Vertical Integration

This is an economic term that is often used to describe a trend in the agriculture industry. When an agriculture corporation is vertically integrated, it is involved in more than one phase of production. Many of these big businesses have their own feedlots, slaughterhouses, meatpacking plants, seed, pesticide and fertilizer companies, processing plants and distributors. This means that these businesses have complete control over the lives and deaths of the animals and crops they raise.