Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics

2019 Edition
| Editors: David M. Kaplan

Farms: Small Versus Large

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1179-9_84



The industrialization of agriculture has created a farm structure where a small percentage of large farms account for a large percentage of sales and a large percentage of small farms account for a small percentage of sales. In general, these large farms produce for indirect global commodity markets, while the small farms participate in direct sales markets. In between are the shrinking mid-sized farms that are too small for commodity markets but too large for direct markets. While explained by some scientists as progress and supported by productivist perspectives of agrifood production, the industrialization of agriculture has important negative implications for the quality of life in rural communities in particular and society in general. This entry applies a Sociology of Agriculture conceptual frame to the case of the changing structure of agriculture in the USA to inform discussions regarding ethical dimensions...

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologySam Houston State UniversityHuntsvilleUSA