5 Reasons why Farms are Getting Bigger
EDITOR’S NOTE: I have been encouraging growers to have a social media presence and found a blog, called Dairy Carrie, www.dairycarrie.com, which is a perfect example of communicating positive information about agriculture. I am sharing a great article from Dairy Carrie’s blog. She is a dairy farmer who loves agriculture, especially dairy cows, working with her husband and his parents on their 100-cow dairy farm in Southern Wisconsin.
There seems to be a lot of talk these days about large farms squeezing out the small farms.
I hear small farmers are complaining about big farmers gobbling up land and people in the city lamenting the passing of the picturesque red barn farms.
There is a lot of talk about big and small local Ag and very few people really seem to understand what is going on.
So, let us talk about why small farms are being replaced by larger farms.
Hubs and I farm in a partnership with his parents. We milk around 100 cows and grow crops on around 300 acres.
In Wisconsin, where we live, the average dairy farm is 100 cows. So, we are your average sized farm for our area.
We have a couple of part time employees milking a few times a week and a full time employee that helps us get everything done.
Hubs and both of his parents derive their income solely from the farm. I work on the farm as well as off the farm, but do not take pay from the farm.
Right now, the amount of income that our cows produce can sustain the farm and the people who draw a paycheck from it.
However, we are far from living a lavish lifestyle and there are not piles of money lying around. Most people would classify us as a “small farm.”
As a small farmer, I do not understand when other farmers complain about “big” farms pushing them out. I do not see it.
I hear people say that they could have bought some land but some “big farmer” came in and paid more than they could offer.
This seems a lot like someone saying that they did not buy a car because someone else offered more than they were willing to pay, and blaming that person for it.