Introduction

Social conflict at the rural urban interface is not new, but the increased scale of livestock production facilities and the geographic concentration of production in some regions of the United States have become headline news as communities and various levels of government seek to balance the needs of agriculture and the desires of local, nonfarm residents. As federal, state, and local governments struggle to develop policies to mitigate some of the social and environmental concerns associated with livestock production, some farmers are also attempting to develop positive social relations with nonfarm neighbors to allay some of the fears and annoyances. This article explores some of the challenges associated with livestock production at the rural urban interface, beginning with background about some of the population and agricultural changes contributing to conflicts and then reviewing some of the impacts of large-scale livestock production facilities. The article also describes some of the policy and farmer responses aimed at mitigating the impacts and concerns associated with livestock development.

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