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There is much concern over the future of agriculture. Farm and ranch incomes have been falling as a result of the decline in farm produce prices since 1951 and continued h:gh costs of machinery and other means of production. Because of these factors and the capacity of modern machinery, farmers and ranchers have been increasing the size of their operating units. As farms and ranches increased in size, rural population has been decreasing. This decline in rural population has had serious effects upon the rural community and rural life. Schools, churches and local government units are seriously affected in areas where these changes have been most rapid. The decline in rural population and the development of the modern automobile and, highways have brought about a decline in the strength and size of rural towns and villages. Thus, agriculture has what appears to be a dilemma. There has been an adjustment of the size of farms and ranches to modern conditions. On the other hand, this adjustment has created some serious problems for rural communities and rural people. The fundamental problem of all people is to achieve "the good life". Rural people, because of the lack of competition such as exists in urban life, have often achieved a higher degree of stability and a greater sense of solidarity and wellbeing than has been possible in other lines of work, Naturally they desire to maintain these values. At the same time, they need adequate incomes to meet their basic, needs for food, clothing, and shelter, and to support community institutions such as schools, churches, and local government. They desire parity of incomes with other social groups. Within certain limits increasing income also increases the "good life" but gradually as income increases, it may conflict with social values.

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South Dakota State College


Agricultural Economics