the whole thing began again from the beginning to end they put the red dot on the map in 2008 and I think we ultimately settled summer of 2018 and ultimately you look at this little tiny spot it’s a little depression within the field that was tiled and the tile undisputed worked for many many many years it failed it became wet and this happens every day in Michigan and I’m sure all over the country or you have a situation and it’s our livelihood I quit farming dirt turned the farm over to Brad in 2012 sort of in the middle of it it’s just just for the sake of being able to sleep nights if a farmer has to go the extra length of hiring an attorney that’s capable of doing what Brad did if it if it wasn’t for the pro bono of Brad doing it grow to ously because he was part of the family and part of the farm it’s just hard for most farmers and as as I looked for advice from other farmers their advice was give up thank God I had another source of income because I was I’m also a lawyer if I were operating the farm just the farm after 2013 when prices really collapsed the farm was not making any money we were losing money it was tough you [Music]

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