The Inquisition
Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

 I am dreading tomorrow. Tuesday morning I will meet with my Farm Business Management instructor, Danie Packard. He and I will construct my cash flow and financial statements and then file my taxes. I always feel organized and prepared as we begin but feel whipped and beaten as we finish. I like to call our little sessions The Inquisition.
Papal approval created the original Spanish Inquisition in 1478 to weed out people who had insincerely converted to Christianity. It was a search for truth much like my instructor’s search for lost pockets of profit and assets. The inquisitor of the middle ages used very brutal methods. This sounds familiar. The inquisition featured tortures which pale in comparison to contemporary methods. Hours spent in a small room going through Finan, Finflo and Turbotax (various accounting programs) will reduce even the most committed, zealous farmer into a blubbering mass willing to confess to anything. We always start with cordial words and coffee but soon questions like “how many heifers did you transfer,” “did we depreciate that over seven or 15 years” and my favorite “what percentage of that expense do you want to use” have me wishing for home and mother.
 I spoke to Lisa last night and told her I would need plenty of soothing words and hand-holding after today's little session. In the past I have coped by going straight home, locking the front door, changing into my pajamas with the feet already sewn on, sucking my thumb and muttering quietly to myself. This year I am going to try something that leaves me with a little self-esteem. Lisa and I are going out for dinner- I just hope she doesn’t make any sudden movements.
In reality my Farm Business instructor helps me so much. I am lost without Danie’s financial assessments and help with taxes. He’s also very dedicated to his job-I would bet he is at home right now sharpening his pokers , oiling the wheels on “the rack” and making sure his whips are in good repair. You don’t often find that kind of dedication