Has anyone noticed the silos that once dotted our countryside have mostly disappeared? What has happened to them all? A barn with an attached silo is an icon of rural America, but on a trip this summer through Virginia, Tennessee, and Alabama, I saw only a couple, and they looked abandoned.
We were taught in grade school that the silo held the feed grown over the summer for the cows to eat during the winter. The feed was even called silage, as I recall. What has changed? Are the silos still there, but in a different form? Has the country’s improved transportation made central storage facilities more economical? Or, have the small family dairy farms been replaced by large corporations?
I suspect the small farms are gone. On family car trips years ago, my sister and I would pass the time playing the game of counting cows. My sister would count the cows on her side, me on mine. On this trip, however, I did not see enough cows on either side to make a game of it.