Across the country, the process of suburbanization is continuing, representing a major threat to agricultural production and jeopardizing the future of the farm sector.
For the last several decades, farms and suburban developments have been locked in constant conflict for control over valuable land resources. With the farm population on a gradual decline, farmers have found themselves losing ground to their urban and suburban neighbors.
The gradual decline in the number of rural Americans has led to a decline in the power of the farm sector, which has only enhanced the process of suburbanization.
States across the Sunbelt have been at the forefront of this suburbanization, with fast growing urban populations overtaking their rural neighbors.
While many states have instituted farmland preservation programs to protect the farm sector, state budget crises have given these programs an uncertain future. Without state funds (which have been less than forthcoming in an age of austerity cuts), many agriculture departments worry that these programs will soon become a relic of the past.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer