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Family Farming: A New Economic Vision, New Edition Paperback – June 1, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Family Farming is a thorough, clear, and practical introduction to the complex industry that modern agriculture has become. Anyone who doesn't want the next piece of agricultural legislation to slide past their consciousness as a set of superficial slogans must read this book."—Nina Murray, Nebraska Life
(Nina Murrary Nebraska Life )

Family Farming easily puts Strange among the ranks of other brilliant critics of the agricultural establishment.”—Des Moines Register
(Dan Looker Des Moines Register )

“No hand-wringing or resignation about the plight of American farmers here—finally, some fresh, original thinking about the farm crisis. Pulling no punches, Marty Strange cuts right to the value questions at stake in American agriculture. Revealing a rare blend of compassion and clear analytical thinking, Strange compellingly argues that Americans do have a choice. We can choose an agriculture that is fair, humane, and sustainable—and economically viable as well.”—Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet
(Frances Moore Lapp� )

"Strange's vision is clear and focused. It should be shared."—The Humanist
(The Humanist )

About the Author

Marty Strange is policy director for the Rural School and Community Trust and was a founder of the Center for Rural Affairs, now located in Lyons, Nebraska. He received Common Cause’s Public Service Achievement Award and the Rural Sociological Society's Distinguished Service to Rural Life Award.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080321748X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803217485
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #704,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nina Murray on October 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
A lot has happened to the American agriculture and food supply since 1988 when the first edition of this book was published. Organic farming has been transformed from something practiced in back-yard gardens into a federally-standardized industry. Post 9/11 bioterrorism concerns have led to a close examination of the industrial food supply's vulnerability - with the discouraging conclusion that any contamination can result in illness on a massive scale. Helped in part by the fear of contaminated food, local agriculture has shed its sandal-and-pony-tail stereotype to become the new urban trend.
And yet organic and local producers account only for a hair-thin slice of the food market pie and the idea of a family making a living off the land, cows grazing on lush hills in the background and children carrying eggs from the henhouse across the front yard, seems more than ever shrouded in the mist of nostalgia mixed with the toxic fumes of financial impracticality.
"Family Farming" takes on both the mists and the fumes. In its own words, "This is not about the invasion of `corporate farming' but the evolution of family farms into industrial agribusinesses that ultimately will be transformed or transferred into investor-owned operations." Chapter by chapter, Strange dissects economic and cultural factors that continue to power the industrialization of American agriculture. Financing schemes, land values, property rights, and contractual arrangements that create the complex scaffolding (hidden from the eye of a casual observer) of farm expansion are explained in clear prose, with many examples. Even more remarkably, Strange gives the same clear-sighted treatment to the role played by the cultural values of expansion and efficiency, our love for technology and material surplus.
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Family Farming: A New Economic Vision, New Edition
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