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An old farm no longer in use shrouded in snow. → Buy a Print

I make no apologies for liking barns.

But I’m not exactly sure what attracts me to them.

It probably has something to do with the fact I grew up on a farm. At one point we had three red barns. They were the epicenter of activity on our farm. And I dare say, we probably spent more time in the barn than we did in the house. We milked cows in the barn, played basketball and made forts out of hay in the mow, and searched for newborn kittens behind bales of hay. We had parties in the barn, parked our tractors in the barn, and more often than I care to mention, we shoveled manure and cleaned the barn.

Two of the three barns I grew up in are no longer standing. Sadly they succumbed to the elements years ago. Perhaps that fact has something to do with my affinity for barns, too.

I fear for the future of old, wooden barns, like the ones I grew up around. It’s the same fear I have for the future of grain elevators on America’s plains. They are landmarks. They are hallmarks of our nation’s rural past.

Barns were originally engineered to be buttressed with a mow full of small, square hay bales. However, those bales of hay have been replaced by large round ones that are no longer stored in barns. As such the roofs on barns are bending. The walls are leaning. And all over America small farms that once were the source of our food supply are giving way to large corporate farms. Those old wooden barns are no longer suited for milking cows or housing animals. They are far too small and antiquated As a result, they are no longer needed. At least not in the agricultural sense. But if they continue to rot away and vanish from the nation’s landscape then I will fear for the beauty and soul of rural America, too.

This week’s chapter of 20+ photos features examples of my agriculture photography; a small portfolio of 20 barn photos I have taken over the years. There are red ones, and white ones, and brown ones. All are beautiful in their own way, but not all are still standing.

Photos for Indian Health Services
10 Reasons Not to Move to Montana

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