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Improving Extension Effectiveness for Organic Clients: Current Status and Future Directions

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  • Lohr, Luanne
  • Park, Timothy A.

Abstract

Responses from a national survey of U.S. organic farmers indicated dissatisfaction with the extension service. An ordered probit model was used to identify the factors influencing effectiveness ratings of extension advisors by farmers. Study findings show that part-time, higher income organic farmers who used a variety of highly rated private-sector information sources rated extension providers as more effective. Farmers in the Northeast and West regions rated extension usefulness more highly than in other regions. Not accounting for these demographic components in effectiveness ratings may result in under- or overestimation of results of organic-targeted extension programs. Extension agents can improve their usefulness to organic farmers by complementing educational and technical services offered by the private sector, and by facilitating farmer information exchanges as well as presenting relevant research findings as they have traditionally done.

Suggested Citation

  • Lohr, Luanne & Park, Timothy A., 2003. "Improving Extension Effectiveness for Organic Clients: Current Status and Future Directions," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 28(03), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jlaare:31055
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lohr, Luanne, 2002. "Benefits of U.S. organic agriculture," MPRA Paper 24327, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Lohr, Luanne & Park, Timothy A., 2002. "Choice of insect management portfolios by organic farmers: lessons and comparative analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 87-99, November.
    3. Hanson, James C., 1997. "Opportunities And Challenges In Cooperative Extension For Agricultural Economists," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 26(2), October.
    4. Caswell, Margriet & Fuglie, Keith O. & Ingram, Cassandra & Jans, Sharon & Kascak, Catherine, 2001. "Adoption of Agricultural Production Practices: Lessons Learned from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Area Studies Project," Agricultural Economics Reports 33985, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    5. Johnson, James D. & Perry, Janet E. & Korb, Penelope J. & Sommer, Judith E. & Ryan, James T. & Green, Robert C. & Durst, Ron L. & Monke, James D., 2001. "Structural and Financial Characteristics of U.S. Farms: 2001 Family Farm Report," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33707, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    6. Greene, Catherine R., 2001. "U.S. Organic Farming Emerges in the 1990s: Adoption of Certified Systems," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33777, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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