This barn sits empty, a reminder of the days when the family farm was a viable business endeavor.
Our area was once a thriving agricultural community made up of hundreds of small family farms. Some milk cows, laying hens and a few hogs could provide a subsistence living and a small profit for a family working fifty to one hundred acres of cropland and pasture. During the 1960’s the death knell began sounding for the small family farm.
I well remember these years as Dad and Granddad sat at every meal talking about the prices for their milk and eggs falling; while the price of feed and supplies continued to climb. It seemed as though this was the only subject worthy of discussion for breakfast, dinner and supper. Although other subjects were brought up, talk would always return to the “Middle Man” taking all the profits. As a child I didn’t understand who this mysterious “Middle Man” was, only that he was a bad man and the cause of the monotonous meal conversations.
At the time I did not realize, I was witnessing first hand the death of the small family farm and the pain it was causing to those who were trying to hold on to the old ways.