ERIC Number: ED331677
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Farm Family Adaptations to Severe Economic Distress: Michigan. Results of the 1989 Regional Farm Survey.
Moser, Colletta H.; Vlasin, Raymond D.
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 331 Michigan farm operators (a 33% response rate) and 319 spouses (a 31% 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 52.7 years, and most respondents had attained at least a high school diploma. In 1988, 9% of respondents had negative net family income, while 56% had family incomes under $30,000. Average farm size was 248 acres. Most respondents believed that, over the last 5 years, local services, facilities, and quality of life factors had stayed about the same; 39% saw improvement in adult education, but 22% saw declines in quality of schools. About 70% believed that financial conditions for farmers had gotten worse, and 46% thought that conditions would continue to deteriorate. Most farmers responded to hard times by postponing major purchases or using savings for living expenses; 28% decreased savings for their children's education. About 40% of farmers and spouses worked off the farm; 11% had participated in vocational education or retraining, but most thought it was unhelpful. Highly rated information and training needs were concerned with using new technologies and appropriate conservation techniques and reducing costs through low-input farming. Spouses were highly involved in farm operations and decisionmaking, and experienced considerable farm- and work-related stress. This report contains 16 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.; Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Agricultural Experiment Station.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Farm Crisis; Farm Women; Michigan
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.