In the wake of recent debates over farm spending and a recent Super Bowl add praising the American farmer, some environmental groups and budget hawks have argued that America’s nostalgic vision of the farm community is grossly distorted.
Agricultural production in the United States has reached a strange crossroads. While the number of small farms has gone down as the number of large-scale agribusinesses has dramatically increased, the bulk of farm production takes place on relatively small farms.
While farming becomes more and more corporatized and mechanized, some groups still use a nostalgic image of the old-school farmer from the from the middle of the twentieth century to evoke sympathy and support for the farm sector.
Some groups are arguing, however, that this folksy image is little more than a media creation. In particular, fiscal hawks have argued that major farm reforms are needed, and that this nostalgia vision of a bygone era of farming is getting in the way of needed change.
In particular, these groups point to the fact that American farmers are making record profits, even in the wake of the worse drought in recent memory. The fact that farming is staggeringly profitable and, some groups argue, the fact that many farmers are exceedingly wealthy, points to the fact that farm subsidies and major farm supports are no longer needed.
Many farmers, however, are quick to point out that averaging profitability obfuscates the struggles facing many small farmers.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer