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Kolkhoz was a form of collective farm in the Soviet Union. Kolkhozes existed along with state farms or sovkhoz, plural sovkhozes. These were the two components of the socialized farm sector that began to emerge in Soviet agriculture after the October Revolution of 1917, as an antithesis to individual or family farming.The 1920s were characterized by spontaneous emergence of collective farms, under influence of traveling propaganda workers. Initially a collective farm resembled an updated version of the traditional Russian “commune”, the generic “farming association” (zemledel’cheskaya artel’), the association for joint cultivation of land (TOZ), and finally the kolkhoz. This gradual shift to collective farming in the first 15 years after the October Revolution was turned into a "violent stampede" during the forced collectivization campaign that began in 1928.The word is a contraction of коллекти́вное хозя́йство (kollektivnoye khozyaystvo), suggesting collective ownership. On the other hand, sovkhoz is a contraction of советское хозяйство (sovetskoye khozyaystvo), suggesting state ownership. (Note that the second word is the same in both cases - thus, Kol-khoz and Sov-khoz.)

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