We’ve detected that you are using an outdated browser.

Please use a new browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Microsoft Edge to improve your experience.

We’ve detected that you are using an outdated browser.


The 20th Century Transformation of U.S. Agriculture and Farm Policy

The structure of farms, farm households, and the rural communities in which they exist has evolved markedly over the last century. Historical data on a range of farm structure variables—including the value of agricultural production, commodity specialization, farming-dependent counties, and off- farm work—offer a perspective on the long-term forces that have helped shape the structure of agriculture and rural life over the past century. These forces include productivity growth, the increasing importance of national and global markets, and the rising influence of consumers on agricultural production. Within this long-term context of structural change, a review of some key developments in farm policy considers the extent to which farm policy design has or has not kept pace with the continuing transformation of American agriculture.

Publication Name
ERS Economic Information Bulletin
Downloadable Documents
Carolyn Dimitri, Anne Effland and Nelson Conklin
Washington, DC: USDA Economic Research Service
Page Numbers
Publication Date
June 01, 2005
Publication Type
Reports and Guides
Agricultural Economic Trends

Visit American Farmland Trust

Get engaged and receive the information you need right in your inbox.