“The farmer shook his head at the question and wryly smiled.

Why did he keep on farming when the challenges often stack higher than the unsold hay bales in his barn, leading him to quip that agrarian toil is essentially an irrational act?

“I don’t know,” said William Preston “Bill” Johnson, 73. “I just like to farm. I like to see things grow.”

roanoake

As did Johnson’s father and grandfather, establishing a bond of blood to the land dating back to 1910, when Montilious Preston Johnson purchased 226 acres in Bedford County. In 1916, Montilious and his family left the town of Deep Creek in Eastern Virginia and rode the train to Moneta, where Montilious picked up a wagon and team of horses and headed for the property.”

The article by Duncan Adams for the Roanoke Times looks at 2012 agricultural census data, painting a grim picture for the family farm, and the farmers that are pushing back, looking for solutions to save farmland for farming.

Read more at http://www.roanoke.com/business/news/

%d bloggers like this: