Agricultural industrialization, anticorporate farming laws, and rural community welfare

Thomas A. Lyson, Rick Welsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The effect on rural communities of shifts in US agriculture toward a system dominated by large-scale industrial production is a central problematic in the sociology of agriculture. Despite the importance of agriculture structure and practice to US society, most research on this topic has been confined to specialized journals. And though research in this area has found negative effects on rural communities from agricultural industrialization, there is a dearth of inquiry into public policy remedies. Using data on 433 agriculture-dependent counties in the USA, we find that counties in states with laws that limit nonfamily corporate entry into farming score higher on important welfare indicators, and that the laws mitigate negative impacts on rural communities from industrial farming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1479-1491
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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