Abstract  Commodity agriculture and civic agriculture represent two distinct types of farming found in the U.S. today. Commodity agriculture is grounded on the belief that the primary objectives of farming should be to produce as much food/fiber as possible for the least cost. It is driven by the twin goals of productivity and efficiency. Civic agriculture, on the other hand, represents the rebirth of a more locally oriented agriculture and food system. Using data from the 1992 and 1997 Censuses of Agriculture and other secondary data sets, we examine factors and conditions associated with the presence and growth of both types of agriculture. Our findings show that civic agriculture is associated with particular commodities and with specific social, economic and demographic characteristics of localities. Commodity agriculture, on the other hand, is more sensitive to the classic economic factors of production, namely, land, labor, and capital.