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Getting Bigger? Wisconsin Farmers' Views on Livestock Expansion
Research Reports No. 2, October 1997
by Frederick Buttel and Douglas Jackson-Smith

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The major animal agriculture sectors in the U.S. have experienced rapid restructuring over the past ten to twenty years. This restructuring is often referred to as “industrialization”, and typically involves rapid declines in farm numbers, increased scale of production, growing concentration of market power among a few key actors, an expanded role for non-farm investors, and increased vertical or contractual integration. While Wisconsin has traditionally been and still remains dominated by modest scale family farms, there has been growing discussion about whether “industrialized” or largescale livestock production will (or should) play a more prominent role here in the coming years. Observers of these debates often characterize them as pitting farmers and agricultural commodity groups against rural community residents, environmentalists, and other non-farm activist groups.

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