Economic shifts in agriculture due to mechanization and industrial growth
Pearsall argues that mechanization, not industrial growth, drove people from agricultural business. He contends that the economic security of industrial jobs have provided workers a means to remain on their land.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Mack Pearsall, May 25, 1988. Interview C-0057. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Full Text of the Excerpt
- WALTER E. CAMPBELL:
Did you lose any of your farmers to Abbott Laboratories, or most stayed
on the land? Do you know?
- MACK PEARSALL:
Well, I think that's happened more in the last few years,
Walter, than it did earlier. I think there was a mind-set among many
people in agriculture that industry was going to steal the best labor,
and for that reason, the two could not coexist. I think those people in
agriculture today recognize that while that did happen, mechanization,
in fact, ran more people off the land than the arrival of industry did.
That even today, today even more so, they are appreciative of the fact
that with the type stress that has taken place in agriculture in the
last few years, that there are places that people can go to work in this
area without having to pick up like the Okies did and move far away. I
mean, I think that many of those people who viewed industrialization as
a negative back then, now see it to be very positive, and it allows them
to remain in the area and be employed. When in fact, if they had to rely
on their income from agriculture, they
couldn't possibly make it. So it's been an
interesting loop back.