CA Farmer Survey: Preliminary Results & Invitation to Participate


This post is Part 2 of 2 re: “A Year of Learning.”  Also see Part 1: “Sobering, Inspiring Results from Agriculture Organization Strategy Session” posted July 29, 2015.

Thank you to everyone who has already completed the short Farmer Survey over the past several months. Below are the preliminary results.

If you haven’t taken the survey yet, please share your thoughts!  Your opinion matters, and it only takes about 10 minutes.  Plus, there’s one last $250 prize for respondents.  (Congratulations Steve Fitch of Pocket Creek Farm for winning the first of two prizes!)

Background: On January 21st, folks from FarmsReach CommunityMultinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA)Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF)Center for Land-Based Learning (CLBL)ATTRA/National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)UC Cooperative ExtensionFarmer Veteran CoalitionSustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE)Rogue Farm CorpsFull Belly FarmNorth Coast Opportunities (NCO), and Ag/Tech Mixing Bowl came together to design new, shared tools to more effectively serve small- and medium-scale California farmers and ranchers. The original context was educational curriculum for farmers, and MESA and FarmsReach had invited the primary organizations that offer these services in California.

Better understanding farmers needs and preferences was one of many priorities. (For more details on the convening, see Sobering, Inspiring Results from Agriculture Organization Strategy Session.)

Preliminary California farmer survey results are below:

* New questions were added to the survey based on initial farmer responses. Results will be shared once we collect more data.  If you already took the survey and wish to submit your responses to these new questions, you may do so here.

Farmers:  We invite you to take the survey.  It takes less than 15 minutes, and you could win $250!


Percentage of respondents with different farm acreage. For context, below is the USDA’s report on farm size and cropland distribution.


Farm Size Distribution

This USDA graph included for context only. The data has nothing to do with the CA farmer survey.

Sales Channels

Percentage of respondents selling through each channel.


Devices Used & Frequency

Percentage of respondents using each type of device and frequency.


Critical Issues

Percentage of respondents’ frequency they experience critical issues in each area.


Methods to Resolve Critical Issues

Percentage of respondents that prefer each method to resolve critical issues.


Most Desired New Services

Percentage selecting each service as a “most needed” service.  New version of survey includes option for general sales and marketing help in addition to a more formal sales & marketing coop. 


Promising Programs for Next Generation

Percentage selecting each program as a “most needed” service. Mentorship includes both “formal” and “casual” mentorship programs.  Farmland Access is surprisingly low, perhaps due to position in the survey.  The survey now shuffles order of options for users.


Resources for General Learning

Percentage accessing “pertinent information” from each type of resource at least a few times per month.


Resources for New Products & Technology

Percentage that learn about new products or technology through each resource at least a few times per month.

Factors When Making A Purchase

Percentage of respondents claiming each factor is “Absolutely required for me to buy it” or “Usually true when I buy it”.

Farmers: What do you think?  Do you have some insights or opinions to share?  We invite you to take the survey.  It takes less than 15 minutes, and you could win $250!

All: We welcome your feedback.  You can email Melanie directly at

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