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Dairy Farm Closes After Five Decades in Orange County

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EFLAND — A dairy farm in Orange County is the latest casualty of the Triangle's high-tech economy.

As an auctioneer rattles off numbers, an era is ending at the Shambley Dairy. The Shambley family is selling nearly 200 cows and closing the dairy farm they have run in Efland for 52 years.

"It's a sad day for us, but it's a business decision that we needed to make," says Morris Shambley.

The farm -- one of the most progressive dairies in the state -- is part of a dying breed.

Twelve years ago, there were 43 dairy farms in Orange County. Now, there are 20.

Farms like the Shambleys' are shutting down all over the state as younger generations decide not to carry on the family business.

"Folks are working in RTP, working on the Internet, at jobs that weren't available 25 years ago," says Royce Hardin, an agricultural extension agent.

"There are other things we'd like to do, and this gives us more time to spend as a family," Shirley Shambley says.

The Shambleys plan to start spending more time at their beach house. They will also continue raising crops in Efland.


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