ERIC Number: ED331674
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Farm Family Adaptations to Severe Economic Distress: Wisconsin. Results of the 1989 Regional Farm Survey.
Saupe, William E.; Eisenhauer, Janet
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 622 Wisconsin farm operators (a 39% response rate) and 525 spouses 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 50.4 years. About a quarter of farmers and a third of spouses had some postsecondary education. In 1988, 7% of respondents had negative net family income, while about half had family incomes in the range of $10,000-$29,999. Most respondents believed that, over the last 5 years, local services, facilities, and quality of life factors had improved or stayed the same; 33% and 26%, respectively, saw improvements in adult education opportunities and quality of schools. Over 76% of operators believed that financial conditions for farmers had gotten worse and would continue to deteriorate. Most farmers responded to hard times by postponing major purchases, using savings for living expenses, and cutting back on charitable contributions; 32% decreased savings for their children's education. About 40% of farmers and spouses worked off the farm; 18% had participated in vocational education or retraining and most thought it was somewhat helpful. Highly rated information and training needs were concerned with reducing costs through low-input farming and using new technologies. Spouses were highly involved in farm operations and decisionmaking, and experienced considerable farm- and work-related stress. This report contains 18 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: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Coll. of Agricultural and Life Sciences.; North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, Ames, IA.; Wisconsin Univ., Madison, Univ. Extension.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Farm Crisis; Farm Women; Wisconsin
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.