America needs farms of all shapes and sizes to thrive.
When some people think of big farms, they immediately believe they are “factory farms.” Often, large farms and ranches are deploying the most innovative processes in sustainability and animal welfare because they have the resources to do so. In addition, large farms can be better equipped to deal with growing regulatory requirements. Large farms and ranches create economies of scale that can keep prices low. Agriculture employs 14 percent of the U.S. workforce (or approximately 21 million people).
CAN WE FEED THE WORLD WITH ONE TYPE OF FARMING?
We need conventional, organic and all other types of farms to meet consumer needs. Organic farming can continue to develop sustainable practices that can be adopted more widely. At the same time, conventional practices are necessary to improve productivity to feed everyone.
A 2012 Nature article stated: “Crop yields from organic farming are as much as 34 percent lower than those from comparable conventional farming practices”. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, we must increase food production by 70 percent by 2050 to feed an estimated nine billion people.