Maine, The Pine Tree State
Maine is not a state that typically comes to mind when one thinks of agriculture, but like every state in the union they have farms and produce agricultural products. The state seal actually features two people, one a farmer, the other a sailor.
Maine, primarily known for its lobster fishing, (it is the biggest producer of lobster of any state) is the 13th least densely populated state and with along with Vermont has the highest percentage of its population living in rural areas (61%).
Beyond lobster it boasts a strong logging industry, which has been another long-time staple for rural jobs. However the state does have it’s share of farms with roughly 7,600 farms over 1.3 million acres as of 2019. A large number of them are based around cattle, mostly with milk/dairy production, but some for beef. Potatoes are the leading crop produced in the state.
One could think that with multiple natural resources needing labor, that rural areas would be less effected by population decline, especially given Maine’s tourism industry. Despite all that the state for the first time in 2011 had a higher number of deaths than births, but a more shocking fact is that the rural western & northern counties had already seen that happen as of 1995.
Towns around the rural rim of Maine are at the point where they’re deciding to disolve their towns. Some that have been settled for almost 200 years.
Lost Americana is about telling the stories of the people who live in rural America.
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•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?
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