ERIC Number: ED331671
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Farm Family Adaptations to Severe Economic Distress: South Dakota. Results of the 1989 Regional Farm Survey.
Stover, Ronald G.; Stover, Penny W.
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 summarizes data collected from 207 South Dakota farm operators (a 29.6% response) and 182 spouses (a 26% response) as part of large survey conducted in 12 North Central states. The purpose of the survey was to identify farm families' adaptation pattern, information and educational needs, and opinions on rural development. Operators had an average age of 51.6 years, and 82% operated farms of 500 acres or more. About a third of operators and half of spouses had some postsecondary education. In 1988, 6% of respondents had negative net family income, while about half had incomes in the range of $10,000-$19,999. Most respondents believed that, over the last 5 years, local services and quality of life factors had stayed about the same. About half believed that financial conditions for farmers had gotten worse, but over half reported that their own family finances had become better. Responses to financial need by 39-58% of respondents included postponing major purchases, changing transportation patterns, cutting back on charitable contributions, and using savings to meet living expenses; 29% decreased savings for their children's education. Highly rated information and training needs were concerned with marketing skills, new technologies, and reducing costs through low-input farming. Spouses were highly involved in farm operations and decisionmaking, and experienced considerable stress related to farming risks and balancing work and family responsibilities. 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
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, Ames, IA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Farm Crisis; Farm Women; South Dakota
Note: For related reports, see RC 018 075, RC 018 078, and RC 018 137-145. Each report in this series contains a section on "Information and Training Needs." Part of regional research project NC-184.