Multi-Enterprising Farm Households: The Importance of Their Alternative Business Ventures in the Rural Economy
AbstractAlmost a third of U.S. farm households generate income by engaging in business ventures independent of commodity production, with distinctly different community and household benefits. In 2007, 686,600 farm households engaged in 791,000 income-generating activities distinct from commodity production, creating $26.7 billion in household income. Onfarm diversification activities like agritourism and off-farm business ventures each accounted for about half of these activities, but off-farm businesses generated about 80 percent of total alternative (i.e., noncommodity) business income earned by farm households, creating the largest impact on the local economy. Off-farm businesses operated by farm households contributed an estimated $54.6 billion in value-added income to the gross regional products of their local economies and paid out $24.5 billion in wages and salaries to 853,100 part-time and full-time employees. In general, the share of the local employment base accounted for by farmer-owned off-farm businesses was higher in more rural counties.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Economic Information Bulletin with number 138015.
Date of creation: Oct 2012
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onfarm diversification; off-farm businesses; portfolio entrepreneur; farm household typology; nonfarm employment; direct sales; Community/Rural/Urban Development;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2012-11-24 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2012-11-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENT-2012-11-24 (Entrepreneurship)
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