Hi Uncle Sam! My mom said that I should get a job this summer and I was wondering if I could come work on your farm?!
Mixed/General Farming by Audrey Chen
Hello Maddy! Of course! I'd be happy to have you around here to help me out! Lemme show you around.
1. First of all, do you know what kind of farm this is?
3. Exactly! But, I don't just have animals. If you look far over there in that field, what do you see?
5. Yes! I have what is called a mixed or general farm! This means that I use the crops that I grow to feed the animals!
2. No, I have no clue! I see a lot of animals though!
4. Oh my gosh! You have a corn field! That's a lot of corn!
4. Good question! I sell animal products like milk wool, and cheese that I get from the cows and sheep. This is something called commercial farming where I am raising the animals in order to make a profit.
2. Yeah! I grow crops like wheat and corn for the purpose of raising my pigs, cows, chickens and sheep!
3. Well if the plants are only for the animals? What do you sell?
1. So you grow crops and you raise animals?
4. Ohh! Well what if a farm isn't a commercial farm? What do you call it then?
3. Exactly! Mixed farms are generally found in MDC's such as North America and Europe because we have access to more machinery, land, and certain chemicals like fertilizers. More specifically, in the US, mixed farms can be found across the midwest region (Ohio, the Dakotas, Iowa, etc), as well as in states along the Appalachian Mountains. In Europe - France and Russia.
1. Then you would call it a subsistence farm! This is a farm where you farm just to survive and plant what you are going to eat to feed yourself.
4. Well what do you need all that stuff for?
2. . Cool! So would subsistence farms be found in less developed countries and commercial farms in more developed countries?
1. We need machinery to help cultivate the soil, lots of land for the animals to graze on, and fertilizers and chemicals to help keep weeds out of the crops.
3. Well, one benefit of mixed farming are that the crops and animals compliment each other. The crops provide food for the animals and the animals provide manure that helps fertilize the crops.
2. Oh! That makes sense! What would be some of the benefits of mixed farming?
4. But because you are growing both plants and animals, wouldn't that require a lot of labor? The workers would have to tend to the animals daily as well as the crops.
3. Operating a mixed farm means that in addition to having to give attention to the animals every day, I have to also make sure the crops are too. If I start slacking on one or the other, both will suffer. That, plus upkeeping all this land and machinery, as well as controlling all the different maintenance procedures. Its a real challenge!
1. Yes, one of the challenges of mixed farming is how labor intensive it is. Although I have my wife and kids help me out here with the animals, my other workers do have a lot on their plate. Because my mixed farm consists of both crops and animals, there is always A LOT going on.
4. Yeah! If the crops start dying the animals have no food. And if the animals get sick not only do you not have stuff to sell but your plants won't have the natural fertilizer!
2. Wow! I can't even imagine the workload you must have!