ERIC Number: ED331673
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Farm Family Adaptations to Severe Economic Distress: Nebraska. Results of the 1989 Regional Farm Survey.
Johnson, Bruce B.
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 230 Nebraska farm operators (a 23% response rate) and 222 spouses (a 22% response rate) 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 educational needs, and opinions on rural development. Operators had an average age of 50.5 years; about a third of operators and half of spouses had some postsecondary education. In 1988, 5% of respondents had negative net family income, while 40% had incomes in the range of $20,000-$39,999. Most respondents believed that, over the last 5 years, their own financial condition had improved and that local services, facilities, economic conditions, and quality of life factors had improved or stayed about the same. During times of financial need, 39-58% postponed major purchases, changed transportation patterns, cut back on charitable contributions, and used savings for living expenses; 27% decreased saving for their children's education. About 22% of farmers and 37% of spouses worked off the farm; 14% had participated in vocational education or retraining, but most thought it was not helpful. Highly rated information and training needs were concerned with marketing skills, understanding government assistance, and bookkeeping and financial records. 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; Nebraska
Note: For related reports, see RC 018 075, RC 018 078, 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.