ERIC Number: ED331655
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Farm Family Adaptations to Severe Economic Distress: North Dakota. Results of the 1989 Regional Farm Survey.
Ekstrom, Brenda L.; And Others
During the farm crisis of the 1980s, many midwestern farm families suffered financial distress, but by 1989 an uneven financial recovery was under way. This report summaries data collected from 273 North Dakota farm operators (a 39% response) and 232 spouses (a 33% response) as part of a large survey conducted in 12 North Central states. The purpose of the survey was to identify farm families' adaptation pattern, information and education needs, and opinions on rural development. Operators had an average age of 49.5 years, and most respondents had attained at least a high school diploma. In 1988, 8% of respondents had negative net family income, while average family income fell in the range of $10,000-$19,999. Average farm size was 1,265 acres. Most respondents believed that, over the last 5 years, job opportunities had gotten worse, but local services and quality of life factors had stayed about the same. Over 70% believed that financial conditions for farmers and agribusinesses had gotten worse, and about half thought that conditions would continue to deteriorate. Most farmers responded to hard times by postponing major purchases, changing transportation patterns, and cutting back on charitable contributions; 44% decreased savings for their children's education. Over half of farmers and spouses worked fulltime off the farm for part of the year; 18% had participated in vocational education or retraining, but a majority thought it was not helpful. Highly rated information and training needs were concerned with marketing skills, available government assistance, and reducing costs through low-input farming. Spouses were highly involved in farm operations and decisionmaking, and experienced considerable farm-related stress. This report contains 15 data tables. (SV)
Descriptors: Attitudes, Community Services, Coping, Economic Change, Economic Impact, Economic Status, Educational Needs, Family Income, Farmers, Financial Problems, Information Needs, Quality of Life, Rural Farm Residents, Spouses, State Surveys, Stress Variables, Tables (Data)
North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, 317D East Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011 ($3.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, Ames, IA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Farm Crisis; Farm Women; North Dakota
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society (Seattle, WA, August 5-8, 1989). For related reports, see RC 018 075 and RC 018 136-145. Each report in this series contains a section on "Information and Training Needs." Part of regional research project NC-184.