Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/10415
Title: American agriculture's social licence to operate
Contributor(s): Becker, John (author); Kennedy, Amanda L  (author)
Publication Date: 2011
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/10415
Abstract: This chapter proposes to answer the question, 'What is the status of American agriculture's social licence to operate in the 21st century?' The chapter begins with reference to Thomas Jefferson, whose views on a wide range of social, political and economic aspects of the American democracy profoundly affect it. This discussion includes a historical summary of the US agricultural economy and the impact it has on the social licence of agriculture over time. Access to open land and opportunities to acquire ownership of it reflect the importance of private property to the US political and economic system. We reflect how land ownership in an agriculturally based economic system was an important means to acquire political influence locally and regionally. With the historical perspective providing our background, attention then turns to modern examples. These support the conclusion that the social licence of American agriculture to operate is supported by a variety of policies. Although these policies were established to support an agricultural economy of a particular type, the agricultural economy has changed. Intersecting notions of the family farm, corporate-scale farms and industrial-scale farming are important concepts to understanding how American policy makers view modern agriculture. The chapter concludes with an examination of trends that raise questions about continued support for American agriculture's social licence. Agricultural production is evolving in dramatically different directions, which raises the question: 'Is American agriculture's social licence to operate in jeopardy as a result of its response to economic pressure to complete on a global scale?' This question is of relevance to more than the US farming community. Similar historical characteristics and evolution from artisan to industrial farming exist in many other countries. Similar threats to the social licence upon which farmers have traditionally relied are emerging, and new strategies will be needed to justify support policies in the eyes of a sceptical public.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Defending the Social Licence of Farming: Issues, Challenges and New Directions for Agriculture, p. 93-101
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Collingwood, Australia
ISBN: 9780643101593
Field of Research (FOR): 180111 Environmental and Natural Resources Law
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960705 Rural Land Policy
949999 Law, Politics and Community Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
Other Links: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/152275858
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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