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This paper briefly outlines a topology of small farms and then considers the role of the government versus the market in key public policies such as commodity income support, environment, stability, research, and rural development. A number of options are explored for public policy to better serve small farms, including drastic alternatives such as graduated property taxes on farmland, with exemptions or lower rates for small farms. These and other alternatives are not necessarily recommended. Improved extension education and human resource development offer some of the most promising public policy opportunities to help small farmers.


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