Farming Alternatives: Results of A Survey of Cooperative Extension Field Staff Regarding Alternative Farming Enterprises
Grudens Schuck, Nancy; Knoblauch, Wayne A.; Green, Judith
A 1986 survey of NYS Cooperative Extension field staff, conducted by the Farming Alternatives Project, indicated that there is a large and underserved population of farm and rural families in need of support and educational programs in the area of farm diversification, development of alternative enterprises, and innovative marketing strategies. The survey suggested that a conservative estimate of the number of farm and rural families in New York State needing programs and information in this area is 1,700 families. A second recent study conducted by Bruce and McGonigal of Cornell University surveyed the farming population and concluded that approximately twenty-five percent of New York State farm families are considering either adding or changing enterprises in the near future. Using New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets population figures for farms in New York State, the number of farmers needing program support in the area of farm diversification and new enterprise development was estimated to be 3,300. This figure excludes, however, nonfarming rural familiestherefore, the total number of families needing assistance in this area may be even greater than 3,300 clients.
A.E. Ext. 87-12
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University