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Family Farms and Rural Depopulation

The family farm, defined as a farm controlled and owned by a group of persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption, makes up about 87% of 2.1 million farms in the United States. Gradually, the population of the United States has shifted from a largely rural population dependent on a large number of smaller family farms to a largely urban population dependent on significantly fewer, larger industrial family farms. This demographic population shift from rural to urban spaces and the economic shift from smaller to larger farms have significant economic, social, political, and cultural implications. Technological innovation, industrialization of farming techniques, lack of affordable agricultural land, and economic pressures to consolidate largely account for these transformations. The increasing numbers of immigrants who migrate to the ...

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