ERIC Number: ED111587
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975
Reference Count: 0
The Condition of Farmworkers and Small Farmer in 1974. Report to the National Board of the National Sharecroppers Fund/Rural Advancement Fund.
Pierce, James M.
The number of farms in rural America continued to decline. In 1974, 23,420 farms went out of business. Farm subsidy payments, originally designed to assist small farmers, contributed little to the survival of the small farmer. The 1974 increased costs in fuel and fertilizer alone reduced net farm income by $5 billion--approximately a $2,500 reduction in net income per farm. Although farm prices declined during 1974, prices paid by consumers at the supermarket continued to climb. Yet, the farmer received less than 41 cents of every food dollar spent by consumers. Evidence showed that market concentration (the lack of competition) led to higher food costs. Agribusiness not only contributed to increased food costs but threatened the existence of the independent farmer as well. Nearly 25 percent of all food production was "vertically integrated" through outright corporate ownership or through contracts. Farmworkers also suffered from low wages, seasonal work, limited coverage under protective labor legislation, increased mechanization, poor education, and critical health and housing needs. However, organizations such as the National Sharecroppers Fund, farmer and craft co-ops, and land-reform groups are working on these problems, showing that reform and revitalization in rural America are possible. (NQ)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Sharecroppers Fund / Rural Advancement Fund, Washington, DC.
Note: For related document, see ED 092 281