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The Food and Fiber System: Contributing to the U.S. and World Economies


  • Lipton, Kathryn L.


Even though farming accounts for only about 1 percent of the total national workforce, it is at the core of the food and fiber system. The system is one of the largest sectors in the U.S. economy, and is comprised of industries related to farming, including feed, seed, fertilizer, machinery, food processing, manufacturing, and exporting. The interrelationships among the sectors of the food and fiber system and the U.S. and world economies are many and complex. As a result, U.S. and world policies and economic factors--such as interest and inflation rates--play a critical role in everything from the cost and availability of farm credit to the demand for farm products at home and abroad. The farm crisis of the 1980's illustrates how specific economic events can impact the food and fiber system. In addition, long-term changes in the system have occurred in response to shifts in consumer incomes, demographics, lifestyles, and perceptions of health and diet.

Suggested Citation

  • Lipton, Kathryn L., 1998. "The Food and Fiber System: Contributing to the U.S. and World Economies," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33761, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersab:33761

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Edmondson, William & Petrulis, Mindy & Somwaru, Agapi, 1995. "Measuring the Economywide Effect of the Farm Sector," Technical Bulletins 156778, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Gallo, Anthony E., 1996. "The Food Marketing System in 1995," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33679, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Elitzak, Howard, 1999. "Food Cost Review, 1950-97," Agricultural Economics Reports 34053, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cohen, Jeffrey P. & Morrison Paul, Catherine J., 2001. "Agglomeration Economies and Industry Location Decisions: The Impacts of Vertical and Horizontal Spillovers," Working Papers 190899, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    2. Furtuoso, Maria Cristina Ortiz & Guilhoto, Joaquim José Martins, 2001. "The Brazilian agribusiness, defining and measuring: 1994 to 2000," MPRA Paper 54669, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Cohen, Jeffrey P. & Paul, Catherine J. Morrison, 2005. "Agglomeration economies and industry location decisions: the impacts of spatial and industrial spillovers," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 215-237, May.
    4. Neil Knobloch, 2008. "Factors of teacher beliefs related to integrating agriculture into elementary school classrooms," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 25(4), pages 529-539, December.


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