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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Lauch Faircloth, July 16, 1999. Interview I-0070. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Lack of concern about suburbanization's effect on farming

Faircloth is unconcerned by suburbanization and thinks that there is plenty of farmland to go around.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Lauch Faircloth, July 16, 1999. Interview I-0070. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JM: Let me ask you about the broad issue of trends in land use. [Discuss] suburban sprawl outside so many cities in North Carolina, as well as elsewhere, and the relationship of that expanding suburban landscape as it impinges on the farm landscape. Has that been a big challenge or so far not too much of one? LF: What do you mean, “challenge?” JM: [Is it a] tough one for the farm community to manage? LF: In what way? JM: I'm wondering if, for example, the pressures to sell to developers, the troubles with new suburbanization wanting to impose restrictions on traditional farm practices, increasing attention to--. LF: That has not come into this part of the country. I don't know anywhere that it has. You know, you run into great problems and when you're in the--. These farmers around Raleigh have really suffered. They have and it's been kind of sad. Some of them have been farming on land with a subsistence existence for a hundred years, and all of a sudden they sell it for eight million dollars. They've really had that tough time. They've found Palm Beach much more exhilarating. I had a farm out here that was doing very well. It was producing about seven hundred dollars worth of hay a year. I rented it for fifty thousand dollars a month for a shopping center last week. I've been hating to see that hay go. It's a joke. JM: All right. LF: Half the farmland in this country is unused. Half of it. I hear that, “Oh, we're taking up valuable farmland.” Tell me one commodity that isn't in the pits in price. Name one farm commodity from kumquats to radishes, from cotton to flax, that isn't grossly overproduced. Take any trip in any car any where and a full third of the fields you'll see are untended at all and one half of those that are tended are tended at far less than maximum production. It is a figment of the imagination of newspaper writers. Corn is a dollar and ninety cents at the market this morning. If it were eight dollars a bushel, you could quadruple production. Cotton that's fifty and less cents a pound, if it were two dollars a pound, you could wrap the world up in cotton. They talk about this sprawl. Now I must say, maybe it is more pleasant on the way to the beach to ride through a sylvan cow pasture that is on its best netting four dollars a year as compared to a shopping center. It's nice to have the shopping center near your house and your development, in your section of town, but for heaven sakes when I leave here, keep things open and clean for me.