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Industrial Agribusiness: Economic Solution or Environmental Disaster?

By Courtney Conklin

From the Faculty Nominator: Courtney wrote Industrial Agribusiness: Economic Solution or Environmental Disaster? for Environmental Economics, ECO 225, during the Fall 2007 semester. Students are expected to choose a topic with environmental and economic components and report their findings to the class and in the form of a term paper.

Courtney discovered that the best intentioned of public policies often have quite negative, unintended consequences. The revamping of agricultural policy during the 1970’s, designed to reduce food prices, lead to mega farms, oligopoly in food production, a precipitous decline in small family farms, monoculture, and environmental degradation.  And now, after Courtney wrote her paper, we see food prices being driven up by an entirely new set of circumstances.  One might ask, what ingenious policy will someone think of next and what will its consequences be?

Read: Industrial Agribusiness: Economic Solution or Environmental Disaster?

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