All around the world, rural communities are shrinking at an alarming rate. Replacing them are multi-national corporations that turn family-centered farms into conglomerates who care nothing about an individual. Many organic producers are independently owned and operated family farms with strong motivations to preserve the area in which they live. They care about what they grow, how they grow it, and what effect their product will have on those who consume it. Conglomerates do not. Their only concern is the proverbial bottom line. When produce is grown and purchased locally, rural economies remain vibrant. Establishing a farmers market or coöp, for example, reaps benefits that have long been forgotten in the city, particularly in the social area.
Because organic farming is often done on smaller acreages, biodiversity is also preserved. As an example of the importance of biodiversity, the potato famine in Ireland would not have happened if the farmers had not relied soley on one species. They have since learned from this experience but other nations, especially North American ones, have not. Many organic farmers have long been aware of this problem and have collected, preserved, and grown a large variety of seeds.
Critics to organic farming say that the method cannot match yields produced by conventional agriculture. However, a study funded by the USDA and published in Nature found that the organic system produced better soil quality, comparable yields, greater energy efficiency, better tasting produce, and higher profits. For example, a 1999 study conducted at Iowa State University found that organic soybean farmers earned a profit of $482.30 per acre compared with $91.02 earned by conventional soybean farmers.
Articles about the importance of the rural community