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Remaking the HeartlandMiddle America since the 1950s$
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Robert Wuthnow

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691146119

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691146119.001.0001

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The Changing Face of Agribusiness

The Changing Face of Agribusiness

(p.171) Six The Changing Face of Agribusiness
Remaking the Heartland

Robert Wuthnow

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the changing face of agribusiness in the Middle West. It explains how agribusiness transformed large sections of the Middle West during the last third of the twentieth century and was reshaped as it became part of a global food production and marketing system. The transformation was particularly evident in the region's increasing emphasis on packaged-food production, ranging from frozen dinners for wholesale and retail markets to boxed beef and poultry for fast-food franchises. Commercial feedlots, animal-slaughtering facilities, and poultry-processing and meatpacking plants appeared with increasing frequency in southwest Kansas, western Oklahoma, central and eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, parts of Minnesota and South Dakota, and northwestern Arkansas. The chapter considers why small towns provided an attractive venue for large agriculture-related businesses in the Middle West. It looks at the case of Garden City, Kansas, to illustrate the long-term as well as recent developments in heartland agribusiness.

Keywords:   agribusiness, Middle West, food production, meatpacking plants, small towns, Garden City, Kansas, American heartland, feedlots

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