Factory Farms or Sustainable Agriculture?

| Jim Lindberg | Posted: 6/9/2008

Factory Farms Threaten Rural Heritage

Aerial
This photo shows a 150,000-head hog farm in remote northeast Arizona.

Credit: Jim Lindberg
  • Factory farms intrude upon the historic rural landscape and do not provide uses for traditional historic farm structures, such as barns.
  • Factory farms produce odors that reduce property values and livability in nearby historic communities.
  • Factory farms produce odors that reduce visitation to nearby heritage tourism sites.
  • Factory farms make it difficult for small and medium-sized family farmers to compete economically, resulting in the abandonment of historic farmsteads and structures.
  • Factory farms accelerate the depopulation of rural areas, reducing stewardship of the historic rural landscape and contributing to the economic decline of historic rural communities.

Sustainable Agriculture Helps Preserve Rural Heritage

Ends
This sustainably-operated farm is an example of community-supoprted agriculture using historic structures.

Credit: Edward Hoogterp
  • Sustainable agriculture is generally small-scale and uses traditional techniques that fit well with barns and other historic farms structures. 
  • Sustainable agriculture includes a strong commitment to land stewardship, helping to conserve the historic rural landscape.
  • Sustainable agriculture contributes to regional heritage tourism efforts, providing distinctive local products and visitor experiences, including farm-stays and seasonal events.
  • Sustainable agriculture can lead to the development of local food networks that support historic farms as well as business activity on historic Main Streets, such as farmer's markets, restaurants, groceries and stores that feature local products.
  • Sustainable agriculture supports rural economies and historic rural communities by providing employment for farm workers and income for area businesses.