Icon of Agriculture Past

When I grew up there was a prosperous agriculture society out there in rural America.   There were lots of small and medium-sized towns full of businesses that supported farm families.  You could find  schools scattered across the countryside to educate the farmer’s  children.  Each community would have an elevator for the local farmer’s co-op.   The farmers used this to store and transport their corn, grain and other commodities.

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Abandoned grain elevator in Winnett, Montana

In the years since I was a child we have continued to become more efficient in agriculture as a results there are fewer  farms and ranches, and the ones that are out there are larger.

Today producers, ranchers and farmers, are growing more food than their grandfather’s could have imagined.  In spite of the changes of time one thing has not changed, the  life of a producer is at the mercy of the winds of nature.    A farmer works from sun up to sun down and livestock never takes a vacation.   Today the economics of being in agriculture are hard and many people not only run their farm operation, they also hold a second job to make ends meet and even up the ups and downs of crop and animal prices, hail, drought, lost livestock and so much more we can’t imagine.   Given a choice more and more folks are choosing to move to the city rather take on the challenges of being a producer.

Today with  fewer folks choosing the rural life small towns are dying.   When a small town dies not only are businesses loss, but many of the local elevators are being abandoned in favor of larger more centralized elevators.   Small elevators  are  an icon of the past; an icon of agriculture.  Just like barns, you see fewer of them across the countryside.   They are being abandoned and falling into disrepair.  Someday like old farm houses and old barns they will fall down and will no longer be there to remind of the all the people who came before and work out there today to feed the world.

 

 

 

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4 comments on “Icon of Agriculture Past

  1. Grain elevators are a great subject to photograph. I was told that before the 1940’s they were made out of wood and after that metal. thanks for sharing.

  2. My son is working on a farm full-time. They grow produce for the local foodbank. It is hard work , but he is interested in pursuing this as a career. Maybe there is hope for the small farms yet…

  3. That is so true. The small farms are disappearing. Which is so sad and does effect the small towns and businesses.

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