[Market-farming] [Fwd: Diversified Farm and Ranch Study]

Lucy Goodman goodows at infinet.com
Mon Jan 20 17:11:34 EST 2003

prtrmail at msu.edu wrote:
> To:     Boulder Belt Organics
> From:   Dr. Ed Mahoney
> Project Coordinator
> Diversified Farm and Ranch Study
> I am writing you to specially invite your participation in an exciting new study that Michigan State University is undertaking to better understand the characteristics and performance of diversified farms and ranches throughout the U.S. and Canada. The study, which is being funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service, is designed to collect a variety of information on the characteristics of farmers and ranchers who have diversified their revenues by adding new enterprises including: value added processing (e.g. jams, wine); packaging and shipping, recreation, lodging (e.g. B&B's, ranch vacations), educational programming, and even leasing their farms or ranches for hunting.
> This study is important because while we know that many farmers and ranchers across the U.S. and Canada are attempting to diversify their revenues by adding new enterprises, there has not yet been a widespread study of this important trend.  Nor has a comprehensive list of diversified farms and ranches been compiled. For example, there is not scientific information to indicate whether or not diversified farms and ranches are successfully meeting their diversification goals, e.g., employment for family members.  The lack of information is hindering the development of policies and programs, e.g., incentives, to promote and support diversification of farmers and ranchers.
> The information that is collected on this Web-based survey parallels in important ways information that is collected through the U.S. Census of Agriculture. Similar information is also collected by agriculture agencies in Canada.  Identifying diversified farms and ranches and collecting similar information to that collected in the Census of Agriculture will enable us to make various comparisons with farms and ranches that are not diversified.  Although you will be completing this survey in 2003, it is important to remember that we are asking for information about 2002. Please provide information pertaining to 2002, not what you expect or plan to do in 2003.
> This recruitment email is being sent to approximately 900 diversified farms and ranches. We obtained the emails from various sources, primarily by searching the Web to identify farms and ranches that have diversified their revenues.  As part of the study, we are also developing a database including the webpage addresses of farms and ranches that have diversified by adding new enterprises.
> We know that YOUR TIME IS VALUABLE and LIMITED!  At the same time, we are attempting to gather sufficient information that will be useful to diversified farms and ranches, and also for setting policies to encourage and support diversification.  Recognizing this, we have made a great effort to design the survey so it is easy to navigate and convenient to complete.  The questions are easy to complete by clicking on a response or entering a short answer response.   When you click on the submit button you automatically transmit your answers to us.
> We are unable to offer you any monetary incentives to complete the survey.  However, all participants who complete the survey will be emailed a report of the findings from the study within a couple of months.  Because the answers that you provide are automatically recorded in our database when you press the submit button, we will be able to complete the analysis and get the results out to you within a couple of months.  We also plan to provide persons who complete the survey access to the reports on our web site.   It is very important that you provide your correct email address so that we can send you the report as soon as it is completed.
> Your privacy will be protected to the maximum extent allowable by law. When you send back your completed survey, our system will separate any information that identifies your farm and ranch from the answers that you supply. There will be no way to associate your farm or ranch with the answers that you supply.  We hope that you will complete all the questions, but you are under no obligation to do so.  If you want to learn more about our privacy policies and your rights as participants, please go to MSU-UCRIHS.
> Please, if you know of any other diversified farms and ranches, forward this email to them, or if you prefer email us their email and/or Web address.  My email address is prtrmail at msu.edu.  This will also help us identify more diversified farms and ranches and help us to increase our response rate.  In addition, we will also develop a web site with pertinent information regarding diversification of farms and ranches.
> I hope that you will join us in successfully completing this important study. If you have any questions or suggestions please email me and we will be back in touch with you as soon as possible, often that same day. We need your help!
> Please, click the link provided below to complete the Farm and Ranch Diversification Survey.
> http://www.prr.msu.edu/agriculture/DiversifiedSurvey.htm
> Sincerely,
> Dr. Ed Mahoney
> Diversified Farm and Ranch Project Coordinator
> College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
> Michigan State University
> East Lansing, Michigan

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<br>Lucy Goodman
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<br>Boulder Belt Organics
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