Profits And Risk: Fitting An Old Framework To A New Agriculture
Textbooks in agricultural economics characterize resources used in production agriculture into four categories; land, labor, capital and management. Profit is presented as earned in the process of management. This traditional list of resources is respecified. Management becomes a specialized type of labor and two additional resources, information and the willingness and ability to bear risk, are added. It is argued that profits accrue not to management but to those willing and able to bear the risk inherent in production agriculture. The strategy of equity diversification is presented as a means for farmers to provide this resource and thus earn economic profits. Producer education and the repeal or amendment of legislation restricting the ability of farmers to diversify their equity investment are needed.
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