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Advisor to President Kennedy, consultant for foreign governments, and spokesman for family farmers everywhere, Willard W. Cochrane has been a leading expert on agriculture and its problems in the United States since the 1940s. In his straightforward style Cochrane analyzes the propensity for American agriculture to produce too much and the inability of our social and economic system to make effective use of that unending abundance. He then offers his vision for American agriculture in the twenty-first century. Cochrane looks at two periods in agricultural history: 1953–66 and 1997–2002. Structurally, technologically, and organizationally the two periods are as different as night and day, but in terms of the big economic picture – too much production pressing on a limited commercial demand with resulting low farm prices and incomes – they are mirror images of each other. With this understanding, Cochrane argues that Americans no longer need to farm fragile ecosystems with intensive chemical methods, make huge payments that result in fewer farms and higher farming costs, or bear the environmental consequences of all-out production. Instead, he outlines a bold new strategy for how we can enjoy our abundance and focus our efforts on quality of life and protecting the environment in our rural areas.
About the Author
Willard W. Cochrane is the author of numerous books, including "The Development of American Agriculture: A Historical Analysis," and is the coauthor of "Reforming Farm Policy: Toward a National Agenda." Richard A. Levins is a professor of agricultural economics at the University of Minnesota and the author of "Willard Cochrane and the American Family Farm" (Nebraska 2003).
"Of all the liberal agricultural economists who could have written a book about substantial and alternative farming methods, Willard W. Cochrane is perhaps top of the list. . . . This is an excellent book for all libraries—public and academic—to access into their collections."—K. T. Vaughan, E-Streams
-K. T. Vaughan
“This book holds remarkable value for members of the agricultural community, environmental professionals, members of the regulatory community, and politicians seeking insights into how agricultural economics influence the evolution of the conservation agenda and the transformation underway from production subsidies to conservation incentives. These essays of Willard Cochrane hold lessons for us all.”—Douglas B. Johnson, Environmental Practice
-Douglas B. Johnson