Siouxland’s agricultural roots

4 May

As spring has arrived and Siouxland farmers are now getting out into their fields for planting, it’s easier for people living in towns and larger cities to be reminded of the state’s agricultural roots. Buying beef and pork and chicken at the supermarket doesn’t really do the trick. But when I drive some of the byways and backroads in northwest Iowa I come across scenes of abandoned or no longer active farm steads. House and barns that have fallen into disrepair. It’s sad. In the 1940’s and ’50’s, there were so many more farms and thriving smaller communities. A small farm could survive raising some livestock along with a vegetable garden and some grain crops. Those days are gone. Now, it appears that to survive, individual farmers are utilizing a couple thousand acres just to survive, and those with less, are working other jobs aas well.

So it’s sad when I find a now defunct homestead. I wonder about the family that lived there previously. Working in all kinds of weather, watching their children grow, attending events at the local schools and churches and communities.  Progress is a dual edged sword. On the one hand, life is better, but on the other, some aspects are left in the past.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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