I live in the land of black dirt. Actually I live in the land of Drummer silty clay loam (the official state soil). It’s the stuff you see in commercials about the great farm lands and bread baskets. It’s made rich farmers out of the descendants of immigrants. But, as time moves forward, those descendants’ descendants have moved off the farm and into the city. Slate.com has some neat maps illustrating that migration. Take the map below.
Ford County, which is where my parents hail from, as well as Drummer Creak silty clay loam, has 56 farmers per 1,000 residents. That number might seem low if you drove through the upside down hammer of a county. The largest town has a population of 4,400. But it seems the residents are either commuting (two metropolis centers are in neighboring counties) or have found jobs in other industries.
I’d like to see some historical data to chart out the trend that I’m extrapolating by anecdote, and if that trend has been reversed by the new demand for locally grown produce.
Anyway, neat stuff, head over to Slate and check it out.