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Do Consumers Support Farms with Beginning and Female Farmers?

New research released by AAEA members and President in JAAEA

Between 2013 and 2017, farms managed by beginning farmers in the U.S. only accounted for 17 percent of all farms and 8 percent of total agricultural production, those numbers keep decreasing, unfortunately. The average net worth of beginning farm households is about half the size of established operations, and the average farm size of women-operated farms is half that of their male counterparts.

In the new study “Do Consumers Support Beginning and Female Farmers?,” published in the Journal of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association, Shuoli Zhao from the University of Kentucky, Michelle Segovia from the University of Delaware, Marco Palma and AAEA President Rudy Nayga from Texas A&M University, and Ronald Rainey from the University of Arkansas study if consumers support the entrepreneurial activities of beginning and female farmers.

The authors state, “There is an aging farming population and we do not have enough entrepreneurs replacing retiring farmers. Having strong consumer support for beginning farmers could be the catalyst for farming interest, profitability, and competitiveness, especially for new, female, and minority farmers. While our study confirms a willingness to support through effort provision, policy assistance is still vital, impacting areas like access to credit, land, equipment and continued education assistance.”

If you are interested in setting up an interview, please contact Allison Ware in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes three journals, the Journal of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (an open access journal), the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Ware
Senior Communications & Membership Manager
(414) 918-3190