|View from Stony Man Mountain|
|Culpepper area farmland|
I grew up a small cattle farm in Culpeper, Virginia. I enjoyed living on this farm throughout my youth, but today things in Culpeper have changed. The county has developed from a small rural community into one of the fasting growing places in the United States. As a child I remember passing wooded areas and pasture land on my way to school. Now the trees have been replaced with row after row of houses and the pastures filled with asphalt.
For many years I thought my small community would avoid development. Surely my neighbors would preserve what I loved. Unfortunately, even the farm next to ours has recently been sold and subsequently subdivided. I watched the bulldozers cleared the landscape that I had enjoyed so much. Soon the cattle that once grazed there will be replaced with homes. I guess I will have to learn to enjoy what modern America has to offer, but some how I do not think that will compare to the sight of cattle in an open pasture on a sunny day.
Recently my family sold most of our cattle operation and in hopes of relocating the farm to a rural community in Southern Virginia. We kept a small number of cattle in hopes of rebuilding our herd. In addition, my family is running a small swine operation. Although we still have some animals my siblings and I miss our cattle herds and look forward to farming in the future. It is likely that my family’s small piece of land in Culpeper will be sold and developed. Hopefully the properties new owners will enjoy the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains that I enjoyed during my childhood. I only hope that development does not destroy these views and that future generations will have the opportunity to appreciate them.
--Raymond Mills Jr. is a Senior at Longwood University