"I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural
pursuits is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of
agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of
discouragement, I cannot deny."
This statement, which holds firm in the hearts of millions of American farmers, clearly
states that farming has it's pleasant and it's challenging aspects. But, today, the challenges
can be too large a burden for a farmer to bear on his own. What should be done, what can
be done, to ensure that American agriculture will prevail through such challenges? Our
government believes economic concessions, or subsidies, could be the saving grace for the
typical American farmer. These subsidies certainly do bring benefits to farmers, but with
the benefits, also come problems.
Since the 1920's many problems were brought to the attention of the American
farmer. The industrial boom and the extensive use of machinery in the 1920's drew many
workers off the farm and into the cities. Even though this new use of machinery increased
productivity, it was very expensive, therefore many small farms were unable to convert
and utilize such machines. The much larger farms that had mechanized, were able to
produce an abundance of resources, unlike the smaller family farms. With this abundance
of food the demand for it stayed relatively constant. As a result of this, food prices went
down and the small farmer was no longer able to compete, lacking the capital to buy
productive machinery as the new corporate farm began to take over. Small farms lost their
practicality, and many farmers were forced to consolidate to even come near competing.
As a result of this consolidation between small farms, larger farms...