To a large extent, changes in the structure of livestock production and the movement of nonfarmers into formerly rural and agricultural areas at the rural urban interface have occurred independently. As concerns about the environmental, economic, and quality-of-life impacts of large-scale livestock have emerged at the national, state, and local level, it is apparent that future changes in the structure of livestock production will need increasingly to be sensitive to patterns of population settlement. The pattern of some livestock production locating to sparsely populated regions with reduced environmental regula-tion may be an effective short-term strategy, but may have the long-term effect of increasing pressure at the national level for stricter environmental rules, as well as lead to greater delegation of power to local communities to manage and direct agricultural development in the communities, such as through zoning. Finding the proper balance between agricultural and residential interests may be difficult, but success or failure in finding that balance could have significant impacts on the future location of livestock production in North America and other regions of the world.
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