Types of Farming in the US and Their Roles

Like in most countries around the world, there are various types of farming that make up the agricultural sector as a whole in the U.S.. Although all types of farming play an important role within society, they don’t all function the same way. As a matter of fact, some came about as a result of steady progress that has been made on behalf of mankind for many, many years..

Here you’ll get an idea as to how farming fits in within people’s lives and the farthest reaches of our planet. It makes us what we are and ensures that we lead well nourished lives. There are many different types of farming out there that serve to make our lives richer in color, flavor and ultimately, culture.

3 of the More Common Farming Types

Of the many farming types that exist, there are three that are the most ingrained and that have helped to make America what it is today. These are, subsistence, crop and commercial. In this order one paved the way for the next and it pays to understand them all in order to get a clear idea of just how our delicious food is actually made from the ground up. Regardless of the type, farming in general is dangerous job that and requires the correct farming boots to insure safe practices for everyone involved.

Barn with American flag in the US

Subsistence Farming

Subsistence farming is what you might think of as old school farming, where you would ideally grow all the food you would need for the entire year. It is quite common with this type of farming that the farm in question revolve around a family unit and that they grow just what they need to eat and perhaps a bit additional production for supplemental income.

This kind of farming was very common in the early days of the U.S. and informed much of the rural culture and day-to-day life of places where it was commonplace, for instance in the deep south. Although relatively few people tend to be involved with this type of farming, they can take place in areas that are remote, tranquil and quite beautiful. The life as a subsistence farmer may be tough and offer little social mobility but at the same time it evokes a certain independence that those who live in urban areas sometimes dream of.

Commercial farming

When a considerable profit is the main objective for the farm, this is what is called commercial farming. Oftentimes this is the only source of income for the family. The primary purpose is to make a living that will help to take care of bills, education and anything else that costs money. This may be seen as limiting, but in fact this gives farmers considerable freedom to exploit all kinds of things on their land such as a variety of crops as well as other resources like fishing and raising animals for meat, eggs and dairy. This assortment is something that more profit-driven enterprises can´t spend time and resources on but it can be pretty profitable as one can diversify and sell different things on different seasons.

Arial view of farms in black and white

A number of these farms can make up sizeable  communities. One such example of these are the Amish, where they work exceptionally hard with fairly simple tools to take care of themselves and address any problems or needs that may arise.

Crop Farms

When farming is approached as more of a business to produce one or more very specific products, namely grain, fruits and vegetables, this is what´s called crop farming, and it’s pretty safe to say that this practice more than anything built modern American society. It’s pretty hard to imagine the U.S. as a place that became as prosperous in such a short period of time without key investment in key crops that were highly demanded back in the old countries.

Tractor on a field cutting crops

This is where the seeds of industrial farming were really planted. Largely due to extreme subsidisation practices, whole regions would eventually were to be devoted to very specific crops. Today, the most well known crop in this regard is of course corn, which is used to make so many of the products that we enjoy. But what we should really thank is the advancements in mechanisations that took place over a long period of time to allow for such large scale production.

Ongoing farming

We’ve come a long way, and it is thanks to considerable hard work and a great deal of ingenuity that has been springing up continuously  that we can produce so much of mother nature’s bounty year in and year out.

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