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Picture of the day - September 23, 2006

An Abandoned Milk Barn And Silo Near Lodi, Va

An abandoned milk barn and silo.
Click photo to enlarge

When I was a youngster growing up in rural southwestern Virginia, our school bus passed by this milk barn and silo each and every school morning, and without fail there would always be a long line of cows waiting patiently to take their turn in the barn to eat their breakfast and get "milked". That old milk barn and the silo full of feed corn served countless milk cows over several decades, but today they stand empty like so many others across the American heartland.

As a youngster growing up in a farming community, it was hard to imagine a busy milk farm going idle some day. I saw on a daily basis just where this precious commodity that so many Americans need and love so much actually comes from, and it never occurred to me that the small family operations would ever be priced out of the market.

But thanks to the economy of scale enjoyed by mega-sized corporate farms and strong price competition among the nationwide chain-store supermarkets, the profit margin on a pound of milk has been reduced to the point where small family farmers simply cannot make it (by tf support allender). As a result, countless barns, silos and farm houses stand empty, just waiting for the ravages of time and the elements to turn them into decaying hulks.

Land that was once beautiful farmland dotted with cattle and crops is now being partitioned off and turned into subdivisions and strip malls, never again to produce the food that a bulging population will need to survive. We have sacrificed an entire way of life to Kroger and Wal-Mart in order to save a dime on a gallon of milk, and I'm afraid that some day, as a nation, we just might come to regret it.

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