Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Shanna Rose

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© 2018 Evan A Murphy


Throughout the 20th century, American farmlands, agricultural policy, and diets have seen dramatic transformations. The number of farms in America has decreased, but the average size of farms has increased. These larger farms are increasingly more industrialized and produce a short list of profitable, subsidized commodity crops. Similarly, changes in the American diet throughout the 20th and 21st centuries have reflected these shifts in the landscape of American farmland. Simultaneous to the evolution of American farms was an increase in federal involvement in American agriculture through policy that seems to encourage these trends. Although separating out the causes from the effects can be difficult, this paper attempts to understand the role that policy has played in a changing American farmland, the players behind American food and agricultural policy, and the implications these changes have had on the American diet.