Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2006


Published in Great Plains Research 16:1 (Spring 2006). Copyright © 2006 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Used by permission.


Is the family farm an anachronism, to be replaced, sooner or later, by larger and more efficient industrial modes of agriculture? This question achieved special prominence during the "farm crisis" in the 1980s, when thousands of farmers lost their land to foreclosure. Since then the issue has largely been forgotten, except in northwestern Oklahoma, the site of Troubled Fields, where the decline of family farming can be measured in continuing population loss, the breakdown of families, and increased risk of suicide.