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Food and the Mid-Level FarmRenewing an Agriculture of the Middle$
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Thomas A. Lyson, G. W. Stevenson, and Rick Welsh

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262122993

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262122993.001.0001

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Why Worry about the Agriculture of the Middle?

Why Worry about the Agriculture of the Middle?

(p.3) 1 Why Worry about the Agriculture of the Middle?
Food and the Mid-Level Farm

Fred Kirschenmann

G. W. Stevenson

Frederick Buttel

Thomas A. Lyson

Mike Duffy

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on the changing agricultural structure threatening the existence of midsize farms in the United States, and explores the advantages of midsize farms, which include innovation and flexibility in producing differentiated products, which are high on demand. It also discusses the importance of connecting farmers with the market without the use of direct marketing techniques, and of developing competitive alternatives that can be economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable for them. The impact of the possible disappearance of midsize farms from the rural communities’ employment rate, tax base, and agricultural viability are also analyzed.

Keywords:   agriculture structure, midsize farms, differentiated products, direct marketing, agriculture viability

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