Cathy Isom explains how many who have played “The Farming Game®” over the years may not realize the events that led to its creation. That story’s ahead on This Land of Ours.
The Farming Game® and The Farming Game Folks
The Farming Game® really was invented on the seat of a tractor. It happened in a hay field just as the sun was coming up in early July 1979. George Rohrbacher, a rancher from Central Washington State, was driving that tractor. He and his wife Ann were struggling to hold on to their family farm. With two droughts within three years they, and many of their neighbors were losing that battle. George and Ann, who occasionally enjoy trying to play games for real money, literally bet the ranch the game idea would work and mortgaged everything that wasn’t nailed down to produce the first edition of The Farming Game®. Similar to giant jenga, this game was first assembled by the handicapped at Portland’s Goodwill Industries and has now sold several hundred thousand copies. Beyond being a fun family game, it has also been used in schools all over the world. In 1994 the World Bank sent George to Russia to oversee the translation of The Farming Game® into Russian to assist the farm privatization effort after the breakup of the Soviet Union; (the board game is now also available in a Russian language version).
The Farming Game® has sprouted new crops: a software edition and a book. It has been adapted for PC, Mac, and Linux, and is available for sale now.
Learn more at The Weekend Farmer.
The Farming Game Software Edition: Building A Farm
A quick demonstration of how easy it is to set up a farm’s look in The Farming Game.