ERIC Number: ED331676
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Farm Family Adaptations to Severe Economic Distress: Minnesota. Results of the 1989 Regional Farm Survey.
Olson, Kent D.; Mikesell, Chris L.
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 275 Minnesota farm operators (a 39% response rate) and 245 spouses (a 35% 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. Farm operators had an average age of 48.5 years and average educational attainment of 12.2 years. In 1988, 3% of respondents had negative net family income, while two-thirds had family incomes below $30,000. Average farm size was 441 acres. Most respondents believed that, over the last 5 years, local services, facilities, and quality of life factors had improved or stayed about the same; 43% and 21% saw improvement in adult education opportunities and quality of schools, respectively. About 60% believed that financial conditions for farmers had gotten worse, and 44% thought that conditions would continue to deteriorate. About half responded to hard times by postponing major purchases, using savings for living expenses, or cutting back on charitable contributions; 40% decreased savings for their children's education. About 35% of farmers and 38.5% of spouses worked off the farm; 16% had participated in vocational education or retraining and the majority thought it was somewhat or very helpful. Few farmers expressed strong information and training needs; the most highly rated need was concerned with using new technologies. Half of spouses were highly involved in farm operations and decisionmaking. This report contains 25 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; Minnesota
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.