Farmer perspectives on success and challenges : a study of small farms in Oregon's Willamette Valley Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/tx31qp21n

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  • This thesis investigates the success of and challenges facing small farmers operating direct marketing farm businesses in Oregon's Willamette Valley. This qualitative study utilizes participatory methods to gain the unique perspectives of small farmers regarding their success and challenges. Small farms are important players in local food systems and ensuring their success is an important part of expanding and sustaining local food systems. Findings provide a framework describing four dimensions of small farm success: social, operational, quality of life, and financial. The farmers in this study see financial success as a vital component of overall success, but acknowledge that financial success is not itself a success if achieved to the exclusion of other dimensions of success. This study developed four models for how small farmers perceive financial success: financial success as the baseline of overall success, equal dimensions of success, interdependent dimensions of success, and financial success as a gauge of overall success. Impeding small farm success are internal and external challenges that small farmers must navigate through the negotiation of the farm system and scale. Beginning and experienced farmers face the same challenges, but beginning farmers report internal challenges, land access, and access to capital at greater rates than experienced farmers. Experienced farmers speak more frequently about policy and regulations, and labor as challenges. Findings improve understanding of these innovative businesses, with implications for research, education, and small farm planning.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2015-01-05T16:55:32Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 2 license_rdf: 1536 bytes, checksum: df76b173e7954a20718100d078b240a8 (MD5) PoolKristinE2014.pdf: 2723808 bytes, checksum: 789f365d44fc1e94e566106e7470f83f (MD5)
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