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Big Farms

Posted Tuesday, December 4, 2007, at 8:56 AM

I've been reading some recently about corporate farm operations, but I hadn't appreciated it much until our last drive from Cambridge to Denver. We drove west on US 36 across northern Kansas and eastern Colorado this trip, and a few miles east of Byers Colorado is a farm that probably qualifies as a corporate farm.

The first thing that caught my eye was the five 1/4 million dollar each 4x4 tractors lined up, and that was just the start of what almost looked more like a dealership than a farm. There were 4 modest houses that I assume are for workers and their families, and above it all atop the nearest hill was an impressive new house surrounded by a young windbreak only a few years old.

What a change from the farm I visited when I was a kid! My aunt and uncle had a farm in Holt county that we visited a couple times a year. It was a smallish operation with chickens and a few cows. They grew hay, and I loved watching them mow, rake and stack it. There were farm ponds, and that's where I caught my first fish, and I rode in my first and only Jeep FC (forward control pickup) that probably got me hooked on 4x4's in the first place.

I think that was near the tail end of farming as a subsistence lifestyle, but what great memories of the cream separator, getting eggs from the coop, the hand water pump, and the FC Jeep I have. After driving by the big farm, I couldn't help but be a bit nostalgic for the small farm I remember from my boyhood.

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