I am a farmer my family owns and operates a fairly large grain farm in Southern Illinois.  Everyone is worried about the economy latly and i just really dont think its as bad as everyone else thinks.  Grain farmers like myself are doing extremely well right now.  If you look at history farmers are the ones who feel the pain or prosperity before everyone else and right now we are feeling some serious prosperity.

 the theory...   farmers are the economy's litmus test

 my reasoning behind this theory... farmers constantly face huge adversities     everyone faces adversity but not on the same scale or frequency as farmers      the ability of farmers to make it through these trials (without HELP OR HINDERANCE from the government) tells how everyone else will be doing in the next half decade because farmers are somewhat average income people who are connected to international trade between the U.S. and other countries so whether or not they are doing good tells whether or not everyone else will do good when the big economy catches up with local economies