8Losing the FarmRate of self-employment in agriculture decreasing
9Losing the FarmGNP rose 40 fold, Private Domestic Product fell from 35% to 5.8%2 ½% of nations total farms account for 40% of crop marketFarmers comprise 2% of work force21% of workforce in the 1930sOver half of family farms have an off farm income
11Why the Trend? Financial Incentives Farm program benefits favor larger farmsTax RulesLack of access to markets
12Why the Trend? Legislation 1985 “Economic Emergency” Loans Due to farm debt crisisLoaned to big investorsMany not collected1987 Proposal to cut Agricultural Spending1990 Farm BillRaise land requirements for payment
13Why the Trend? Unable to attract new investors Average age of farmer risen to 54Initial costs around $200,000Inflation of land priceEquipment costs
22The Importance of the Family Farm Job OpportunitiesLarge corporations create 9.44 jobs, displace 27.97Productivity between large and small farms comparablePossible Conservation opportunityThought that family farmers might preserve land for future generations
23The Importance of the Family Farm Importance to Rural CommunitiesEconomicBuy supplies from local vendorsSell to local marketLarge number of communities depend on farmingMajority of counties in Dakotas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Kansas (277 counties) depend on farmingDecrease in farming has led to increased povertyReduction in the middle class
24The Importance of the Family Farm Importance to Rural CommunitiesSocial ConditionsBetter quality of lifeDecrease in crimeBetter educationStronger Emphasis on family
25The Importance of the Family Farm Productivity of Large vs. Small Farms“Small family farms are at least as efficient as larger operations. In fact, there is evidence of diseconomies of scale as farm size increase.”--Willis Peterson, University of Minnesota analyst
26The Importance of the Family Farms Methods for Better Productivity on Small FarmsCrop DiversificationBorder CroppingMajor crop in fieldsMinor crop on bordersSequentialShort duration crops grown in between treesCrop RotationVary use of the landDiversification-reduce risks of crop failure, more adapted to small farms, hard to manage with heavy machinerySequential-crops grown in succession in lines between trees (legumes or oilseeds in particular)-especially used in marginal or dry landsCrop rotation-many small farmers mix livestock with crops thereby replenishing nutrientsBorder cropping-major crop in fields, minor crop on borders
27The Importance of the Family Farm Methods used on large farmsMonocultureSame crop grown all seasonsEasier to manage with heavy machineryIrrigation system is essential
28The Importance of the Family Farm Problems of monoculture systemsEmpty “niche” spacesProne to weed infestationProne to soil erosionInefficientMore soil surface is covered and the less intense the tillage the less soil detachment
29The Importance of the Family Farm Productivity of Large vs. Small FarmsTotal Output vs. YieldWhy the productivity of large and small farms are comparableYield per unit area of one crop greater in large farmsTotal yield per unit area usually greater in small farms
30Yield Per Unit AreaYield of certain crop greater as acreage increases
31Total OutputMedian Farm Size Category (Acres)Average Gross Output ($/Acre)Average Net Output ($/Acre)474241400271050139585528239660116322531582995519826923827456359270546942495113641913967096312Must look at total output/acre to get accurate accountSmall farms have diversity of crops and utilize empty niche places unused by monoculture systemsSource: U.S. Agricultural Census, vol. 1, part 51, pp , 1992.
32The Importance of the Family Farm Specialty ProductsGives small farmers advantageHigh quality produceRare productsOut of season produceFenugreekElderberriesDill
34What is Being Done? Need for Government support Direct payment amounts to half of net farm incomeEnforce anti-trust laws to increase competitivenessIncrease of trade barriersIncome safety nets
35What is Being Done? National Family Farm Coalition Coalition of Rural Farmers33 statesWork to preserve family farmProposal in 2001 to “restore and maintain profitability on America’s family farms and ranches” to congressNational Farmer’s Union
36What is Being Done? Efforts to increase productivity Better education 30% of family farmers now have college educationImproved technologyGPS (Global Positioning System)
37Projections for the Future If current trends continue, America’s Family Farms will vanish25% decrease over 13 yearsIn order to reverse trends, government action must be takenWithout proper action, the agricultural market will be dominated by a few large corporate farms
38BibliographyFarm Web. ICRP Discussion Points: Family Farms vs. Hog Factories Mar <Hassebrook, Chuck. “Saving the Family Farm; Family Farming is in the Public Interest and if We are to Save it, We Must Act Now” Forum for Applied Research and Policy. Sept. 1, W.K. Kellogg Foundation. 28 Mar<www.wkkf.org/pubs/foodrur/saving_the_family_farm.pdf>.Humphrey, Shirley and Eric Mussen. Small Farm Handbook. Oakland: U of California, 1994.Rosset, Peter M. “The Multiple Functions and Benefits of Small Farm Agriculture” Global Trade Negotiations Sept Food First Mar <http://www.foodfirst.org/pubs/policybs/pb4.html>.
39BibliographySize, Structure, and the Changing Face of American Agriculture. Ed. Arne Hallam. Boulder: Westview Press, 1993Tweeten, Luther, et al. Structure of Agriculture and Information Needs Regarding Small Farms. Washington: National Rural Center,United States Department of Agriculture. A Time to Act. Jan Mar <University of Missouri Extension. Does the Family Farm Really Matter? October Mar. 2004<www.muextension.missouri.edu/explore/agguides/agecon/g htm>.