chapter  2
Industrial Agriculture and Rural Community Degredation
WithDean MacCannell
Pages 61

This chapter focuses on social conditions in rural communities of four Sunbelt states: California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. There are two main findings: an advanced industrial type of agriculture is fully established on a regional base in the US Sunbelt, and there is evidence for substantial deterioration of human communities and living conditions associated with the new form of agriculture. Industrial agriculture has a near monopoly on fresh water supplies in the Sunbelt. Foreign workers, both legal and illegal, found ways of settling out of the migrant labor stream and are an absolute majority in many of the rural communities in the industrial agricultural areas of the Sunbelt. Economic analysis of agricultural systems focuses on the integration of business enterprises in markets, and it models costs and benefits of different policies and practices at the level of the firm.