Many people, including some farmers, fear that America's farms will someday be mostly owned and managed by giant corporations. I don't share that concern.
True, there are some huge corporations managing farms and some are controlling several of the in-between, value added steps such as, in the beef industry, for instance, producing, slaughtering, packaging, transporting and selling beef.But these instances are few.
Most corporations are shying away from farming because investments are too high, risks too great, profits too slim - and losses too abundant.
Farming was the first so-called cottage industry and remains today a natural for small, beginning business people. After a decade of economic slump and hundreds of thousands of farm foreclosures and bankruptcies, few youths and few businessmen and women are finding agriculture attractive - but I believe this will change.
What will cause the change? An upswing in farm profits, the availability of farmable land, relatively low-priced farmland, disillusionment with big-city businesses and professions, and giant strides in science and biotechnology.
In the future, many people may be at work on small farms - many more than we've ever had in America.
They will be farming for profits, certainly, and a livelihood, but probably just as important, they will be seeking a lifestyle that they enjoy more than living in a city or suburb, driving or commuting to work every day in a crowded business center and the pressures of modern commerce and industry.
Look at the classified section of the Deseret News on Fridays and you'll see hundreds of low-cost Housing and Urban Development homes for sale.
Most of these are in Salt Lake City and its suburbs - but the same kinds of ads are in newspapers all over Utah. There are scores of inexpensive bargain homes for sale in small towns in every part of the state.
Land is available near these small towns and it wouldn't surprise me if sooner or later young couples gravitate to rural Utah to try their hands at farming.
Cheap homes and relatively inexpensive land is one reason. One can live on a farm or, as is done in Europe, live in town and farm outside town a few miles. I think the same thing is going to happen all over America in the next decade or two.
There is no denying the satisfactions of working the soil, growing things, being in the outdoors and being part of nature and the seasons and battling weather and the elements.
For a lot of people, living with nature is going to beat out being stuck in an office all day pushing papers around, nursing a telephone ear, trying to please a demanding boss and trying to make a computer do what you want it to do.
The so-called Back to the Earth movement of the 1960s and 1970s has lain dormant for a decade, but it may return with a roar as we near the end of the century.
Vegetable gardening on a few acres or farming on 20, 40 or 100 acres should become more popular as science and biotechnology make growing things easier.
As science teaches us how to make the land more productive, how to save the land from erosion and depletion, and how to grow more abundant crops and healthier animals with less energy and less cost, it will simply be easier and easier to be a farmer.
This will, ultimately, be one of the greatest gifts that science, technology and biochemistry can offer man.
As more and more people retire earlier and with more vigor and health and more years of life ahead of them, they will look for a second life and a second career on small farms where they can live comfortably and quietly and enjoy growing things.
Many books and articles have been written about the joys of farming, but none is better than the books of the late Louis Bromfield about his Malabar Farm in Ohio.
On just 100 acres or so of worn-out land, he built a magnificent, highly productive farm. He loved being a farmer. I know other Americans will, too.