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VOA双语新闻 Dairy Farming is Dwindling in New England

时间:2010-09-25 03:17来源:互联网 提供网友:kt6784   字体: [ ]

Dairy farming has long been one the largest sectors1 of the New England region's rural economy and one of the nation's most highly subsidized industries. Still, many small family-run dairy farms have failed in recent years. Those that have managed to survive - sometimes just barely - have done so with a mix of technology and determination.


"Kuh Bahs! Kuh Bahs!" As Jacob Mills, 10, calls the family cows in from the meadows for their twilight2 milking, he knows that that call, or something very much like it, has been heard on this 161 hectare farm ever since his ancestor bought the Vermont land in 1839. While Jacob guides the cows into their stalls, he explains that he may want to become a farmer himself. "I like to be out in nature more than in a house. You get to do a lot of stuff, like clean the barn, bale the hay, stack hay."


And, of course, you've got to know cows. With a sure and gentle hand, Jacob attaches the cows' teats to metal suction devices that convey their milk through a pipeline3 and into a shiny steel tank in one of the side rooms.


Meanwhile, in the sprawling4 white farmhouse5 next door, Catherine Beatty, 84, Jacob's grandmother and the matriarch of this clan6, is setting out a huge homemade meal of ham, corn, milk, biscuits, macaroni, fresh fruit pie and coffee. Ms. Beatty notes that there have been mouths to feed on this farm ever since it opened, but that almost everything else has changed.


"Just technology and advancement7 and better breeding, better cattle," she says. "When they first came on this farm they probably made butter. I know they did. And then we started shipping8 milk and then it was in cans, and now it's the bulk tank. And that's the way things change." Ms. Beatty says that, nostalgia9 aside; today's milk products are better. "It's cooled quicker, and it isn't exposed to the air, because it goes directly into the pipeline."


Beatty's extended family is seated at the dinner table. Beatty's daughter Gilly passes some corn, and says that she feels strongly about the farming life. "I think it's something in your blood. Agriculture is very important for our world. If you don't have good agriculture, how are we going to feed our people?"


Gilly remembers what a close-knit farming community this once was. She especially recalls the annual acorn10 roast with a bonfire every year on Diamond Hill behind the house.


"Sometimes we've had like 30 people, and sometimes we've had as many as a couple of hundred, one time. Just anyone who wants to come can come." She motions to the west. "There used to be on the next hill over an old elm tree that you used to see from all over town. My grandfather would say if you could see the elm tree then you'd never be lost. But that died with the Dutch Elm disease that I guess struck all the elm trees."


Most of the dairy farms that once lay in the valleys below that elm mostly disappeared as well. Back in 1950, there were 40 or 50 in the township. Today, there are eight.


There are several reasons for this. First, it is hard for a small dairy farmer to compete with the larger factory farms. Also, the once abundant farmland of Vermont is being sold off - mostly to development for housing, and that's dramatically raising taxes for the farmers who want to stay. Both Catherine Beatty and her sister Alice Hafner regret those trends.


"It'll be all houses. Instead of cattle in the field, it'll be houses," warns Ms. Beatty. "I hate to see what is happening to Vermont because we are losing a lot of the beauty of this state," adds Ms. Hafner, "the land, the fields, the forest, the animals! That to me is what made Vermont." Both women acknowledge that people have to have a place to live, the population must grow. "And they have to make a decision if they want to keep it unique or if it wants it to be all developed," says Ms Beatty.

贝蒂说:“那些地方将到处都是房子。那些土地上不再有奶牛和其它家畜,取而代之的是一栋栋房屋。” 盖夫纳说:“我讨厌看到佛蒙特州正在发生的这一切。因为我们将失去这个州的很多美丽景色。大地、田野、森林和动物!对我而言,正是这些东西造就了佛蒙特。我不是对现实不了解,我知道人口正在增长,人们得有地方居住 。” 贝蒂说:“是让佛蒙特州保持独特风貌,还是让土地都被开发,他们必须在其中做出抉择。”

Ms. Hafner has a faraway look in her eyes, and I ask her if she's sad. "No I'm not sad," she says. "I'm just very happy I was born and brought up on a farm because I always felt that I learned good values. I was taught to work. But you had a good time doing it. Because you worked together." She adds that farm life also taught people how to get along well with their neighbors, and to share. "If there was a need you tried to fill it as best as you could. It was just a good basis for an adult life."


For now, there continues to be a niche11 for some small farms like the Beatty's. Their farm is all paid for, and their milk goes directly to a dairy cooperative, where it is mixed with the produce of other small farms and marketed right alongside milk from the bigger factory farms.

目前,对一些象贝蒂老奶奶家的小型牧场来说,仍然有些发展的空间。 他们的农场所有的产品都出售,他们的牛奶直接送到乳品合作社中,在那这些牛奶会与来自其它小农场的牛奶混合在一起,然后同来自较大的工厂化农场的牛奶一道在市场上出售。

Yet despite their success, the economic pressures on Vermont's small dairy producers continue to grow. It is an open question whether the deep connection these New England farmers have traditionally had with their animals and their land can be sustained.



1 sectors 218ffb34fa5fb6bc1691e90cd45ad627     
n.部门( sector的名词复数 );领域;防御地区;扇形
  • Berlin was divided into four sectors after the war. 战后柏林分成了4 个区。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Industry and agriculture are the two important sectors of the national economy. 工业和农业是国民经济的两个重要部门。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
2 twilight gKizf     
  • Twilight merged into darkness.夕阳的光辉融于黑暗中。
  • Twilight was sweet with the smell of lilac and freshly turned earth.薄暮充满紫丁香和新翻耕的泥土的香味。
3 pipeline aNUxN     
  • The pipeline supplies Jordan with 15 per cent of its crude oil.该管道供给约旦15%的原油。
  • A single pipeline serves all the houses with water.一条单管路给所有的房子供水。
4 sprawling 3ff3e560ffc2f12f222ef624d5807902     
adj.蔓生的,不规则地伸展的v.伸开四肢坐[躺]( sprawl的现在分词 );蔓延;杂乱无序地拓展;四肢伸展坐着(或躺着)
  • He was sprawling in an armchair in front of the TV. 他伸开手脚坐在电视机前的一张扶手椅上。
  • a modern sprawling town 一座杂乱无序拓展的现代城镇
5 farmhouse kt1zIk     
  • We fell for the farmhouse as soon as we saw it.我们对那所农舍一见倾心。
  • We put up for the night at a farmhouse.我们在一间农舍投宿了一夜。
6 clan Dq5zi     
  • She ranks as my junior in the clan.她的辈分比我小。
  • The Chinese Christians,therefore,practically excommunicate themselves from their own clan.所以,中国的基督徒简直是被逐出了自己的家族了。
7 advancement tzgziL     
  • His new contribution to the advancement of physiology was well appreciated.他对生理学发展的新贡献获得高度赞赏。
  • The aim of a university should be the advancement of learning.大学的目标应是促进学术。
8 shipping WESyg     
  • We struck a bargain with an American shipping firm.我们和一家美国船运公司谈成了一笔生意。
  • There's a shipping charge of £5 added to the price.价格之外另加五英镑运输费。
9 nostalgia p5Rzb     
  • He might be influenced by nostalgia for his happy youth.也许是对年轻时幸福时光的怀恋影响了他。
  • I was filled with nostalgia by hearing my favourite old song.我听到这首喜爱的旧歌,心中充满了怀旧之情。
10 acorn JoJye     
  • The oak is implicit in the acorn.橡树孕育于橡子之中。
  • The tree grew from a small acorn.橡树从一粒小橡子生长而来。
11 niche XGjxH     
  • Madeleine placed it carefully in the rocky niche. 玛德琳小心翼翼地把它放在岩石壁龛里。
  • The really talented among women would always make their own niche.妇女中真正有才能的人总是各得其所。
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