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Kiron Kountry's Family Farms

Julius Johnson Family Farm -- Stockholm Township section 20
Family of Ernest and Mabel Gustafson - owners

The farm during the 1980's

The farm place as it looked in the early 1980's. Mabel had died in 1979. Many of the trees that they planted are still visible as windbreak trees but the barnyard walnut trees had been bulldozed. In the 1970's, the great movement towards labor saving mechanization continued on Iowa's farms. This movement was pushed along by the national tendency to consume less red meat in the 1970's and the trend to consolidate meat production facilities. Western Iowa which had a long history of being "the heart of the beef empire" was losing out to large feeder facilities in the mountain and southwestern states with their milder climates and cheaper land. These were some of the underlying factors to the shift of Iowa's farms from being self-sustained labor-intensive family farms to being crop production 'factories'. No longer was there any need for the empty animal barns on which the tax-man still wanted his share. So down they came in the decade of the 70's. On our farm they were replaced by versatile "storage" buildings where either or both machinery and crops could be stored.

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