ERIC Number: ED462212
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Reference Count: N/A
Bringing Home the Bacon? The Myth of the Role of Corporate Hog Farming in Rural Revitalization.
Flora, Cornelia Butler
As rural communities decline due to job losses in agriculture and other industries, they often aggressively court new industries. In such circumstances, a community should question what a proposed new industry will require in terms of infrastructure; the effects of the new labor force on schools, businesses, and housing; the impact on the environment; the types of jobs being created; and whether the industry is a good "fit" for the infrastructure and makeup of the community. Often in the rush to seek new industry, such questions go unasked or their answers are ignored. The result may still be jobs but quite possibly jobs that extract more out of a community than they give back. This paper examines Texas County, Oklahoma, for the costs and benefits associated with the coming of an industrial-style hog operation to the area. The research reveals that the true "cost" of a job in the hog industry to Texas County and Guymon, its largest community, is over 50 percent higher than the average wages paid to employees. These costs include: (1) economic costs, such as tax incentives, rebates, and land lease agreements; (2) human costs, including education and security issues; and (3) environmental costs, including air pollution, water and soil degradation, and other qualitative measures such as odor. The impact to Texas County schools included the need to build a new elementary school, increased numbers of limited-English-speaking students, and an increased dropout rate. (Contains extensive references in endnotes.) (Author/TD)
Descriptors: Agribusiness, Agricultural Laborers, Community Change, Cost Effectiveness, Economic Development, Economic Impact, Educational Change, Incentives, Limited English Speaking, Pollution, Population Growth, Rural Development, School Community Relationship
The Kerr Center, P.O. Box 588, Poteau, OK 74953. Tel: 918-647-9123. For full text: http://www.kerrcenter.com/kerrweb/New%20Folder/BHTB/hog%20re port1.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Poteau, OK.
Authoring Institution: North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, Ames, IA.
Identifiers - Location: Oklahoma