Factory Farm (Industrial Farm / Industrial Agriculture)

Factory farms, or industrial farms, are a modern type of agriculture which 1) requires high inputs of money, fertilizers, and labor (or labor-saving technologies such as pesticides, in the case of crop production) and 2) tends to engage in monoculture. Monocultures are a common feature of industrial farms, both on animal factory farms and crop farms. On animal factory farms, animals (generally chickens, turkeys, cattle, or pigs) are confined in densely packed areas and treated with hormones and antibiotics to maximize growth and prevent the diseases that would otherwise spread quickly through the farm. Additionally, the animals produce much more waste than the surrounding land can handle, and the farms are associated with numerous environmental hazards as well as animal cruelty. The government calls these facilities Concentrated (or Confined) Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). In crop production, monocultures lead to poor land and crop quality, and the overuse of pesticides and other chemicals. For more information, read the "Industrial Agriculture" page.