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An ISU professor chronicles the family and community impact of the 1980s Farm Crisis in a new book

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

The Farm Crisis of the 1980s dramatically changed agriculture and life in Iowa forever.

You can still see the effects of the farm crisis when you drive through Iowa's countryside or small towns. There are many changes that aren’t as easy to see with how the business of farming has changed.

It’s even harder to understand the human toll the crisis took, the stress, shame, depression, violence, families breaking apart and legacies lost.

Iowa State University Distinguished Professor of History Pamela Riney-Kehrberg paints the whole picture in her latest book, When A Dream Dies: Agriculture, Iowa, and the Farm Crisis of the 1980s.

Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe looks back at this fraught time and its socio-economic impact with Riney-Kehrberg, and hears personal stories about the period.


  • Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, author and distinguished professor of history, Iowa State University
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.