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25 things about to become extinct in america

25. Post Office[/I]]They are pricing themselves out of existence. With e-mail, and on-line services they are a relic of the past. (refer to #9)Packages are also sent faster and cheaper with UPS.

The USPS will never go under. They will scale down, and one day they may actually (gasp!) cost as much as UPS, but they will never be extinct.



This year will be pivotal for the global Yellow Pages industry.
Much like newspapers, print Yellow Pages will continue to bleed
dollars to their various digital counterparts, from Internet
Yellow Pages (IYPs), to local search engines and combination
search/listing services like Reach Local and Yodel Factors like20an
acceleration of the print 'fade rate' and the looming recession
will contribute to the onslaught. One research firm predicts the
falloff in usage of newspapers and print Yellow Pages could even
reach 10% this year -- much higher than the 2%-3% fade rate seen
in past years.

Yellow pages are still going strong. In my little secluded corner of the earth I have no less than four different phone books that make their way to my porch every year.

23. Classified Ads
The Internet has made so many things obsolete that newspaper
classified ads might sound like just another trivial item on a
long list. But this is one of those harbingers of the future that
could signal the end of civilization as we know it. The argument
is that if newspaper classifies are replaced by free on-line
listings at sites like Craigslist.org and Google Base, then
newspapers are not far behind them..

Agree. One day the paid classified ad will cease to exist.


22. Movie Rental Stores
While Netflix is looking up at the moment, Blockbuster keeps
closing store locations by the hundreds. It still has about 6,000
left across the world, but those keep dwindling and the stock is
down considerably in 2008, especially since the company gave up a
quest of Circuit City . Movie Gallery, which owned the Hollywood
Video brand, closed up shop earlier this year. Countless small
video chains and mom-and-pop stores have given up the ghost
already.

I don't think that movie rental stores will ever go completely under, but with shrinking rentals and mega conglomerate Blockbuster and Netflix, the death toll of the independent rental venue is staggering.


21. Dial-up Internet Access
Dial-up connections have fallen from 40% in 2001 to 10% in 2008.
The combination of an infrastructure to accommodate affordable
high speed Internet connections and the disappearing home phone
have all but pounded the final nail in the coffin of dial-up
Internet access.

There will always be dial up access for geographic locations that don't have high speed options. I lived in such an area not three years ago. Heck, they still had a party line in place (look that one up, kids).


20. Phone Land Lines
According to a survey from the National Center for Health
Statistics, at the end of 2007, nearly one in six homes was
cell-only and, of those homes that had land lines, one in eight
only received calls on their cells.

The phone land line will never go extinct. When you call your local store up to inquire whether an item is in stock, is the internet going to list all the different individual cell phone numbers of the people that work there? Let's not be hasty in pronouncing the imminent demise of the land line.

19. Maryland's icon, the blue crab, has been fading away in Chesapeake Bay Last year Maryland saw the lowest harvest (22 million pounds) since 1945. Just four decades ago the bay produced 96 million
pounds. The population is down 70% since 1990, when they first did
a formal count. There are only about 120 million crabs in the bay
and they think they need 200 million for a sustainable population.
Over-fishing, pollution, invasive species and global warming get
the blame.

Let's hope they stage a comeback in numbers.


18. VCRs
For the better part of three decades, the VCR was a best-seller
and staple in every American household until being completely
decimated by the DVD, and now the Digital Video Recorder (DVR). In
fact, the only remnants of the VHS age at your local Wal-Mart or
Radio Shack are blank VHS tapes these days. Pre-recorded VHS tapes
are largely gone and VHS decks are practically nowhere to be
found. They served us so well.

The VCR will always have a place in my home. Of course, I still have a functioning quadraphonic 8 Track set up next to my RCA Selectavision video disc player. :biggrin:


17. Ash Trees
In the late 1990's, a pretty, iridescent green species of beetle,
now known as the emerald ash borer, hitched a ride to North
America with ash wood products imported from eastern Asia .. In less
than a decade, its larvae have killed millions of trees in the
Midwest , and continue to spread.

Oh sure... blame the Beatles. :biggrin:

16. Ham Radio
Amateur radio operators enjoy personal (and often worldwide)
wireless communications with each other and are able to support
their communities with emergency and disaster communications if
necessary, while increasing their personal knowledge of
electronics and radio theory.. However, proliferation of the
Internet and its popularity among youth has caused the decline of
amateur radio. In the past five years alone, the number of people
holding active ham radio licenses has dropped by 50,000, even
though Morse Code is no longer a requirement.

So long as there will be old men and basements, there will always be Ham Radio. :wink:

15 The Swimming Hole

They're still going strong here! We're not as lawsuit happy in the south as folks are elsewhere.

14. Answering Machines
The increasing disappearance of answering machines is directly
tied to No 20 our list -- the decline of landlines. According to
USA Today, the number of homes that only use cell phones jumped
159% between 2004 and 2007. It has been particularly bad; since 2000, landline usage has dropped 55%. It's logical that as cell phones rise, many of them replacing traditional landlines, that there will be fewer answering machines.

Like the landline, the answering machine will never go extinct.

13. Cameras That Use Film
It doesn't require a statistician to prove the rapid disappearance
of the film camera in America. Just look to companies like Nikon,
the professional's choice for quality camera equipment. In 2006,
it announced that it would stop making film cameras, pointing to
the shrinking market -- only 3% of its sales in 2005, compared to
75% of sales from digital cameras and equipment.

There are many professional photographers that refuse to play with digital. You may one day not be able to walk into Wal-Mart and purchase one, but there will always be film cameras.

12. Incandescent Bulbs
Before a few years ago, the standard 60-watt (or, yikes, 100-watt)
bulb was the mainstay of every U.S. home. With the green movement
and all-things-sustainable-energy crowd, the Compact Fluorescent
Lightbulb (CFL) is largely replacing the older, Edison-era
incandescent bulb. The EPA reports that 2007 sales for Energy Star
CFLs nearly doubled from 2006, and these sales accounted for
approximately 20 percent of the U.S. light bulb market. And
according to USA Today, a new energy bill plans to phase out
incandescent bulbs in the next four to 12 years.

I will be highly PO's if all we have to choose from in the future is fluorescent or LED bulbs. They give me headaches. In fact, I'll bootleg the suckers if that happens.



11. Stand-Alone Bowling Alleys
Bowling Balls.. claims there are still 60 million Americans who
bowl at least once a year, but many are not bowling in stand-alone
bowling alleys. Today most new bowling alleys are part of
facilities for all types or recreation including laser tag,
go-karts, bumper cars, video game arcades, climbing walls and glow
miniature golf. Bowling lanes also have been added to many
non-traditional venues such as adult communities, hotels and
resorts, and gambling casinos.

Honestly, I really think that the decline in stand alone bowling alleys has to do with the non-smoking legislation that has sprung up in places. Statistics have shown that people will stop going to certain activities if they can no longer smoke in them, and arcades and bowling alleys are such places.


10. The Milkman
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 1950, over
half of the milk delivered was to the home in quart bottles, by
1963, it was about a third and by 2001, it represented only 0.4%
percent. Nowadays most milk is sold through supermarkets in gallon
jugs. The steady decline in home-delivered milk is blamed, of
course, on the rise of the supermarket, better home refrigeration
and longer-lasting milk. Although some milkmen still make the
rounds in pockets of the , they are certainly a dying breed.

I thought the milkman was already extinct.


9. Hand-Written Letters
In 2006, the Radicati Group estimated that, worldwide, 183 billion
e-mails were sent each day. Two million each second. By November
of 2007, an estimated 3.3 billion Earthlings owned cell phones,
and 80% of the world's population had access to cell phone
coverage. In 2004, half-a-trillion text messages were sent, and
the number has no doubt increased exponentially since then. So
where amongst this gorge of gabble is there room for the elegant,
polite hand-written letter?

They won't go completely extinct.


8. Wild Horses
It is estimated that 100 years ago, as many as two million horses
were roaming free within the United States .. In 2001, National
Geographic News estimated that the wild horse population has
decreased to about 50,000 head. Currently, the National Wild Horse
and Burro Advisory board states that there are 32,000 free roaming
horses in ten Western states, with half of them residing in
Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management is seeking to reduce the
total number of free range horses to 27,000, possibly by selective
euthanasia.

Wild Horses are indeed troublesome in some regions. I support the population control efforts in certain areas.

7. Personal Checks
According to an American Bankers Assoc. report, a net 23% of
consumers plan to decrease their use of checks over the next two
years, while a net 14% plan to increase their use of PIN debit.
Bill payment remains the last stronghold of paper-based
payments -- for the time being. Checks continue to be the most
commonly used bill payment method, with 71% of consumers paying at
least one recurring bill per month by writing a check. However,
a bill-by-bill basis, checks account for only 49% of consumers'
recurring bill payments (down from 72% in 2001 and 60% in 2003).

I don't think that again, personal checks will go away for good. But yes, they will continue to dwindle.

6. Drive-in Theaters
During the peak in 1958, there were more than 4,000 drive-in
theaters in this country, but in 2007 only 405 drive-ins were
still operating. Exactly zero new drive-ins have been built since
2005. Only one reopened in 2005 and five reopened in 2006, so
there isn't much of a movement toward reviving the closed ones.

Drive-In openings are seemingly on the rise in the last few years. For every one that closes, one opens. They seem to thrive in areas that have them. In fact, if you're not at the Badin Road Drive In in Albemarle NC (I go about once a month) an hour before the show starts, good luck finding a spot to park. They do more business than the local Megaplex.


5. Mumps & Measles
Despite what's been in the news lately, the measles and mumps
actually, truly are disappearing from the United States .. In 1964,
212,000 cases of mumps were reported in the U.S. By 1983, this
figure had dropped to 3,000, thanks to a vigorous vaccination
program. Prior to the introduction of the measles vaccine,
approximately half a million cases of measles were reported in the
U.S.annually, resulting in 450 deaths. In 2005, only 66 cases
were recorded.

They said that the Bubonic Plague has gone extinct too, but folks still die every year from it.

4. Honey Bees

I'll keep buying their honey if they keep making it. :biggrin:


3. News Magazines and TV News
While the TV evening newscasts haven't gone anywhere over the last
several decades, their audiences have. In 1984, in a story about
the diminishing returns of the evening news, the New York Times
reported that all three network evening-news programs combined had
only 40.9 million viewers. Fast forward to 2008, and what they
have today is half that.

Time magazine and 60 Minutes will always be around.

2 Analog TV
According to the Consumer Electronics Association, 85% of homes in
the U.S. get their television programming through cable or
satellite providers. For the remaining 15% -- or 13 million
individuals -- who are using rabbit ears or a large outdoor
antenna to get their local stations, change is in the air.. If you
are one of these people you'll need to get a new TV or a converter
box in order to get the new stations which will only be broadcast
in = 0 A digital.

Even though we have gone to digital, we still get UHF over analog signals. There are no plans to do away with these signals as of yet, but they're definitely an endangered species.


1. The Family Farm
Since the 1930's, the number of family farms has been declining
rapidly. According to the USDA, 5.3 million farms dotted the
nation in 1950, but this number had declined to 2.1 million by the
2003 farm census (data from the 2007 census hasn't yet been
published). Ninety-one percent of the U.S. FARMS are small Family
Farms.

Both interesting and saddening, isn't it?

Ehh, the family farm has been declining for the last two thousand years. I think a better distinction would be to prophesize the eventual extinction of family tobacco farms. The way this country has treated its tobacco farmers over the course of the last three decades is shameful.
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
Post Office ... still use it (grumble grumble)

Yellow Pages ... got it, use it ...

Phone Land line ... got it!

VCR ... got it ... take that, tivo!

Answering machine ... what else to hook up to my phone land line??

Film camera ... got it ... loaded with b&w

Incandescent bulb ... got 'em ... 'stockpilled like English Fern ought to be'

Personal Cheques ... yours is in the mail! ... dude, trust me!

Honey Bees ... darn shame! I keep buying honey, not that that helps.

TV News ... sure I watch it

Analogue TV ... analogue static looks so much more natural than digital static.
 
I'm pretty sure that we don't have to worry about the extinction of Honey Bees.

First, I recall reading that the CCD loss estimates were ridiculously overinflated. It seems that prior to, the below, resolution of the issue it served a "green" political agenda to over-hype the honey bee loss. It was real, just not as bad as we were told, or caused by what we were told.

Second, it seems to have been resolved or is resolvable.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090414084627.htm
and
http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/02/saving-bees-what-we-know-now/

If you notice the times article even uses a more moderate colony loss estimate.

Anyway, I'm glad smart people have figured things out...they usually do before the sky falls.
 
# 9 Hand written letter. I just bought my first fountain pen and love it. I will now hand write letters to loved ones rather then e-mail as much as possible. There is something special about handwritting. If I look at my mothers handwritting over the years, even though I haven't seen her...you can see her aging by the her handwritting...and I am more appreciative of her wisdom and advice.. unlike an e-mail.
 
UPS cheaper than USPS? I must be in the same bizarro dimension as Kooshman. I don't see them going anywhere, but scaling down, as my exiled comrade stated. Land-lines will also stick around. They have their uses, and cell signal is still nowhere near as reliable. I still use my yellow pages; I don't always feel like messing with the computer. At least they are recyclable.
 
To most of the list, true that. Some things have morphed, of course.

Phones and internet access morphed. Personal checks I would say have morphed to card payments.

Yellow pages and classified ads. Movie brick and motar shops have morphed in to mail and on-line.

The Chespeake Bay all around is a tragedy. Oysters went before crabs. Lots wild besides horses are gone or almost gone.

Drive-ins are long gone. VCRs morphed.

There are new childhood diseases.

News TV and papers have changed to on-line to some extent.

Muffler and brake shops have become more car repair shops charging about what dealers do. Consumer car parts places seem nearly gone at least where I live.

Car bodies do not seem to rust anymore. I do not miss that.
 
Classified Ads: I encountered a particularly eccentric form of these when I driving across the country in 1983, leaving Redmond, Washington for a new job in Middle River, Maryland.

I'd spent the night (4th of July!) in Miles City, Montana and was driving a VW bus with an AM radio and no other form of audio entertainment. I tuned into KFLN in Baker, Montana and managed to listen to it most of the way across South/North Dakota over the course of the day. KFLN had a feature called "radio bulletin board" in which they read the classified ads out loud over the air! Queen-size mattress, lawn-mower, you name it. Later in the morning they listed who had checked out of the local hospital.

It gave me the impression that Baker wasn't a very big town.

- Chris
 
25. U.S. Post Office - WHAT?????:confused:

24. Yellow Pages - good riddance to bad rubbish

23. Classified Ads - same as above.

22. Movie Rental Stores - meh, the only reason they are still around is that sometimes I want a movie NOW instead of waiting to download it.

21. Dial-up Internet Access - wow, people still use this?

20. Phone Land Lines - I haven't had a landline (a real one) since, well, since I moved out of my parents house in 1996.

19. Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs - add to that Bluepoint Oysters

18. VCRs - got rid of mine a few years back.

17. Ash Trees - oh too bad.

16. Ham Radio - meh.

15 The Swimming Hole - it probably has condoms and styrofoam cups floating in it now anyway

14. Answering Machines - will not be missed

13. Cameras That Use Film - film was costly to develop and annoying to carry. Happy that it has seen its swan song.

12. Incandescent Bulbs - I get headaches from the flicker of flourescent lights so these will be missed.

11. Stand-Alone Bowling Alleys - no more stinky rotten shoes????

10. The Milkman - never had one, don't care.

9. Hand-Written Letters - no one can read my handwriting anyways

8. Wild Horses - meh

7. Personal Checks - hate them.

6. Drive-in Theaters - horrible sound. If you want romance, just put on a clean pair of undies at home.

5. Mumps & Measles - Fantastic, vaccines are probably one of the single greatest achievements of humankind.

4. Honey Bees - This is literally apocalyptic news. Read my lips: the world WILL end without bees. They pollinate more food stuffs than all other pollinators combined.

3. News Magazines and TV News - The crazy drunken uncle of TV News (aka cable news) went on a bender about three years ago and ran TV News and his wife News Magazines over with his rusted out beater. They've never been the same since.

2 Analog TV - Rabbit ears, seriously?

1. The Family Farm - Oh, well I like food that tastes like cardboard anyways. Hey pass me some of those friend corn chips, with real beef flavoring. (hint: it's not the "beef" that's real, but the "flavoring", I can't stand fake "Flavoring":biggrin:)
 
Car bodies do not seem to rust anymore. I do not miss that.

That because they are plastic

18. I agree many of these things have evolved VCR became DVD which is changing to Tivo

14. Answering Machine has become Voice Mail. The machine part is just not at your house, but there is still a box somewhere with you messages stored on it.

3. TV news/all magazines/newspapers I think are all on the way out, breaking news can be had in seconds world wide via electronic communication. I still get several magazines, but by the time they arrive, I have already read most of the articles on line, so I wonder why I should get the paper magazine. I switched to the small local newspaper that comes out once a week, because they do a much better job of providing "local" info. The much larger news paper provides 2 day old national news via the AP, and does a poor job of covering local events.

1. If the family farm is 2-4000 acres of Corn or beans, then they are still going strong here in IL. If they are 1000 acres or less, they are dissappearing rapidly.

My last box of 500 personal checks is over 5 years old, and still going strong.
 
I agree that drive in speakers were tinny and mono, but broadcasting through your vehicles car audio via FM has been the standard for the last thirty years or so. If it sounds horrible in your car, then blame your vehicle.

Do you remember those air conditioning tubes that you would roll up in the window to keep cool at the Drive In Movie? My great uncle used to own one in Colorado. Just closed it about 18 months ago.
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
To most of the list, true that. Some things have morphed, of course.

the 'drive-in restaurant' has morphed into the drive-through. (Or I guess the "drive-thru" ... add 'proper spelling' to the list of almost-xtinct)
 
4,5,8,17 and 19 are not man made and somewhat less responsive to market forces than the rest which are mainly product or service delivery systems. These will evolve but not completely disappear in most cases, VCR may be the only one that really does go like 8-track, cassettes and ZIP drives have. The demise of vinyl records, tube amps, books and even old fashioned razors has been predicted for years now. They are all flourishing.

As for bees, they may diminish and lead to serious consequences. Let's hope they stay around for a while and keep pollinating stuff.

One thing that could usefully go is the penny - make the increment .05 and cut out the .99 stuff except for pricing and then round at the checkout.
 
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Even though we have gone to digital, we still get UHF over analog signals. There are no plans to do away with these signals as of yet, but they're definitely an endangered species.

'Cause, we got it all, yeah we got it all on UHF!
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Some of it is as true as we may want it to be.

Some say that ridding newspapers is good. Cleaner and greener. However, look at the energy it can take you to use your laptop to read the news. Or, the TV. So, it's a wash in that area.

The economic downturn is actually for the good in a lot of ways, IF people can see that.

Look at the newspaper. Well, people now have to cut corners and become more thrifty. Thus, coupon clipping. That brings up the Sunday edition of the newspaper so people can get their coupons.

Also, with the advent of creating a cleaner planet people are looking for more alternatives. Making their own soaps, cleaning products, etc.

25. U.S. Post Office - This is in conjunction with the handwritten letter. However, as long as there are products that need to be advertised, the PO ain't going no place. And, as long as we keep buying stuff online...they'll sit right there. The way of the mailbox may change as we'll be reduced to just packages, but that's quite alright. If the PO wants to save a TON of money, stop delivering the mail just ONE day a week. Just one day do not put the mail out. Do you know how many MILLIONS of dollars this would save?

24. Yellow Pages - Junk. Have you ever really found a reliable service or product there? People are reverting back to tried and true...word of mouth.

23. Classified Ads - Overtaken by MLM scams. Nobody wants to read them. Also, saves on trees, but...see above.

22. Movie Rental Stores - So? Look how much gas you use going to these places.

21. Dial-up Internet Access - Thank Heavens!

20. Phone Land Lines - Really? We didn't see that one coming? Gone also is long distance calling.

19. Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs -No clue about this.

18. VCRs - There'll always be some around. Hell, look at DE razors......

17. Ash Trees - Don't know anything about these.

16. Ham Radio - Woopity. Pick up the phone.

15 The Swimming Hole - I disagree. Probably quite geographic in this.

14. Answering Machines - So.

13. Cameras That Use Film - Technology has caught up with film. There is still a lot of film in production. I use it time to time. As much? Nope. Look at the resources you're using to get a photo from film.

12. Incandescent Bulbs - Good to have energy saving alternatives. Those get HOT too.

11. Stand-Alone Bowling Alleys - oh darn.

10. The Milkman -
Certain things, like that of a milkman have been gone for ages. When I lived in Utah a dairy there would deliver milk. It was very expensive.


9. Hand-Written Letters - There are too many people that need to send a herarfelt message out. I collect fountain pens. Handwritten letters aren't going anywhere.

8. Wild Horses - Disagree on this one. As long as horses are in the wild and producing sperm, they'll be there.

7. Personal Checks - Cash too. Gasp...oh so bad! Too easily counterfitted too often. The only ones that care are those that have illegal pay and don't pay taxes.

6. Drive-in Theaters - This will be missed. Well, it has been. Many areas have one and they do exceptionally well.

5. Mumps & Measles - Every 20 years a disease is wiped out. This has been gone quite a while. Vaccines have multiplied and worsened diseases in our children.

4. Honey Bees - PURE BS. Look at all the honeybee farmers.

3. News Magazines and TV News - Good. They're illiterate, non-functioning idiots that retell the same negative crap I don't wish to hear over and over again.

2 Analog TV - So. It's gone already.
 
#1 is so incredibly sad. It's an issue near and dear to my heart. It's almost unjust to distill it down to some statistics and relegate the extinction of family farms to the level of disappearing answering machines, because it's had serious negative consequences for our food supply, health, and economy.

Hey Pat. Never fear. The return of the real family farm could well be underway. How so? Considering I live in Northeast Kansas, (which is not high prairie like most think, it is part of the Missouri river basin systems. At least I think that is right. We are green, lush, and tree filled.) there seems to be a real resurgence in what can best be described as farmsteads. Gentleman farmers as it were. 5-25 acre spreads dotted with various industry on them. Vineyards, specialty herds of dairy and meat cattle, special grains(semi-locals growing barley for the local brewery), raising rabbits for meat and sale, etc. It is not huge but it is gaining ground. This is what my mother used to refer to as family farms. Yes, row cropping as a family farm of 160-640 acres was a family farming practise but the real "farming" was the vegetables and the orchards that all these little farmsteads seemed to have.

Our soil here along the Kansas/Missouri border(which is the Mighty Mo itself) grows crops, fruits, and veg like nobody's business. We had a remarkably cool summer this year and even then, the field corn was over 8 feet tall by the middle of July. This place just grows stuff. So even though you would have to give an unqualified "yes" answer to the question of small farms disappearing, there is more to it. With modern growing means, ideas like square foot gardening really come into their own. Ten acres of square foot boxes would yield enough food feed a family of four MANY times over for the year and still have enough left over to sell for thousands. The sale of home grown food items is pretty big here. People will pay well for it. Like anything else farming related though, it is hard work in the Kansas heat. No matter the amount of mechanised equipment you use to make it easier. My mother has a ten acre land with about five acres tillable. She is considering a few milk goats, a Dexter steer for meat, and of course her semi-free range chickens which produce superb eggs. She is a green thumb of the first water and her orchard is always popular with my kids. I certainly hope when I am in my seventies I can be as robust and energetic as she is. So yes, there is some hope.

BTW, a stat that jumps out at you; just after WW2 75% of Kansas' population lived in "rural" areas. Now, 75-80% live in these midwestern metroplexes as I call them. Indinapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Wichita, Denver, etc. These are the only places with any decent jobs. About every 300-600 miles as you cross the country. Go a bit north and add Omaha, south, Okalhoma city. The rest of these states areas are depopulating. Sad, but it does give hope the rise of local farmsteads in the outlying areas of these monstrosities.

Regards, Todd
 
Hey Pat. Never fear. The return of the real family farm could well be underway. How so? Considering I live in Northeast Kansas, (which is not high prairie like most think, it is part of the Missouri river basin systems. At least I think that is right. We are green, lush, and tree filled.) there seems to be a real resurgence in what can best be described as farmsteads. Gentleman farmers as it were. 5-25 acre spreads dotted with various industry on them. Vineyards, specialty herds of dairy and meat cattle, special grains(semi-locals growing barley for the local brewery), raising rabbits for meat and sale, etc. It is not huge but it is gaining ground. This is what my mother used to refer to as family farms. Yes, row cropping as a family farm of 160-640 acres was a family farming practise but the real "farming" was the vegetables and the orchards that all these little farmsteads seemed to have.

Don't forget hilly. I grew up in Atchison and I owe my muscular legs to riding bikes on Atchison's hills. We lived in Centropolis for a few months and it's hilly there too. All of those hills were formed by glaciers and the meandering of the Missouri River.

Our soil here along the Kansas/Missouri border(which is the Mighty Mo itself) grows crops, fruits, and veg like nobody's business. We had a remarkably cool summer this year and even then, the field corn was over 8 feet tall by the middle of July. This place just grows stuff. So even though you would have to give an unqualified "yes" answer to the question of small farms disappearing, there is more to it. With modern growing means, ideas like square foot gardening really come into their own. Ten acres of square foot boxes would yield enough food feed a family of four MANY times over for the year and still have enough left over to sell for thousands. The sale of home grown food items is pretty big here. People will pay well for it. Like anything else farming related though, it is hard work in the Kansas heat. No matter the amount of mechanised equipment you use to make it easier. My mother has a ten acre land with about five acres tillable. She is considering a few milk goats, a Dexter steer for meat, and of course her semi-free range chickens which produce superb eggs. She is a green thumb of the first water and her orchard is always popular with my kids. I certainly hope when I am in my seventies I can be as robust and energetic as she is. So yes, there is some hope.

Best tomoto's I've ever had were grown in Kansas soil. My family, or part of it, has been farming in that part of the state since 1851. Never on more than 40 acres though. Since the '40's, most have had regular jobs and would qualify as "gentleman farmer's" by today's standards.

BTW, a stat that jumps out at you; just after WW2 75% of Kansas' population lived in "rural" areas. Now, 75-80% live in these midwestern metroplexes as I call them. Indinapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Wichita, Denver, etc. These are the only places with any decent jobs. About every 300-600 miles as you cross the country. Go a bit north and add Omaha, south, Okalhoma city. The rest of these states areas are depopulating. Sad, but it does give hope the rise of local farmsteads in the outlying areas of these monstrosities.

Regards, Todd

Some of that kind of thing (gentleman farmers/wannabee ranchers) is starting to happen in parts of Texas now too.

On a side note, amateur radio is still going strong on the gulf coast. Hams tend to get real busy, real quick, after a hurricane when cell phone service was knocked out for a few days. Hams are busy in tornado season in the midwest also. Just one of many ways some storm-trackers use to keep in touch with each other.

Jeff
 
Some say that ridding newspapers is good. Cleaner and greener. However, look at the energy it can take you to use your laptop to read the news. Or, the TV. So, it's a wash in that area.

Not completly true. Indirectly newspapers consume huge ammounts of resources. Trees, power, and millions of gallons of water to produce paper for newspapers. Then you have the ink, and probably the largest consumer is the fuel used to transport trees then paper in rolls and newspapers from the forest to the mill then to the printing plant, then to your house. The post office is estimating a annual fuel savings of $85M by droping 1 day of mail delivery. I would guess the Newspaper easily consumes a similiar ammount of fuel to deliver your paper
 
The family farm has been dying out for the last fifty years, farmers without huge land holdings didn't make any money fifty, sixty, seventy years ago and they still don't today. It's kind of a sign of progress though as well, large farms run like businesses are massively more efficient than having the same land owned by dozens of different people all working on their own.

My grandfather lived all his life on a 160 acre farm out in Saskatchewan and I can remember my dad telling me that once in the mid 70's he saw my grandfather's tax return and that year he had earned something like $3200. It was a very simple life where family and nature were the most important things.

We can learn stuff from that sort of existence that isn't bent on material success, but at the same time, I don't think it's necessarily something to romanticize as much as some do, all my relatives out in the country there are so much fun and the greatest hosts you can imagine, but I know for a fact a lot of them have had bigtime struggles trying to get by farming, raising cattle, etc. and most of them have had to do stuff on the side like go up North to work in the diamond mines or drive truck etc.

I have an aunt and uncle who have two huge pig barns and they are ruined pretty well, pork isn't worth anything today and from what I've heard they are probably going to have to default.

It's just so volatile, the prices of commodities like crops, livestock etc. the uncertainty of income from year to year is awful for farmers.

It doesn't necessarily mean that we all have to go live in 3 million person cities, however, in developed societies where the service sector utterly dominates the economy, jobs are inevitably going to concentrate in the same place the consumer is.

But like others here have said, I think there just might be a niche for the small farmer in specialty products. I lot of people like the idea of eating stuff produced locally, and the farmer's who sell their stuff at the farmer's market in some of the cities here move a lot of product. There's just something appealing to it, the jar of honey that has a handwritten label on it and you meet the person who made it vs. some tub of Billy Bee.

It's a change, and it's rediculous to fight against reality and just subsidize a business model that just doesn't work in the 21st century because it's traditional.
 
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