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Little is known about cooperative adjustment to industrialized agriculture.This inductive study hypothesizes that cooperative adjustment toindustrialization is a function of critical resource changes, managerial vision,and ideological change. Agrarian-oriented cooperatives sought to maintainfarmer control over agriculture. They feared production from industrializedagriculture would displace family farm production, weakening cooperatives.“Top-down” corporate vertical integration presaged a new era of feudalcontrol over agriculture. Open market decline would lock formerlyindependent, entrepreneurial producers into the feudal dependence of“serfdom” as contract growers—the equivalent of hired labor.The “serfdom” metaphor motivated cooperatives to buffer producers fromstructural change by establishing more markets. As integrated, industrializedproduction grew commodity by commodity, cooperatives increasinglyregarded producers as a scarce and critical resource. Yet, agrarian-orientedcooperatives did not foresee that the moral hazard associated with porkcontracting would limit grower exploitation. Nor did such cooperativesrecognize how productivity-enhancing technologies accelerated farmerattrition. Visionary cooperative managers compensated for agrarianism’sideological weaknesses by creating new, global cooperative goals such as“feeding the world.” By the end of the 20th century, cooperatives had come toregard capital as their scarce and critical resource.

Keywords: agricultural cooperatives ; agrarianism ; agricultural industrialization ; resource dependency

Subject(s): Agribusiness

Industrial Organization

Issue Date: 2013

Publication Type: Journal Article

PURL Identifier: http://purl.umn.edu/249619 Published in: Journal of Rural Cooperation, Volume 41, Number 2 Page range: 97-113

Total Pages: 18

Record appears in: Hebrew University of Jerusalem > Center for Agricultural Economic Research > Journal of Rural Cooperation





Autor: Hogeland, Julie A.

Fuente: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/249619?ln=en







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