U.S. Farm Trends: 1900—Today
How has farming developed since before the Industrial Revolution and the turn of the century? In addition to the monumental changes in the physical practice of farming that industrialization and mechanization allowed, the social and political implications of farming and farmers has also transformed in dangerous ways.
1. Industrialization pushed Americans out of the their rural lives and into the city for urban and industrial lives.
2. The size of farms increased while the number of farms shrunk.
3. The number of farmers shrunk so much that farmers now make up less than 2% of the U.S. population. With more farmers retiring than starting, agriculture is at at risk.
4. Today, most farms in U.S. are small family farms (which are ironically not the ones supported by policy). Family farms are owned or operated by families and often passed down through generations, but they can also be corporate owned or partnered with corporations.