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Thread: How America’s food giants swallowed the family farms

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    N.E. Ohio

    Default How America’s food giants swallowed the family farms

    Well worth the read.

    "How America’s food giants swallowed the family farms"
    (and degraded natural resources)

    ...“When we very first were married, we had cattle and calves,” she says. “We raised hogs from farrow to finish, and we had corn, beans, hay and oats. So did everyone around us.” ....while the Kalbachs have hung on to their farm, they long ago abandoned livestock and mixed arable farming for the only thing they can make money at any more – growing corn and soya beans to sell to corporate buyers as feed for animals crammed by the thousands into the huge semi-automated sheds that now dominate farming, and the landscape, in large parts of Iowa...."
....“The system has been set up for the benefit of the factory farm corporations and their shareholders at the expense of family farmers, the real people, our environment, our food system,” ....
    ...“The thing that is really pervasive about it is that they control the rules of the game because they control the democratic process. It’s a blueprint. We’re paying for our own demise.
    “It would be a different argument if it was just based upon inevitability or based on competition. But it’s not based upon competition: it’s based upon squelching competition.”..."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014


    I’ve got neighbors that have built houses to feed other people’s hogs. That’s the model these days. They will finance you a building, supply the hogs and you get paid for their care.

    The building may be about shot at the end of the contract, hogs are tough on stuff.

    The pay off is the manure.

    You are truly working for $hit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    Some farmers might want to try what this farmer in Nebraska did. Here is the link to the article

  4. #4


    My daughter went from huntress and multi-sport athlete to vegetarian based primarily on the treatment of hogs. I have toured the farms and heard the talk, but I now agree with her. Far from being vegetarian we have cut our pork consumption down to maybe a package of bacon or two a month, a rack or two of ribs per month and that is it. No chops, no loins, no shoulder (smoking) nothing else unless we know it is sustainable farmed.

    I for one cannot understand how rural people put up with the stink. Pig farms have no rival. There are no dairy farms or smaller beef feedlots that dominate the country side like the stench of a pig farm.

  5. #5


    The mono culture soybean and corn farms spreading west across the Dakotas and northward in North Dakota is not a good thing. Those farmers bucking the trend and still planting a little barley, wheat or oats (if they can located an elevator to accept it) probably are not hurting as bad as the bean and corn farmers right now. Diversity is good.

    There are parts of ND where the entire township is beans ... field after field after field. 20 years ago you would have maybe seen a couple bean fields and may one corn field (silage) in that township.

  6. #6


    Ohio farmer here. Agree the state of ag is not good in the long. It’s all corn/soybean rotation here. With a wheat and hay field throwed in. Mega dairies all around. Farmers are pragmatic, if something paid better we’d grow it. Been decades since I seen oats or buckwheat. To sell anything at a premium ya gotta go peddle it in the city. Yuck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    South Dakota


    Yes industrial ag is having a negative affect on many things. There is a bright spot though. Regenerative ag is slowly gaining a foothold. Soil health is being talked about in many ag circles. Commodity beef is losing 4% market share annually while grass fed beef is growing significantly. There is a ray of hope out there.


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