Are Farmers of the Middle Distinctively “Good Stewards?” Evidence from the Missouri Farm Poll, 2006

In this paper we consider the question of whether middle-scale farmers, which we define as producers generating between $100,000 and $250,000 in sales annually, are better agricultural stewards than small and large-scale producers. Our study is motivated by the argument of some commentators that farmers of this class ought to be protected in part because of the unique attitudes and values they possess regarding what constitutes a “good farmer”. We present results of a survey of Missouri farmers designed to assess farmer attitudes and values regarding a variety of indicators of farmer stewardship, such as the most important issues in agriculture, environment and treatment of farm animals, perspectives on the past and future of agriculture, and ethical behavior. We find no evidence that farmers-of-the-middle are particularly noteworthy in these regards. We do find evidence, however, that middle-scale farmers are more pessimistic and anxious about their role in the future of agriculture.

Issue Date:
Oct 14 2009
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
Record Identifier:
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Total Pages:
Series Statement:
Working Papers
AEWP 2009-06

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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