Evaluating Availability and Barriers of Farmland to New and Beginning Farmers

Worksite Location
CCE Cayuga County (with the ability to drive within NYS)
Faculty Sponsor
Jenny Ifft, Assistant Professor, Applied Economics and Management
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Judy Wright, Resource Educator, CCE Cayuga County
Stipend Amount
$4,000
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

New and beginning farmers state that they have difficulties identifying farmland suitable of their operation, and once located, find the cost to be prohibitive. This project is part of a three-year Hatch award, with year one beginning this fall. During year one, we intend to interview new and beginning farmers statewide with an online survey and then follow-up with focus groups or one-on-one personal interviews to validate the survey results. The data collected will then inform a 'publication' on how new and beginning farmers are obtaining farmland.

Roles and Responsibilities

We would like a student intern to assist with the year one data gathering. Two key tasks would be developing the on-line survey as well as conducting the focus groups and/or one-on-one interviews following any necessary training and initial practice with Judy Wright of CCE Cayuga County. Sources for locating new farmers will involve contacting ag related organizations such as Farm Credit, Farm Net, etc. to create their buy-in and seek their assistance in having new and beginning farmers participate.

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

Must be a full-time CALS freshman, sophomore or junior. Graduating seniors are not eligible. Must meet NYS Department of Motor Vehicle requirement, if applicable.

The ideal intern will have farm background and knowledge so they can communicate with farmers; in addition to having good interpersonal skills for developing conversations in focus groups and one-on-one interviews. They should be able to clearly communicate via writing and on the phone and ideally have experience developing online surveys. This person should also have reliable transportation and be able to find their way in rural communities.

Benefits and Skills

The intern will gain experience in developing a survey instrument and analyzing results in addition to organizing and conducting focus groups. Assuming significant progress is made, they will also be able to write parts or all of the findings into a publishable report for a location(s) still to be determined.