What individuals or groups (outside of your farm operation) have been important to your operation’s viability or sustainability?
Has the relationship to neighbors and community changed? Are they supportive of your farming in any way?
Investments in natural resource management (soil, water, and air quality; conserving water; water reuse; energy use and efficiency; improving wetlands and/or wildlife habitat; integrated pest management, beneficial insects, etc.)
Investments in improving the quality and safety of food and fiber products, improved varieties, improved processing and handling, enhanced testing and screening, reducing use of pesticides, etc.)
Which have served as significant challenges to the survival of the operation?
Land costs or rental costs
Changes in weather patterns
Availability of labor
Willingness of younger generation to take over farm
Ability of the farm operation to meet the basic costs of supporting your family/families
Federal, state, and local policies
New environmental regulations
Traditional commodity programs
Value-added, diversification, or local marketing programs
Access to organic prices information
Cost of inputs
How have you overcome some of the barriers to your success?
In what ways has your operation been able to enhance or sustain its natural resources over the last 15 years?
Have you noticed any changes in any of the following resources?
Soils (quality, organic matter, nutrient and water availability, erosion rates, salinity problems, etc.)
Water (costs, quantity, availability, efficiency of use, impacts on surface and ground water quality, etc.)
Biodiversity (wetlands; habitat for beneficial insects, birds, other wildlife)
Air quality (odors, roads, processing and storage facilities, etc.)
Energy (production, costs, use, alternative sources, etc.)
What specific steps have you taken to enhance or sustain these resources?
What do you think is the future outlook for your own farming operation/enterprise?
How much longer will you be able to stay in business?
What factors will most influence your long-term viability?
Quality and sustainability of your natural resource base (soil, water, air, biodiversity, energy, etc.)
What kinds of information/services/programs would be most helpful to sustaining the future viability of your operation?
What do you think is the future outlook for sustainable/systems/organic farming in the United States?
Has that future outlook changed since 1989?