ERIC Number: ED225758
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
A Niche for Small-Scale Farmers: Report of a Five-State Survey.
Young, John A.
This paper reports on a survey of 221 small-scale farmers conducted in 5 western states. Despite the current productive dominance of large farms, an argument can be made that small-scale farming is desirable both for social and ecological reasons. Discussion focuses on the tradition-oriented goals and values of small-scale farmers, special problems associated with smallness of scale, diverse sources of income, cost-minimization and risk reduction strategies, and determinants of financial viability. Results indicate that there are economic penalties attached to heavy investments of time and resources by respondents who attempt to make a living primarily by farming. In most cases nonfarm sources of income are necessary to offset insufficient farm income and provide the bulk of the support for the household. It is concluded that institutional change should be directed toward increasing the financial rewards for farming on a small scale rather than encouraging farmers to incur the risks associated with expanded scale of operation. Six appendices with a total of 34 tables conclude the document. (Author/BRR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Western Rural Development Center, Corvallis, OR.; Oregon State Univ., Corvallis. Agricultural Experiment Station.
Identifiers: Colorado; Economies of Scale; Government Citizen Relationship; Hawaii; Independent Behavior; Montana; New Mexico; Oregon; Small Farms; United States (West)