Breaking new ground: Puget Sound agriculture
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Farmers in Western Washington experience challenges when making business decisions. Among these challenges are regulations, input prices, and development pressures. With these challenges has come opportunity for the development of common ground. It is this potential for common ground which this research seeks to explore. Specifically, this study will explore the role of regulation (policy) and perceived profitability (beliefs/optimism) of the future of farming here. The research will provide insights on the influence of land use management regulations on farmers (optimism about the future) and their subsequent business decisions. Implications of these findings will be applied to understanding local food production, the economy, and food security. A In order to investigate these factors, a survey questionnaire containing 25 quantitative questions was delivered to 37 farmers or their proxies identified at farmers markets in the Seattle area representing farmers from around the region and many types of farms. Findings suggest that the relationship between “I intend to continue farming for the next five years” and “I believe that agriculture has a bright future” generated a moderate direct relationship. No statistically significant relationships were found relating “I have plans for nonfarm development of my land” with what factors contribute to a farmers decision to not farm. Statistically significant relationships between independent variables concerning this question were generated however.
- MA in Policy Studies