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Research Paper April Rewrite #2

Research Paper April Rewrite #2

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Published by Dalton Larson

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Published by: Dalton Larson on Apr 22, 2013
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Dalton LarsonMr. HardeeApril 13, 2012112-03
Where Do Family Farms Stand in the Agricultural Environment Today?
Family Farms vs. Corporate Farms
In the United States there are countless farms in various parts of the country. Thedistressing part is that most of them are corporate farms that generate one product, such as beef,for an enormous company like McDonalds. Farming has been in existence since civilizationcame to be and for countless years farms have been family operated. Corporate farms did notcome into presence until the late twentieth century when the farming community wasexperiencing difficult times. That period in time gave large corporations an opening to gain astrong position in the agricultural industry. Corporations, with their seemingly endless funds,saw the opportunity to step in. Family farms have been around for centuries, and now that
“family farm”
way of life is endangered, including the environment and local economies, because corporate farms are progressing into the agricultural environment.
The History of Farming
Farming has been at the very heart of this nation since its establishment, but notwithout punishing hardships, back breakingexertion, and cultural turbulence. The solid
foundation of our great country’s backbone
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has been constructed by family farms. Farming in the United States has been around since theseventeenth century. Years ago, family farms had to deal with difficulties we could not imagine.Starvation and diseases dealt a heavy blow to families on the harsh voyage over the ocean fromEurope (Jager 4). After arriving, they had to learn to negotiate with the Native Americans, whohad been here growing maize for hundreds of years. Real threats to their existence were protecting themselves from the Native American tribes, as well the risk of their crops notgrowing or even producing enough to sustain them over the harsh and punishing winters.In the ensuing four hundred years, farming has improved tremendously throughtechnology to become considerably more productive in the way farmers plant, grow, and harvestcrops. Currently, farmers have to cope with their crops failing occasionally, but they have cropinsurance to compensate them financially if disaster strikes. Furthermore, farmers today havethe advantage of machinery and chemicals to produce bigger yields.Here is an alarming statistic; in 1930 there were five million family farms in existence.In comparison, today there are only two million farms nationwide and only 565,000 farms arestill family owned
(“The Issues: Family Farms” 1of 3
). The scary statistic of corporate farmstaking over started in the early sixties, when the corporations started to sneak into the farmingcommunity to produce cheap food (Ikerd 2of 7).Another interesting fact in the history of farming is that in the eighteenth century,
Thomas Jefferson had a vast impact on farming “despite the fact that he managed a large plantation where slaves did the hard work” (Jager11)
. Jefferson, as the President of the UnitedStates, assisted in family farms flourishing because he was a farmer himself and he supportedthem fully. However, he made the farming community look undesirable, cruel, and corrupt by
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using slaves for the laborious farm work, so although he supported them, there was a negativeside to his support. Fortunately, times have changed and we see how different farming is today.The following section contrasts
how family farmers in today’s world differ from
corporate farming organizations.
A Different Breed
Individuals that have been nurtured on a family farm are culturally different, but in arespectable way. When people grow up on a family farm, their work ethic is dissimilar to the people who have grown up in cities and in the suburbs. When individuals are reared andnurtured in the country or on a farm, their work ethic is stricter and they learn that they mustwork hard for what is wanted. Country raised folks learn that the things that are wanted are noteasy to obtain, but most of the time the things that are coveted are worth working for.When corporate farms come in and purchase the land, taking profits away fromestablished family farms, they are taking more than the land itself; they are obliterating a way of life. They are taking away an entire set of people that have an incredible work ethic that isunmatched. It would be a vast loss to our nation to lose this hard-working and honorable groupof workers. Fortunately, this way of life is being regenerated in the local foods movement.
Farmer’s markets
in numerous areas have helped this way of life experience a rebirth or renewal,moving it away from the edge of oblivion.

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