Analysis of employment conditions for full-time hired farm labor on eastern Iowa hog farms

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2017-06-26
Authors
Smith, Richard
Heady, Earl
Fulton, Craig
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Extension and Experiment Station Publications
It can be very challenging to locate information about individual ISU Extension publications via the library website. Quick Search will list the name of the series, but it will not list individual publications within each series. The Parks Library Reference Collection has a List of Current Series, Serial Publications (Series Publications of Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service), published as of March 2004. It lists each publication from 1888-2004 (by title and publication number - and in some cases it will show an author name).
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Abstract

American agriculture has been and continues to be an industry with a changing structure. The amount of farm labor declined steadily over the 1950-1970 period as competitive forces in farming resulted in capital being substituted for labor and land. One factor in this decline has been the increased productivity resulting from technological improvements in capital inputs and the greater "know how” in the use of these inputs. A second factor has been the decline in prices of capital inputs relative to the prices of land and labor.

As farms have become larger and more capitalized, decision making has become more complex. The level of skill needed by farm labor also has increased as the size of enterprises and the complexities of equipment have increased.

This study examines the employment conditions of full-time hired farm labor in an effort to resolve a farm-labor paradox. The paradox results from full-time job positions in farming going unfilled in the late 1960s, at a time when labor was being "freed” from farming as a result of the decline in farm numbers and the substitution of capital for labor.

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