Land: A Blank Medium for Profits for Industrial Agriculture
Industrial agriculture’s first step is consolidation of the land into big farms. Then big machinery shapes the land so that large scale industrial agriculture can operate profitably. They call it economies of scale. The first images in this gallery below show a 1958 small California farm going under, having its equipment auctioned off. Big land companies like the Kern County Land Company buy up the parcels, combining them into large tracts. Next immense earth moving machines used to make freeways level the land. Top soil is removed or shunted aside, all living organisms in the soil built up over centuries die in the process, leaving the land dry and lifeless, exposed to relentless sun. The earth becomes a blank medium for the production of food and profits for agribusiness. Crops grow from petrochemical inputs of fertilizers and pesticides, watered by dammed up rivers carried through concrete canals. Agricultural run off water then carries pollutants back into the rivers and streams and to the ocean, killing life all along the way. And at every step, labor is reduced to a minimum or eliminated completely. Idyllic country life devolves into a living nightmare well know in industrial sweat shops all over the world. Buy or license these photos.