Ethnicity and Farm EntryBehavior
The persistence of ethnic traits in both the visible agricultural landscape and the practices of established farmers in the United States has been well documented but not unchallenged. One limitation of most studies is that they have focused on relatively special populations of farmers who could be expected to have unusually strong ethnic identity. It has not been clear that ethnic background could serve as a useful variable in explaining variation in farmers' behavior in the general farm population. The present study examines the role of ethnicity in a large random sample of recent entrants into dairy farming in Wisconsin. In particular, we provide some confirmation that the farm operator's ethnic identity can be linked to differences in entry paths, current farm characteristics, and cultural beliefs in our sample. We also suggest that ethnicity plays a stronger role in affecting the resources and opportunities available to young farmers than the strategic decisions made to employ these assets.
Cross, J., D. B. Jackson-Smith, and B. Barham. 2000. “Ethnicity and Farm Entry Behavior,” Rural Sociology, 65(3):461-483.