The disappearing of family farms in America

in food •  last year 

Holstiens in meadow.jpg

There is an epidemic in America that you will not hear about in your typical news program or social media outlet. The disappearing act of America's family farms. The family farm I am speaking of is of "medium" size and is one that can support a family with no off the farm job. The 10% largest farms in America control roughly 70% of the cropland in America. The big corporate farms, or mega-farms, are putting medium size family farms out of business creating a rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Government subsidies only help these mega corporate farms put the family farm out of business. One way the Government does this is by allowing mega-farms to post a financial loss while they gobble up family farm cropland & assets.

Another piece aiding in the disappearance of family farms is food makers & retailers. Many food makers & retailers are financially taking over or backing mega farms. For instance Yoplait gets all their milk from 1 farm in Michigan. They have basically taken over this farm by pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into it's cattle herds, machinery & crop land. This monopoly of sorts has had a negative ripple effect in the area causing dozens of family farms to crumble or continue at a major loss. The co-op that once supplied Yoplait with milk from it's member dairy farms has taken huge losses. Also, many of these mega-farms do not treat their animals or the crop land humanly or respect.

There are many things we has consumers can do to slow this decline. I have listed a couple of them. First is support your local small/medium farms by purchasing their products from a farmer's market or directly. Second when buying food from a retailer ensure it was purchased from a family farm or from a co-op. Please support your local producer when you can. The family farmer is what communities were built on.

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