Data from a 1979 New York survey were analyzed to develop a systematic multivariate typology of small farmers (i.e., operators of small farm businesses) which would be useful in designing and targeting public program. Farm business size, operator's age, and off-farm employment were the most important dimensions of variation. A typology was constructed by successive dichotomization of low and moderate sales volume farms; operators 49 years of age and under, and 50 and over; and families with and without off-farm income. Means for economic and social indicators were computed for each of the resulting eight categories. Low sales volume farm families with relatively old operators and without off-farm employment were found to experience very low total family incomes. Suggestions are made regarding how public extension and research program:; may be developed and targeted with specific categories of the most needy small farmers in mind.


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