IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

New avenues of farm corporatization in the prairie grains sector: farm family entrepreneurs and the case of One Earth Farms

Listed author(s):
  • André Magnan


Registered author(s):

    This paper addresses longstanding debates around changing patterns of farm ownership and structure on the North American plains. Over the last 150 years, the agrifood system has been transformed by a process of capitalist penetration through which non-farm capital has appropriated key links in the ‘food chain’. Today, large, often transnational corporations dominate in the provision of farm inputs, as well as in food processing, distribution, and retailing. The paradox for food system scholars has been that primary food production (i.e., farming) has generally remained in the hands of independent, family-based operations, especially in the grains sector. This paradox has generated a substantial literature on the barriers to capitalist penetration in agriculture. I revisit these debates in light of two recent trends. First, I highlight the emergence of a class of farm family entrepreneurs comprised of very large, albeit family-owned, grain farming operations, in Saskatchewan. I provide a case study of a vertically integrated, family-based mega-farm to illustrate. Second, I discuss the implications of the launch of One Earth Farms, a corporate farming entity embodying altogether new strategies of land use, labor, and ownership. Structured as a partnership between a Toronto-based investment firm and nine First Nations bands, One Earth Farms brings together the interests of private investors who increasingly view agriculture as a profitable resource sector, and aboriginal communities hoping to redress the historical marginalization of First Nations farming. I interpret the significance of these new avenues of corporatization for “family farms” and prairie agricultural development. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Springer & The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS) in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 161-175

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:29:y:2012:i:2:p:161-175
    DOI: 10.1007/s10460-011-9327-9
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Anderson, Robert B., 1997. "Corporate/indigenous partnerships in economic development: The first nations in Canada," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1483-1503, September.
    2. Philip McMichael, 2009. "A food regime analysis of the ‘world food crisis’," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 26(4), pages 281-295, December.
    3. Linda Lobao & Curtis Stofferahn, 2008. "The community effects of industrialized farming: Social science research and challenges to corporate farming laws," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 25(2), pages 219-240, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:29:y:2012:i:2:p:161-175. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

    or (Rebekah McClure)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.