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Illinois, The Prairie State

Also my home state and by default the state I have traveled through the most. When it comes to farming the states in the Midwest do it better than just about any other.

With mostly flat terrain, prized soil and plenty of water, Illinois is at the top each year for corn & soybean production. Throw in hogs, cattle and dairy production and you wouldn’t think there would be as many vacant properties as there are. But driving through many small towns during the 1990s & 2000s, Main Streets were emptying out more and more.

While in recent years I’ve found several of the old farms I would photograph have been torn down and the land is being put to use. Most often it’s been because of suburban sprawl. I will admit finding an abandoned, or not in use property has become more difficult here than in other states and I have seen some smaller towns with a revitalized central district, but schools continue to consolidate as rural enrollment drops. So whether it’s just the beginning of a resurgence, or an effect of a boom in corn prices because of bio fuels is unknown.

Images from Illinois

Posts about Illinois

150 Year Old Brewery For Sale Illinois

For sale, old brewery on 2 acres with over 150 years of history in a small town just over an hour from Chicago. What are you waiting for?
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The Return of the Drive-in Movie Theater

As social distancing becomes the norm, are drive-ins are making a return. Sadly it may may not last.
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Rural Schools: A Battle Between The Unvictorious

Like many small rural high schools enrollments were continuing to shrink and the consolidation of schools is an almost annual occurrence in many state.
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History Erased – America’s Agricultural Legacy

When looking back on the great empires of the world their legacies loom large in their ruins. China has the Great Wall, Egypt has the pyramids, Greece has the Parthenon
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Lost Americana is about telling the stories of the people who live in rural America.

•Have you lived in the same rural area since the 1970/80s?

•Were you the last class to graduate from a rural school before it closed its doors forever?

•Do you know of a small town (under 2,000 people) that is a shell of it’s former self?

•Do you just what to give me some feedback on the topics we cover?

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