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Every Farm a FactoryThe Industrial Ideal in American Agriculture$
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Deborah Fitzgerald

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300088137

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300088137.001.0001

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By the Numbers: Economics and Management in Agriculture

By the Numbers: Economics and Management in Agriculture

Chapter:
(p.33) Chapter 2 By the Numbers: Economics and Management in Agriculture
Source:
Every Farm a Factory
Author(s):

Deborah Fitzgerald

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300088137.003.0003

This chapter centers on the emergence of agricultural economics as an academic discipline, and on farm management as its practical application in farm communities and federal agencies. Although some farmers had kept close track of their costs and income for many years preceding the 1920s, it was in the early part of the period that this practice was first vigorously promoted by federal and state agencies as well as by rural banks. This emphasis on quantification and efficiency paved the way for what experts called a more rational and businesslike farming system. The chapter reveals that the quantitative spirit came to fruition in American agricultural industrialization between 1910 and 1930, as evidenced by the emergence of sustainable institutional venues for its development. It also shows that by 1920, research and practice in the states were entirely defined and condoned by the United States Department of Agriculture, and were made similar across states.

Keywords:   agricultural economics, farm management, farm communities, rural banks, agricultural industrialization

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