Siouxland “Winterless” Wonderland, Sioux County

5 Feb

The snowfall this year in the Siouxland area has been drastically less than previous years. Local weather prognosticators have indicated it could be a “dry” spring, which is not good for farmers. Yet, by winter standards, it is still early in the season. Driving through Sioux County in the northern end of Siouxland this past week there is little snowfall covering the now harvested fields. Snow helps replenish the moisture in the fields so when spring planting time comes, there is no worry that the plants will not germinate and grow.  A look at a recently released drought monitor map by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture shows that most of Iowa is in an abnormal drought pattern, and that some areas east of Siouxland it borders are actual drought conditions. It is still early in the winter season, and last spring inches of snow fell over the area, while grumbling residents scooped more of it late into the season hoping for an end to the snow. Everyone was keen on the temperature being warm enough so there could be 2-3 inches of rain, rather than 20-30 inches of snow to remove.

While driving along a main road in Sioux County, I also came across an abandoned farm house. The decline of the family farm that sustained so many families while producing food for this country has been immense. Like in other businesses, it was deemed that bigger is better and small family farms could not compete with larger, oft times corporate farms with thousands of acres of farmland to plant and harvest. As technology continues to move forward and more businesses become automated thought occurs as to what jobs will the human race perform to actually make enough to raise a family and feed themselves. Politicians and educators as well as business leaders say people just need to retrain and move forward with technology. But no one seems to no what that technology is and what jobs these people should learn to succeed. At times it appears there will only be service industry work including restaurants and hotels to cater to those who have more wealth, thus continuing what seems to be an ever increasing cycle of haves, and haves not so much. With the latter group of people falling further behind as time moves forward.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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