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Down on the Farm: Too much neatness

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"Everything is so neat," says my 99-year-old great aunt Olive as we drive across today's northwest Minnesota countryside. "Ninety years ago, it was just a mess."

Neat, clean...and empty. In the past eighty years as farms have multiplied in size, farmsteads have disappeared at an amazing clip. The countryside scenery has been streamlined into sleekness.

Because farmland is so valuable, most farmsteads fall to the dozer as soon as they are abandoned.

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