Factors Influencing Successful Small-Farm Operations in North Carolina

The overall goal of this research project is to identify and refine factors influencing successful small farm operations in North Carolina. Small farms account for 91 percent of all farms. Given the importance of small farm viability, this research project focuses on identifying ways to further enhance successful small farming in North Carolina. In an effort to further explain the factors that affect successful small-scale farming, researchers have identified factors that have underpinnings in 1) small-farm educational programming; 2) small-scale agricultural enterprises and production practices; 3) alternative marketing; and 4) risk management. Although this research project includes several surveys, for this phase of the project the survey instrument solicited production and financial data, attitudes and beliefs about farming, as well as demographic questions. The research instrument was distributed to a sampling frame that also included small farmers not identified as being successful. Outcomes of this project yielded possible ways to further enhance the success of small farms in North Carolina. Based on case study and questionnaire results, income was not found to be as important as believed and the overall, “love of farming,” seemed to be the driving force behind the farmer’s view of success and not profit. The small farm may represent an individual business enterprise but in reality represents a family business whose success is often measured in qualifiers indicators rather than business quantifiers.

Issue Date:
Jan 14 2011
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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