13th Congress Proceedings
Small Farmers Combining To Stay Profitable And Compete With Large Scale Agriculture
Small and intermediate full time farmers in Kentucky are finding it difficult to remain profitable and continue in business. Agriculture trends continue toward larger scale operations. These trends have been driven by economies of scale when purchasing inputs, reduced profit margins on per unit basis and the need of providing a large quantity for marketing advantages. Small farm operations are searching for ways to compete and still maintain some form of independence. This paper will focus on the need for small and intermediate size farmers to work together to take advantage of the benefits achieved by large operators while still maintaining independence. One group and industry, in particular, will be highlighted. I will discuss the hog industry and illustrate how a group of small and intermediate size farmers worked together to successfully compete in today’s difficult agriculture environment.