Saturday, March 31, 2018

The End of the Road

From Two Sparrows Farm and Dairy:
A few days ago, we were running low on round bales for our cows – our next semi load wasn’t supposed to be in for a few more days. So, I thought I’d run down the road through Lakeview farm country and knock on doors at any of the small farms I saw with hay bales stacked up. Having recently moved to the area, buying hay is always a good way to connect with neighbors, local farmers and create community.

Not one person was home. The barn roofs sagged in the middle as the ridge beams rotted away. The tractors, mostly over 40 years old, sat rusting in barely standing equipment sheds. The old fence posts looked more like Woodpecker feeders, and the barbed wire fences that once controlled livestock now swung limply in wind.  Paint peeled from the siding, and shingles were missing from the roofs, and no one was home.

Despite all their hard work, those farmers still couldn’t afford to make ends meet without a towny job. In a few more years, after that farmer has worked until his last day, those tractors will be wrapped in weeds, the barns will be piles of rotted wood and twisted nails, and the houses will sit vacant – too poorly maintained and outdated to even sell. Eventually, some mega farm will come burn the collapsed barn, bulldoze the house, and try to squeeze out a few more bushels of corn over-top the tomb of some other farmer’s dreams, until they eventually succumb to the same fate.

I don’t say this to be pessimistic. It’s the truth. (Read more.)

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