ERIC Number: ED331680
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Farm Family Adaptations to Severe Economic Distress: Indiana. Results of the 1989 Regional Farm Survey.
Barnard, Freddie 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 337 Indiana farm operators (a 24% response rate) and 289 spouses (a 21% 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 52.1 years. About 27% of respondents had some postsecondary education. In 1988, 4% of respondents had negative net family income, while 51% had family incomes below $30,000. Average farm size was 489 acres. Most respondents believed that, over the last 5 years, local services, facilities, job opportunities, and quality of life factors had improved or stayed about the same; 31% and 24% saw improvement in adult education and quality of schools. Over half believed that financial conditions for farmers had gotten worse, but respondents were equally divided as to whether financial conditions would improve, stay the same, or deteriorate in the next 5 years. Half of farmers responded to hard times by postponing major purchases; 23% decreased savings for their children's education. Over half of respondents worked fulltime 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 and reducing costs through low-input farming. Spouses were highly involved in farm operations and decisionmaking. This report contains 15 data tables. (SV)
Descriptors: Attitudes, Behavior Change, 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, 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; Indiana
Note: For related reports, see RC 018 075, RC 018 078, and RC 018 136-144. Each report in this series contains a section on "Information and Training Needs." Part of regional research project NC-184.