ERIC Number: ED331679
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Farm Family Adaptations to Severe Economic Distress: Iowa. Results of the 1989 Regional Farm Survey.
Lasley, Paul; Fellows, Jacqueline
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 311 Iowa farm operators (a 31% response rate) and 288 spouses (a 29% 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 50 years, and most respondents had attained at least a high school diploma. In 1988, 4% of respondents had negative net family income, while 59% had family incomes below $30,000. Average farm size was 371 acres. Respondents were about equally divided as to whether local services, facilities, and quality of life factors had improved, worsened, or stayed about the same. About 42% believed that financial conditions for farmers had gotten worse, and 40% thought that conditions 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; 35% decreased savings for their children's education. About 33% of farmers and 43% of spouses worked off the farm; 12% had participated in vocational education or retraining but most thought it was unhelpful. Highly rated information and training needs were concerned with marketing skills and reducing costs through low-input farming. Spouses were highly involved in farm operations and decisionmaking, and experienced some farm- and work-related stress. 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; Iowa
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.