The Dynamics of Family Farming in North Huron County, Ontario. Part I. Development Trajectories

By Smithers, John; Johnson, Paul | The Canadian Geographer, Summer 2004 | Go to article overview

The Dynamics of Family Farming in North Huron County, Ontario. Part I. Development Trajectories


Smithers, John, Johnson, Paul, The Canadian Geographer


Introduction

In southern Ontario, as in many other regions, the histories of farming and rural communities are closely intertwined. During much of the twentieth century, family farming served as the primary engine of local rural economies and largely defined rural society (Fuller 1990; Smithers and Joseph 1999). Rural settlements provided the social and economic infrastructure needed to support farm businesses and farm households, and farmers in turn focused much of their economic and social life towards these places. Consequently, there existed not only a sense of shared progress but also a tangible interdependency that formed a foundation for many mutually supportive interactions. Today, both family farming and rural communities in Canada are changing in response to myriad forces, ranging from the local to the global, and many of the once common and well understood connections between these two spheres of rural life have been lost and replaced by new ones: interactions that all too frequently take the form of contestation and conflict (Smithers and Joseph 1999; Joseph et al. 2001). What are the broad contours of this change?

On the farm side, there has been a well-documented shift to more industrialised forms of food production. Traditional systems of farming have been replaced by systems of production characterised by a high degree of mechanisation and intensification where capital and technology and other purchased inputs have substituted for labour (National Research Council 1989; Troughton 1997; Marsden 1998). Additionally, the geography of commodity marketing and input procurement has been fundamentally altered. The highly productive farms that dominate Canada's agricultural system are increasingly linked with agribusiness, government (through agricultural policy and programes) and financial institutions for their markets and critical inputs (Wallace 1992). Hence, they are less dependent upon communities as places of exchange and service provision. Indeed, many of the traditional and more supportive forms of interaction between farm and community, such as local marketing of agricultural products or local purchasing, either no longer occur or are relegated to a less significant role. Such developments have led to the assertion that the critical relationships in agriculture are now more often vertical than horizontal (Marsden 1998).

On the community side, the pace and scope of change has been equally significant. Increasingly, rural settlements serve functions and supply services that extend well beyond agriculture and food production. The resulting 'new' rural economy may be characterised as a mosaic in which agriculture represents but one of many economic activities (Van den Bor et al. 1997) and where the preeminence of farming as the foundation of the rural economy is no longer assured. Similarly, urbanisation of the countryside through non-farm residential development and the dispersion of economic and social activities from urban core areas have altered the social fabric of many rural areas (Bryant and Johnston 1992; Marsden 1998). Attention is now being drawn increasingly to shifting power relations among and between rural residents and how these find expression in public policy and manifest themselves in different community development strategies (Bryden 1994; Gertler 1994; DeLind 1995; Joseph et al. 2001).

Against this backdrop of long-term change, a variety of farming 'models' are appearing in Ontario and elsewhere. While intensive production-oriented agriculture is one possible direction, a range of other possibilities exist and are, in evidence, in many other jurisdictions (Bowler et al. 1996). Similarly, many of the generally understood and somewhat bucolic interactions between farm and non-farm actors are being redefined. Specific instances of new economic development of land-use conflict provide insights relating to particular places and events, but this is a partial view indeed. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Dynamics of Family Farming in North Huron County, Ontario. Part I. Development Trajectories
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.