For the topic for my paper, I’m considering discussing the technologies of farming, specifically the tractor. For years, agricultural production was held back by the availability of labor. People could only grow what they had the man- or animal power to plant and harvest. With the invention of the tractor, farmers could produce more food. But, to stay competitive, each farmer had to keep up with the latest technologies and work longer hours. To finance new technology, farmers became heavily indebted to banks. As I started my research, I saw that one book described farming as becoming less of a “lifestyle” and more of a “business.”
As the number of jobs in the countryside was reduced and food prices declined, cities were able to grow. With the growth of cities, Americans lost their connection to the land. The technology of the tractor delivered us into the grasp of what Postman would call “technopoly.” We want everything to be mechanized, standardized, and immediate.
*Fordson, Farmall, and Poppin’ Johnny: A History of the Farm Tractor and Its Impact on America