Although still living from paycheck to paycheck, Carmen and Walter Coy, with their children, have hope for spring planting.
STRYKER, Ohio - For now, at least, the farmhouse that has been in the Coy family since the 1800s is safe.
Facing bankruptcy and foreclosure, Walter "Butch" Coy sold 75 acres of farmland and a tractor this month. The proceeds helped satisfy some of what he owes to the banks pursuing the farm that's been in his family for four generations.
In the last few years, the Coys have fallen on hard times as the costs of farming have risen and the banks that hold their loans have become more aggressive about collecting. The sale of the 75 acres of the family's more than 200 acres means the Coys will farm their land for another year.
"They are going to let us farm for now," said Mr. Coy, who said he grudgingly sold the land to satisfy creditors. "I didn't really want to sell the ground, but it was part of the agreement to sell that ground."
As Mr. Coy waits for the weather to clear up to begin spring work, he's taking on part-time jobs to help supplement his wife's income.
Carmen Coy is an employee with the Northwestern Ohio Community Action Commission, which administers early education programs for low-income children.
Mrs. Coy said she recently enrolled in a government program for expectant mothers or mothers of infants, which supplies them with items such as peanut butter, milk, eggs, and juice.
"It is something I never thought I would have to apply for, but I did because we needed something to supplement our grocery bill," she said.
The Coys have two children: Amelia, 2, and Logan, 1.
"Things are still pretty tense and tight, and we are trying to manage day to day, and hoping the money keeps coming in," Mrs. Coy said. "We are still living paycheck to paycheck with my paycheck."
At the Coy home, there's hope for the season of farming.
"They are still getting ready to farm for the season," Mrs. Coy said. "They'll be starting spring work, and they're hoping to farm - and that the money will be there to farm."
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