John Ikerd, Ph.D. is professor emeritus of Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Dr.Ikerd spent 30 years in various professorial positions at North Carolina State University, Oklahoma State University, University of Georgia, and the University of Missouri.
In 1942, most farmers were "organic" by default. Agrichemicals were not widely available until the late 1940s, born out of World War II military technology. Today, organic farming is a choice—a chosen philosophy of life as much as a method of production. True organic farming is based on nature's principles of production—on farming in harmony with the earth rather than in an attempt to conquer it. Integrated, diverse farming systems, often including crops and livestock, are designed to capture solar energy, recycle waste, and regenerate the natural productivity of the soil.
True organic farmers also believe in treating workers fairly and in cooperating rather than competing. Healthy foods, a healthy environment, caring communities, and a strong society are the natural rewards of pursuing an organic philosophy.
See to this topic, the movie "Broken Limbs":
BROKEN LIMBS explores these hopeful stirrings within agriculture, and outlines ways in which any individual can play a role in saving America’s farmers. Told from a hometown perspective, the film presents the stories of farmers attempting to create this new model for agriculture and emerging, more sustainable solutions to the crises of recent years – solutions applicable not just to apples and not just to farming, but to nearly any sector of the American economy troubled by the effects of consolidation and globalization.