Corporate farms: how they plow out the small farms. This essay helps to understand the fundamental elements dealing with government assistance with large farms.

Essay by sikscriptHigh School, 11th grade January 2003

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"I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural

pursuits is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of

agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of

discouragement, I cannot deny."

This statement, which holds firm in the hearts of millions of American farmers, clearly

states that farming has it's pleasant and it's challenging aspects. But, today, the challenges

can be too large a burden for a farmer to bear on his own. What should be done, what can

be done, to ensure that American agriculture will prevail through such challenges? Our

government believes economic concessions, or subsidies, could be the saving grace for the

typical American farmer. These subsidies certainly do bring benefits to farmers, but with

the benefits, also come problems.

Since the 1920's many problems were brought to the attention of the American

farmer. The industrial boom and the extensive use of machinery in the 1920's drew many

workers off the farm and into the cities. Even though this new use of machinery increased

productivity, it was very expensive, therefore many small farms were unable to convert

and utilize such machines. The much larger farms that had mechanized, were able to

produce an abundance of resources, unlike the smaller family farms. With this abundance

of food the demand for it stayed relatively constant. As a result of this, food prices went

down and the small farmer was no longer able to compete, lacking the capital to buy

productive machinery as the new corporate farm began to take over. Small farms lost their

practicality, and many farmers were forced to consolidate to even come near competing.

As a result of this consolidation between small farms, larger farms...