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Initial Questions

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INITIAL QUESTIONS

How would you describe your role in this farm operation?

Role in Farm Operation Frequency %
I am the primary decision maker on the farm 184 54.1
I share decision making with my spouse or domestic partner 83 24.4
I share decision making with one or more other relative(s) 34 10.0
I share decision making with one or more non-family business partner(s) 14 4.1
I am a hired farm manager with no ownership interest in the farm 19 5.6
Other * 6 1.8
TOTAL 340 100.0
Nonresponses = 16

* “Other” responses included: non-profit director, field representative for seed company, researcher, organic production supervisor for multiple operations

How did you begin farming organically?

Frequency %
I transitioned from “conventional” (non-organic) farming methods 174 51.9
I did not transition – I have always farmed organically 138 41.2
Other * 23 6.9
TOTAL 335 100.0
Nonresponses = 21

* “Other” responses included: bought organic farm, rent organic farm, cropping system allowed direct certification, developed new ground, transitioned from mostly organic

Which of the following products were certified organically produced on your farm in 2007?

Certified Organic Products % of Respondents Growing/Raising Products
Tree fruit 44.5
Vegetables, melons, or potatoes 36.5
Small berries or grapes 31.0
Forage (hay, pasture, silage) 23.0
Herbs 22.7
Poultry or eggs 8.3
Nursery, greenhouse, or floriculture 7.8
Milk or other dairy products from cows 7.5
Grains or oilseeds 6.9
Other crops * 6.9
Cattle or calves 6.3
Dry beans or dry peas 4.0
Tree nuts 4.0
Hogs or pigs 1.1
Honey 0.6
Other animals or their products ** 0.6
Goats or their products 0.3

* “Other crops” included: vegetable seeds, mushrooms, hops, garlic
** “Other animals or their products” included: rabbit wool, turkeys, manure

Which product represents the largest portion of your 2007 gross organic farm income?

Certified Organic Products Frequency %
Tree fruit 110 32.4
Vegetables, melons, or potatoes 81 23.9
Small berries or grapes 48 14.2
Milk or other dairy products from cows 23 6.8
Forage (hay, pasture, silage) 17 5.0
Herbs 14 4.1
Other crops 14 4.1
Grains or oilseeds 10 2.9
Cattle or calves 9 2.7
Poultry or eggs 9 2.7
Nursery, greenhouse, or floriculture 2 0.6
Tree nuts 1 0.3
Hogs or pigs 1 0.3
TOTAL 339 100.0
Nonresponses = 17

How important were each of the following factors in your decision to farm organically?

Factors Mean Scores on a Scale from 1 (“Not Important”) to 5 (“Very Important”)
Price premiums for certified organic products 4.07
Consumer demand for organic products 4.06
Economic sustainability of farm 4.05
Land stewardship / environmental sustainability 4.04
Quality of organically grown produce 3.85
Health of consumers 3.81
Personal, family, or farm worker health 3.71
Community values / quality of life 3.65
Challenging, intellectually appealing 3.34
Reduced dependency on large corporations 3.24
Philosophical or spiritual reasons 3.22
Local marketing opportunities for certified organic products 3.18
Means of farm diversification 2.99
Customer or buyer required organic certification 2.98
Humane treatment of animals 2.94
Interest in learning new production methods 2.94
Desire to pass farm on to next generation 2.91
Social justice / equity concerns 2.71
Opportunities to network with other farmers 2.65
Reduced input costs 2.38
Overseas marketing opportunities for certified organic products 1.81
Nonresponses ranged from 8 to 25

How many years has your farm been certified organic?

Number of Years Certified Organic Frequency %
Less than 1 year 53 16.5
1-2 years 55 17.1
3-5 years 63 19.6
6-9 years 66 20.5
10-19 years 70 21.7
20 years or more 15 4.7
TOTAL 322 100.0
Mean years certified organic = 7.2
Nonresponses = 34

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