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Abstract

This study analyzes the dynamics of direct-to-consumer marketing by U.S. farms using data from the U.S. Census of Agriculture. We analyze transition probabilities across categories of states based on the value of direct-to-consumer sales. Census-to-Census transition matrices shows high transition rates toward no direct sales amongst farmers. Our findings indicate that farmers do not necessarily have a strong commitment to direct-to-consumer marketing channels, particularly for very small farms that are also livestock farms. Probit models indicate that farmers who continue to engage in direct marketing are more likely to have a higher proportion of direct-to-consumer sales to all sales, are more likely to produce fruit or vegetablesand less likely to produce livestock in comparison to other crops, and are more likely to be larger farms. These results inform policy makers about the dynamics in direct-to-consumer marketing by U.S. farmers.

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