Harry said he has been a farmer since he was 4 and farming is in his blood. He had accumulated 289 acres that he farmed soybeans on until 2005 when everything changed. The government called in a loan that Harry said he already paid off and even had the receipt for, which he showed us. He has a copy of it blown up and posted on signboard in his front yard to advertise his unfair treatment at the hands of the government. The government insisted that Harry had an outstanding bill due and foreclosed on his property and assets.
Harry's brother was able to buy him a house, so he has at least something to his name, but all the farm equipment was confiscated and, according to Harry, undersold to friends of the local police and politicians. The legal battle to prove that he had paid his bill has been an ongoing nightmare for Harry, and his loss has been extreme. Signs decrying the local government adorn his front yard and inside his house the table tops and bookshelves are totally buried under stacks of papers, all legal documents. His wife left because "this has been trying," yet Harry continues to fight to get his farm back. Last year he spent 3 days sleeping on the floor of the local jail for making "terroristic threats" to a government official, and even though he was cleared for those charges at his trial he says he is still treated like a criminal. When we asked Harry if he ever thinks about leaving the area he looked at us incredulously and said "where would I go?"
There is another positive note to the story; while Harry does not have land of his own to farm anymore, he does farm his brothers 75 acres close to town. When asked what he would like to have happen in this situation Harry sighed and said that he would of course like to have his land back, but until then he would like people to tell his story so that maybe one day someone who can do something about the injustices will be listening, and be able to help. May it be so.