The Takeover: Chicken Farming and the Roots of American Agribusiness by Monica GisolfiThe Takeover: Chicken Farming and the Roots of American Agribusiness by Monica Gisolfi

The Takeover: Chicken Farming and the Roots of American Agribusiness

byMonica Gisolfi

Paperback | April 15, 2017

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Economists have described the upcountry Georgia poultry industry as the quintessential agribusiness. Following a trajectory from Reconstruction through the Great Depression to the present day, Monica R. Gisolfi shows how the poultry farming model of semivertical integration perfected a number of practices that had first underpinned the cotton-growing crop-lien system, ultimately transforming the poultry industry in ways that drove tens of thousands of farmers off the land and rendered those who remained dependent on large agribusiness firms.

Gisolfi argues that the inequalities inherent in the structure of modern poultry farming have led to steep human and environmental costs. Agribusiness firms—many of them descended from the cotton-era South’s furnishing merchants—brought farmers into a system of feed-conversion contracts that placed all production decisions in the hands of the poultry corporations but at least half of the capital risks on the farmers. Along the way, the federal government aided and abetted—sometimes unwittingly—the consolidation of power by poultry firms through direct and indirect subsidies and favorable policies. Drawing on USDA files, oral history, congressional records, and poultry publications, Gisolfi puts a local face on one of the twentieth century’s silent agribusiness revolutions.

MONICA R. GISOLFI is an associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. PAUL S. SUTTER is an associate professor of history at University of Colorado, Boulder. He is the author of Driven Wild: How the Fight against Automobiles Launched the Modern Wilderness Movement.
Title:The Takeover: Chicken Farming and the Roots of American AgribusinessFormat:PaperbackDimensions:124 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:April 15, 2017Publisher:University of Georgia PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0820349712

ISBN - 13:9780820349718


Editorial Reviews

This crucially important book shows ways in which today’s chicken farming in North Georgia is essentially an extension of the means of production (or should be say ?oppression?) found in cotton agribusiness during Reconstruction. It shows how agribusiness retains control and profits while their contract farmers absorb most of the risk. Furthermore, this book illuminates ways that the federal government, through the USDA, has not only enabled this exploitative system, but also subsidized it. - Appalachian Mountain Books