Humboldt State University



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dc.contributor.advisor Watson, Elizabeth en Bauermeister, Mark R. en 2007-05-15T23:20:18Z en 2007-05-15T23:20:18Z en 2007-05 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Thesis (M.A.)--Humboldt State University, Sociology, 2007 en
dc.description.abstract In the 20th century U.S. farming began to change its structure from an autonomous structure to a co-dependent, and highly industrialized structure. Industrial farming pushed many farmers out of business, as they were unable to stay on the “tread mill” of production that necessitated technology inputs and vast acreages to net larger yields for a meager return at the commodity market. Many farmers and their families were displaced into the neighboring cities and town to seek out work, often times in the burgeoning service sector that developed in the years after World War II. As a result, farmers and farming communities lost their connection to the land as the farming process became alienated from its producers and consumers. Urbanization increased and the remaining farms in the peripheries of urbanizing cities were increasingly in danger of being supplanted by urban development. Rising land valuations and taxes have made it difficult for farmers to continue their operations, leading to further displacement. As a result of the stated factors of displacement, many farmers began to rethink their modes of operation by reinventing the farming process. For the respondents in this study, that meant creating a sustainable form of agriculture that would help them stay viable, and more importantly maintain their culture. The primary point of this research is to better understand the current state of the changing form of agriculture taking place in Eastern Nebraska. Essentially, How are the expanding suburban peripheries affecting the farms? What are the farmers doing to maintain their viability? How can they increase their viability through sustainable practices? The local food movement occurring in Eastern Nebraska is a step closer to sustainability; the process of responsible stewardship in land maintenance, farm practice, and reconnecting with the community. I begin the paper with a brief history of U.S. agriculture that has brought forth the exacerbated industrial structure. The paper then proposes how social capital may create a viable connection between the farmer, consumer, and service sector that may ensure a cooperative network system benefiting all. This qualitative research involves 30 interviews with small niche market farmers, specializing in produce, fruits, dairy, meat, and a variety of mix-use goods. The study found that these farmers are experiencing some of the same displacement factors affecting the larger commodity farms: rising land and tax valuations, input costs, and cultural differences among farm and non-farm neighbors. The paper concludes with some recommendations that may aid the local food movement to become more sustainable and most importantly, increasing farm viability for future generations. en
dc.description.sponsorship Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln en
dc.format.extent 1521046 bytes en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.publisher Humboldt State University en
dc.subject Sustainable farming en
dc.subject Social capital en
dc.subject CSA en
dc.subject Farmers' market en
dc.title Small farm disinvestment in Eastern Nebraska : seeking sustainability in the periphery en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.program Sociology en

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