Family Farming: A New Economic Vision

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U of Nebraska Press, 2008 - Technology & Engineering - 311 pages
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Americans decry the decline of family farming but stand by helplessly as industrial agribusiness takes over. The prevailing sentiment is that family farms should survive for important social, ethical, and economic reasons. But will they? This timely book exposes the biases in American farm policies that irrationally encourage expansion, biases evident in federal commodity programs, income tax provisions, and subsidized credit services. Family Farming also exposes internal conflicts, particularly the conflict between the private interests of individual farmers and the public interest in family farming as a whole. It challenges the assumption that bigger is better, critiques the technological basis of modern agriculture, and calls for farming practices that are ethical, economical, and ecologically sound. The alternative policies discussed in this book could yet save the family farm, and the ways and means of saving it are argued here with special urgency. This Bison Books edition includes a new introduction by the author providing a more national perspective, underscoring the repetitive cycles of American agriculture over the decade, and assessing the major policy issues that have dominated agriculture in recent years.
 

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User Review  - ctroutma - LibraryThing

This is a good review of farm policy and economics written in the late 1980's. Gives a good history of the farm crisis of the 1970's and explores the pros/cons of "small family farms" vs. "large industrial farms." Read full review

Contents

Farm Crisis Again
13
Industrializing American Agriculture
31
Land The Central Issue
43
A Tale of Three Farms
56
The Myth That Bigger Is Better
78
Chasing the Myth BigFarm Blues
104
Living the Myth
127
The Market Trinity Land Prices and Technology
166
Technology Getting Control of the Farm
201
Within Family Farming
238
What Can Be Done? Policy Choices
254
References
291
Index
303
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About the author (2008)

Marty Strange is policy director for the Rural School and Community Trust and was a founder of the Center for Rural Affairs, now located in Lyons, Nebraska. He received Common Cause?s Public Service Achievement Award and the Rural Sociological Society's Distinguished Service to Rural Life Award.

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