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Industrial agriculture threatens both the food supply and America’s traditional social fabric. Family farms and small towns are dying because of centralized industrial agriculture.
As an illustration, only 25,000 subcontractors are raising most of America’s poultry, U.S. Representative Nydia Velázque (D-New York) claims. Velázque believes those contract farmers have replaced 1.6 million independent farmers.
The average chicken farm in America produces 500,000 birds a year, The Atlantic claims. Therefore, America’s poultry production is centralizing in a few giant farms.
Chicken is not the only centralized meat at your grocery store. Four industrial agriculture companies are producing over 80% of the beef sold in the United States, for example.
The Industrial Agriculture Farm Is Not A Farm
“The farm is not a real family farm, but a cog in this larger industrial agriculture model,” Joe Maxwell claims. Maxwell is a fourth-generation farmer and executive director of the Organization for Competitive Markets.
Giant food corporations dominate chicken farms to such an extent that they are no longer independent businesses. For this reason, the Small Business Administration (SBA) wants to stop loaning money to chicken farmers.
In particular, big industrial agriculture companies are providing the chicks and slaughtering the chickens. Moreover, the same companies process the chicken and ship it to your supermarket, Anne Lowrey writes in The Atlantic.
Chicken farms are so big they no longer qualify as small businesses. In fact, an industrial agriculture “chicken house” costs $300,000 to build. Furthermore, it costs over $1 million to open a chicken farm in today’s America.
How Industrial Agriculture Is Killing America’s Farmers
Farmers have one of the highest suicide rates in America because of the stress created by industrial agriculture. Farmers are more likely to kill themselves than people in other jobs, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculate.
In particular, farmers are twice as likely to commit suicide as military veterans, Newsweek reports. American Conservative writer Gracy Olmstead blames industrial agriculture for farmers’ high suicide rates.
Olmstead compares today’s farmers to old-fashioned sharecroppers. Sharecroppers are farmers so deeply trapped in debt that they have to pay almost everything they produce to creditors. Consequently, sharecropping is widely regarded as a form of debt slavery or debt peonage.
American farmers are also working harder and longer for less money, Strong Towns podcaster Corie Brown claims. Unfortunately, farmers cannot make enough money to survive no matter how hard they work under these present circumstances.
Industrial Agriculture Is Eliminating America’s Small Towns
Industrial agriculture is eliminating America’s small towns. For example, Kansas is emptying out because farmers and others are quitting and leaving.
“That’s the thing about rural Kansas: No one lives there, not anymore,” Brown writes for New Food Economy. Ultimately, Brown blames an industrial system “that has less and less use for living, breathing farmers” for depopulating Kansas.
As an illustration, Downs, Kansas, has lost 36% of its population since 1980. Downs had 1,324 residents in 1980 and has a population of 844 today. Most of the businesses in Downs are closing despite record grain crops.
The only population growth Brown discovered in rural Kansas is in towns situated near agriculture, slaughterhouses, and feedlots. Notably, 25 to 29-year olds are moving out of Kansas faster than any other state.
How Industrial Agriculture Threatens You
The triumph of industrial agriculture raises a troubling question that everybody needs to ask: “what we will eat if agriculture collapses?”
The family farms and experienced farmers our grandparents relied on for food are disappearing fast. At the present time, nobody seems to be taking those farmers’ place. Therefore, every American family needs to grow its own food.
By and large, centralized industrial agriculture has destroyed the family farm and is devastating rural America.
You may also enjoy reading an additional Off The Grid News article: Veterinarian Shortage Creating Food Supply Dangers In America
Or download our free 37-page report that discusses the dangerous new trends that will change America forever: Food Shock
Do you have any more thoughts on industrial agriculture and how it may threaten America’s food supply? Let us know in the comments below.