The small family farms are facing an extraordinary threat to their way of life. With recent free trade agreements, and government subsidies, the price a farmer receives for produce has dropped. This is leading to the consolidation and mergers at both ends of the farming cycle like the inputs that the farmer has to buy and outputs; what the farmer gets at the selling end.
Subsidizing large corporations at the expense of small farmers and taxpayers. Before the emergence of the corporate farm, the government established a realistic bottom price that enabled farmers to recover basic production costs, much like a minimum wage. Over time, corporate lobbyists successfully pushed for ever-lower price levels, far below the small farmers’ costs, so they (Factory farms) can purchase commodities cheaply and make huge profits. Government subsidies are then offered to the small family farm to make it look like they are being helped, when in all actuality, the corporate farm is reaping the benefits (Baur P.87). Subsidy payments tend to be based on land ownership, not land stewardship.
It comes down to money, which is the answer in the loss of family farms. As technology and transportation advance and becomes less expensive, it is cheaper for the U.S. to buy produce from developing countries and turn around and charge almost the same price as American farm grown produce at your local grocery store.
Now with the demand for more food and more money these factory farms are creating not only some negative externalities but also putting the ethical treatment of animals to be considered an after thought.
Leading animal rights activist Gene Baur experienced many outright sickening facts about factory farming. He faced the impact of greed from corporate farms that basically treated animals inhumanly. Baur also researched the amount of hormones that are injected into the animals for them to grow faster has eventually effects children during puberty years....