ERIC Number: ED331678
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Farm Family Adaptations to Severe Economic Distress: Kansas. Results of the 1989 Regional Farm Survey.
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 342 Kansas farm operators (a 34% response rate) and 313 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 54.5 years. About 38% of operators and 45% of spouses had some postsecondary education. In 1988, 5% of respondents had negative net family income, while 55% had family incomes under $30,000. Most farms were larger than 500 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; about 32% and 28%, respectively, saw improvements in adult education opportunities and quality of schools. About 55% believed that financial conditions for farmers had gotten worse, and 41% thought that conditions would continue to deteriorate. Most farmers responded to hard times by postponing major purchases, using savings for living expenses, or changing transportation patterns; 28% decreased savings for their children's education. About a third of farmers and 41% of spouses worked off the farm; 10% had participated in vocational education or retraining, but most thought it was unhelpful. Highly rated information and training needs were concerned with marketing skills, using new technologies, and reducing costs through low-input farming. Spouses were highly involved in farm operations and decisionmaking, and experienced considerable farm-related stress. This report contains 19 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; Kansas
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.