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Abstract

Small farms and ranches represent 90% of all farms in the Intermountain West and hence, their long-term success and viability is important to the economic survival of their communities and the supply of local foods to direct and retail markets. The success of small farms is seemingly enhanced by the growing consumer demand for fresh, local foods, expansion of direct market outlets, access to and use of smaller fragmented lands, production of high-value crops, as well as multiple-enterprise or diversified activities such as agritourism and farms stands/stores. However, recent USDA reports show a lack of profitability or sustainability among small farms in the U.S. This study examines common success factors among small-scale diversified farms in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada using producer survey data collected in 2012. Study results will discuss relevant measures of success, as well as the operation’s owner, financial, land, market, and other attributes found to be most common in determining long-term success.

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