chapter  3
Public Policy, Farm Size, and Community Well-Being in Farming-Dependent Counties of the Plains
WithCornelia Butler Flora, Jan L. Flora
Pages 54

In this chapter, the authors examine how changes in the structure of agriculture affect the welfare of agricultural communities in the Great Plains and West of the United States. This area of the country has the largest concentration of farming-dependent counties and the most clearly identifiable farming systems. Agricultural structure can vary according to different ways of combining the major factors of production: labor, management, land, and capital. Computer technology that can stimulate agronomic and economic conditions can help fine-tune introduction of new systems for small farming operations and standardize good management strategies. The authors also examine the major technologies employed in each of the farming systems they analyze and relate them to public policy and changes in the structure of agriculture. Farm work was performed by family members, who also made the major management decisions. The relative prosperity of the farms contributed to the well-being of the local community.