Poultry farmers are a major contributor to the statistics on rising debt levels in American farming. The contracts they have with Big Chicken companies are also the premiere model for production contract agriculture, which is spreading across agricultural industries. As other agricultural industries move in this direction, they are systematically exposing more farmers to higher stakes in debt related risks.
The current combination of rising farm debt with decreasing farm income means that farmers are facing a financial squeeze, and that should raise serious red flags about the health and sustainability of our agricultural system.
This case study reviews issues and experiences involved with farmers’ market manager turnover and captures lessons learned
at four farmers’ markets in North Carolina. The findings presented here are based on existing research, our surveys of past and
current managers, and informal conversations with market stakeholders.