It`s time to Plow the Back Forty on your kitchen table!

It`s time to Plow the Back Forty on your kitchen table!
It’s time to Plow the Back Forty
on your kitchen table!
FARMING . . . . . . . . . . ……………………... 2
OBJECT OF THE GAME ………….………… 2
TO START THE GAME . . ……….…………. 2
EQUIPMENT . . . . …………………………. 2
HARVESTING CROPS . . …………………. .. 2
OPTION TO BUY CARDS(O.T B: s).. ………... 3
FARMER'S FATE CARDS ……….……...… . 3
THE BANK……………………………..….. 3
BANKRUPTCY . . …………………….……. 4
THE END OF THE GAME . ..………….….… 4
ALTERNATIVE ENDING . . …….…..……… 4
AUDIT……………………………..……..... 4
THE YAKIMA VALLEY .. . .…………….…... 5
PRONUNCIATIONS …………..….………… 5
MISSING PARTS . . . . .. …….………….…… 5
GAME BACKGROUND……..….…………… 7
FARMING: Modern farming requires a strong back for the work, a strong heart for the risks,
and a good mind for the figures. The American family farm is a tough place to make a living. Unit
profits (per calf, per bushel of wheat sold, etc.) are so small that it takes huge amounts of capital to
put together a large enough farming operation (the land, equipment and money to operate) to
support a family. About half of this nation's two million farmers or their spouses work an outside
job so they can stay on the farm. They are "Weekend Farmers", farming early mornings, nights
and weekends, trying to get that next piece of land, a tractor, a harvester; to finally farm big
enough to afford to quit that darn job in town and come home and farm full time.
OBJECT OF THE GAME: A boardgame is a dream machine, a vehicle to create an alternative
reality. In THE FARMING GAME®, each player starts the game with 20 acres inherited from
Grandpa. This property includes 10 acres in hay and 10 acres in grain. The 20 acres is not a large
enough farm to make a living for a family, so each game farmer must also have a part-time job in
town. With each completed trip around the gameboard you receive $5,000 from your year's wages
to plow back into the farm. The object of THE FARMING GAME® is to build your farm large
enough to be able to quit the job in town, come home to be your own boss, and farm full time. If
you can do that without going broke, you win the game! $250,000 in total net assets are required
to win THE FARMING GAME®. The gaming track is the calendar year, with a square for each
week. Crops are harvested by the roll of the dice (about as much control as real farmers feel they
have over yields and prices received for their crops). In THE FARMING GAME®, there is
enough acreage for six players to diversify into a hay, grain, fruit, or cattle operation. Each
individual farm is capable of pasturing 20 head of cattle. If any player wishes to run more than 20
cows, he can try to lease one of the range units in the hills.
TO START THE GAME: Arrange the money and Bank Notes in the tray to prepare the bank for
use, one slot for each denomination. At the start every player inherits 20 acres from Grandpa, but
has no cash. (Each player receives a 10 acre vinyl hay stamp and a 10 acre vinyl grain stamp.)
Having no cash, players must borrow money from the bank to operate the first year. Because each
new farmer owns 20 acres, worth $40,000, and works a part-time job to bring in extra income, the
bank has extended a $50,000 line of credit. Each player receives $5,000 in cash as a loan and a
$5,000 Bank Note as a record of that loan. Debts to the bank may be repaid at any time. Each
player receives two OPTION TO BUY CARDS, selects one of the farms in the center of the
gameboard and presses the two cling vinyl acreage stamps down on his new farm. Next everyone
selects a farmer marker that matches their farm buildings' color and places their markers on
Christmas Vacation. Each player must roll the dice to see who starts the game, highest roll starts.
Play then continues in a clockwise motion. The players roll only one die to move their marker
down the gaming track. Two dice are provided with this game, but only one is used at a time.
GAME® when you may purchase property is during the winter, between and including Christmas
and Spring Planting. Winter is the time to plan and prepare for the coming crop season, and any
desired purchases not made before Spring Planting must wait until the following winter. The bank
requires a cash down payment of at least 20% of the purchase price to exercise an OPTION TO
BUY CARD in purchasing property or equipment. (For example: if you wish to purchase 10 acres
of hay worth $20,000, you must have 20%, or at least $4,000 in cash, and, if you have sufficient
credit, you may borrow the balance, $16,000.)
Your bank expects you to be a good manager and have adequate cash on hand during the game. If
your bills leave you with no cash on hand you have only two options to raise needed operating
cash: (1) borrow operating money from your neighbors at whatever rate and terms you can
negotiate, or (2) borrow more money from the bank on your line of bank credit (if you are out of
cash, have used up your credit, and still owe on unpaid bills, you are Bankrupt! See section on
BANKRUPTCY). The bank will only make new loans for $5,000 of operating cash. The bank
charges a 20% penalty loan fee to refinance (player receives a $5,000 Bank Note but only $4,000
in cash).
HARVESTING CROPS: The color coded areas of the gaming track are the harvest times.
Crops are harvested on the first week of the harvest zone in which a player lands. If, for example,
on the next turn a low roll doesn't move the player to the next harvest zone, he does not harvest
that same crop again, and if he has landed on a square that would negatively affect his crop, he is
safe from the disaster if his crop has already been harvested. The method of harvesting one's crops
in THE FARMING GAME® is with the roll of a die. A good farmer always harvests his crops
before he does anything else, and if there are further instructions, carries them out after harvest. If,
for example, a player drew a FARMER'S FATE CARD first before harvesting his crop, and it
interrupts his harvest, tough luck, he should have harvested his crops first. The rule in THE
FARMING GAME® is "If you snooze, you lose." After rolling the die to harvest the crop, look at
the HARVEST RATE CHART to determine how much money the crop is worth. (For example: if
you own 10 acres of hay and you have rolled a 6, the harvest is worth $3,000.) Before receiving
any cash from your harvest, however, you must always pay your bills. Draw an OPERATING
EXPENSE CARD from the top of the deck, pay the bill indicated, and then return it to the bottom
of the deck. (Net income from the harvest: harvest value minus operating expense equals income.)
If your bills are larger than the harvest value, you must make up the difference from cash on hand.
Remember, always pay your bills before receiving harvest income. The columns on the
HARVEST RATE CHART are not intended to be limits. Crop land and livestock are units of
sustained production, harvesting sells the output (hay, grain, fruit, or calves), not the land or cows
OPTION TO BUY CARDS (O.T.B.'s): An OPTION TO BUY CARD is necessary to acquire
property and equipment. To exercise the option, one must be able to pay for the purchase in cash
or a combination of cash and bank financing. When instructed to do so by the squares on the
board, draw new O.T.B. CARDS. Each card is yours to keep until you exercise it or sell it to
another player. O.T.B. CARDS may only be exercised during the winter, between and including
Christmas Vacation and Spring Planting of each year. When a purchase is made, the player pays
the Bank, takes the correct vinyl acreage or machinery stamp, sticks it on his farm, and replaces
the O.T.B. CARD at the bottom of the deck.
O.T B. CARDS may be sold to other players for whatever free market price a buyer and seller can
agree on. (For example: cash and /or a percentage of future crops.) The only ownership limit in the
game is that the "farm" in the valley will only handle 20 cows (eating crop residue and pasturing
after the hay is cut). If a player wants more cows, he must exercise an OPTION TO LEASE and
purchase cows to go "out on range".
FARMER'S FATE CARDS: When instructed to do so by the squares on the board, draw a
FARMER'S FATE CARD. WARNING: If you are in a Harvest Season, complete your harvest
BEFORE drawing your FATE CARD, otherwise, it could interrupt your harvest! Return the card
to the bottom of the deck after you have determined your fate.
OWNING EQUIPMENT: The assumption in THE FARMING GAME® is that small farmers
don't own a tractor or harvester and must rent that equipment until they can afford to buy used
equipment for themselves. When a player receives a bill for an equipment expense, he pays the bill
to the bank unless a neighbor owns that equipment. In this case, payment would be made directly
to the equipment owner. (For example: if the bill is "Pay $2,000 if you don't own a tractor," and
only one player has a tractor, you pay him the $2,000. If two neighbors own tractors, those players
split the payment, $1,000 each, etc.)
THE BANK: The banking functions may be performed by one player as Banker, or every player
may "help himself". The Bank holds the money, the Bank Notes, and the vinyl acreage and
machinery stamps. The bank requires the players to have at least 20% down in cash to purchase
property. Each player can then borrow the rest from the Bank, up to a maximum of $50,000. (For
example, to buy 5 acres of fruit valued $25,000, a player must have at least $5,000 cash for a
down payment, and may borrow the balance of $20,000 from the Bank, taking $20,000 in Bank
Notes to show his indebtedness.) The Bank also pays and /or collects all monies, including
Harvest income or expenses. The bank does not buy back unwanted or over-leveraged property.
DOUBLING HARVEST: When landing on a week that says to Double your hay or corn harvests
this year turn your crop land stamp sideways as a means to remember that those crop yields are
doubled during harvest that coming year. At harvest, double the dollar amount on the HARVEST
RATE CHART for the affected acres. Note: doubling “corn" means corn only and not wheat.
When the year is over, turn your crop stamp back upright for normal harvests the next year. If you
have already doubled your harvest and land on a week that says it double it again, you receive four
times the harvest income, and so on.
CUTTING HARVESTS IN HALF: When bad weather cuts a harvest check in half, take that
reduction from your harvest income as displayed on the HARVEST RATE CHART before
drawing your OPERATING EXPENSE CARD. If, in cutting your harvest in half, $50 bills are
required to make the proper change (there are none in the game), the numbers are rounded up to
the nearest hundred dollars.
BANKRUPTCY: If a player gets in a situation that requires more cash than he has on hand, he
may borrow (providing there is room left on the credit line) from the bank in $5,000 increments,
paying a 20% refinance penalty fee for not properly managing his finances. Another option is to
borrow from his neighbors at a free market rate and terms, i.e., whatever the player can work out.
If the player has already borrowed to his maximum bank credit of $50,000 and has bills that
require more cash than he has on hand, he is bankrupt. He may then try to sell movable assets
(cattle or equipment) to neighbors at reduced prices. Creative players may work out a temporary
rental of crop land or crop futures for percentages to neighboring farmers for needed cash. If
sufficient money is not raised immediately, there is a BANKRUPTCY AUCTION to raise money
to pay the bankrupt player's bills.
BANKRUPTCY AUCTION: All non-bankrupt players roll the die, high roller becoming the
auctioneer. The auctioneer chooses what property is to be sold at the auction to satisfy the debt.
Bidding among players starts at 50% of the asset's value, highest bidder wins. The auction
continues until all outstanding bills and Bank Notes are paid in full and the bankrupt farmer has at
least $5,000 in cash of operating money. If the player has any productive assets left, he may continue farming.
THE END OF THE GAME: The goal of THE FARMING GAME" is to quit the job in town
and become a full-time farmer. This is accomplished by accumulating $250,000 in net assets. The
first player to acquire $250,000 in total assets is the winner. When one player believes he has
accumulated a quarter of a million dollars in assets, the player may call for an audit. An audit is
conducted of all players when the audit caller finishes the calendar year and reaches Christmas.
ALTERNATIVE ENDING: THE FARMING GAME" may also be played to an agreed upon
time limit. When the time is up, an audit is conducted and the player with the highest value in net
assets wins.
AUDIT: During an audit, each player counts up total cash, adds the value of their property and
equipment based on the original purchase price, and subtracts the value of Bank Notes held.
Leases have no value other than the value of the cows themselves. Since leased land is rented, not
owned, it is an expense and not an asset. If the caller of the audit is found to have less than
$250,000 in net assets, he is assessed a cash penalty for creating a market panic. The penalty is
whatever the other players can agree up to a limit of 25% of the audit caller's total net assets. It is
possible that more than one player can have in excess of $250,000 in net assets and become a
full-time farmer and, therefore, a winner, but the player with the highest total assets is the Winner.
additional "ranch rules" to customize this game to their own environment. A new rule is created
only after all of the players agree to the rule. New rules, once enacted, cannot be changed for the
remainder of the game.
THE YAKIMA VALLEY: The Yakima Valley is a real place in the State of Washington,
USA. The Yakima Valley has a very mild climate which enables the farmers there to grow over 20
different crops. The Yakima Valley is most famous for the high quality apples and cherries grown
there and marketed all over the world.
PRONUNCIATIONS: The names are indigenous. Toppenish (Tah'pen ish), Wapato (Wah' pa
toe), Harrah (Hair' a), Satus (Say tus), Roza (Rose' a), Yakima (Yak im a).
MISSING PARTS: If your new game has a missing or damaged part, please visit our website or call 1- 800-222-4263 to request replacements. If you have lost your
instructions, you will find them in HTML and PDF formats on our website. Or, send a stamped,
self -addressed envelope to the address on the side of the box and we will send you new
instructions at no charge.
THE FARMING GAME is a registered trademark of George Rohrbacher and the Weekend
Farmer Co., P.O. Box 896, Goldendale, WA 98620. THE FARMING GAME®, as described in
these instructions, the gameboard, card, vinyl acreage stamps, “Weekend Farmer” markers,
instructions and box design, all Copyright 1979 George Rohrbacher. The Russian language
version of THE FARMING GAME ® is Copyright 1994, George Rohrbacher. All unauthorized
copies and/or adaptations of the game are illegal.
-- most asked questions...
Is grain acreage wheat or corn?
-- Owning grain acreage allows you to harvest both crops should you be lucky enough
to get to both harvests during the same year. The same applies for fruit acreage-you may
harvest both cherries and/or apples if you own fruit.
What do you do on the Independence Day Bash and Harvest Moon squares?
-- These are cherry harvest and cattle sale opportunities. Just because the calendar
shows holidays, that doesn't stop farmers harvesting 7 days a week until the crop is in.
After the harvest is in, you can party as you see fit.
What about partnerships on land, cattle or equipment.?
-- Any partnership that would be legal and workable in real life is fine in our game. Be
creative, cut some deals that stretch your resources and allow you to tap opportunities you
might otherwise miss. For example: you might have the OTB card to lease Toppenish
Ridge (50 cow capacity) but not enough money to secure it, try going partners with a
neighbor: you can run 30 head of cows there and your neighbor runs 20. Cut a deal.
Operating Expenses that are listed per acre (like fertilizer), do they apply to just the
crop you are harvesting or all acres?
-- Unless the bill is crop specific (example: per hay acre...), it applies to all acres owned or
shares of acreage held in partnership.
Can more than one person lease a ridge?
-- The ridges with their finite cow carrying capacity are first come, first served. Once they
are leased, they are taken unless you convince the leaseholder to go into a partnership (see
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 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®. The
game, which was first assembled by the handicapped at Portland's Goodwill Industries, 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 game is now also available in a Russian language version).
THE FARMING GAME® has sprouted new crops: a computer game and a book. It has been
adapted for computers in the Windows® format on 3-1/2 disks (for 1
4 players). THE FARMING GAME® for computers won the 1997 Mahnke Multimedia Award
given by the Association of Educators for Communication and Technology (AECT), an
international organization.
Now available is "Zen Ranching and THE FARMING GAME®, the humorous story of life on the
farm and the birth of THE FARMING GAME® by George Rohrbacher, published in 1997. This is
a story of a family effort that became larger than the sum of its parts. Prompted by hundreds of
calls and letters, George wrote much more than a "how to invent and market a game" book, he also
captured a little lively piece of country living, and a fun inside look at life beyond the blacktop.
For order information on the book, or games or
extra game parts, you can visit our website at:
Or call 1-800-222-GAME
Or write to:
The Weekend Farmer Co.,
P.O. Box 896
Goldendale, WA 98620
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