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Food and the Mid-Level Farm – Renewing an Agriculture of the Middle - MIT Press Scholarship Online
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Food and the Mid-Level Farm: Renewing an Agriculture of the Middle

Thomas A. Lyson, G. W. Stevenson, and Rick Welsh


Agriculture in the United States today increasingly operates in two separate spheres: Large, corporate-connected commodity production and distribution systems; and small-scale farms that market directly to consumers. As a result, midsize family-operated farms find it increasingly difficult to find and reach markets for their products. They are too big to use the direct marketing techniques of small farms but too small to take advantage of corporate marketing and distribution systems. This crisis of the midsize farm results in a rural America with weakened municipal tax bases, job losses, and p ... More

Keywords: commodity production, small-scale farms, midsize farms, population flight, midsize ranches, sociology, farmer identity, public policies, growers

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780262122993
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262122993.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Thomas A. Lyson, editor

G. W. Stevenson, editor

Rick Welsh, editor

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I Agriculture of the Middle: Why Farm Structure Matters

1 Why Worry about the Agriculture of the Middle?

Fred Kirschenmann, G. W. Stevenson, Frederick Buttel, Thomas A. Lyson, and Mike Duffy

II Organizational Structures That Could Support an Agriculture of the Middle

5 Contractual Integration in Agriculture: Is There a Bright Side for Agriculture of the Middle?

Mary Hendrickson, William Heffernan, David Lind, and Elizabeth Barham

III Bringing Mid-Level Supply Chains and Consumers Together

IV Policies That Could Support the Agriculture of the Middle

10 The Effect of Laws That Foster Agricultural Bargaining: Apple Growers in Michigan and New York State

Shelly Grow, Amy Guptill, Elizabeth Higgins, Thomas A. Lyson, and Rick Welsh

Epilogue: Strategies for Strengthening the Agriculture of the Middle

G. W. Stevenson, Rick Welsh, and Thomas A. Lyson