Iowa Public Television


“Family” or “Corporate” Agriculture

posted on January 5, 2007

The long-standing agricultural terms of the "family" farm or the large "corporate" farm has a strong affect on local communities, according to a North Dakota research project.

University of North Dakota Sociologist Curtis Stofferahn recently led a project hoping to determine what affect the long-standing terms have on the public.

After examining fifty-six studies regarding the consequences of industrialized, Stofferahn concluded that "public concern about the detrimental community impacts of industrialized farming is warranted."

This conclusion "rests on the consistency of five decades of social science research which has found detrimental effects of industrialized farming on many indicators of community quality of life, particularly those involving the social fabric of communities."

The report defined an "industrial farm" as a non-household based production unit, with absentee ownership and control over production. While a "family" farm was one owned and mostly controlled by the farm household.

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