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Uncertain Harvest A Legacy Of The Land Farm Family Faces New Drought: End Of Federal Aid

Michael Schultheis Sr. was pure pioneer.

He came west on a wagon train, broke sod on the Palouse prairie and built a farming legacy that survives 120 years later.

Art Schultheis - a 33-year-old farmer and a great-great-grandson of Michael Sr. - stands to be a pioneer, too. If Congress follows through on its threat to eliminate farm subsidies, he will be among the first farmers in decades to raise crops without government aid.

As a special report in today’s paper shows, it won’t be the first time a Schultheis has risen to a challenge.

Michael Sr. and Theresa Schultheis overcame the Palouse’s only crop failure and the deaths of four children to help build the German Catholic communities of Colton and Uniontown.

Other members of the Schultheis family weathered the Great Depression and a revolution in farm technology and financing.

Today, Art scrutinizes every detail of his operation with an eye toward a debt-free bottom line. He and his wife, Sue, also cultivate a secure life built around family, church, community and the cycles of the land.

Farming’s next round of turmoil may soon be cause for concern, Sue said recently, “but it won’t change our views on farming. Because this is someplace we’re always going to be.”

The story of the Schultheis family, Pioneering the Palouse, begins on page E1 of today’s IN Life section.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

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