Publications

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  • The Roles of Economists in the U.S. Department of Agriculture

    AP-031, January 02, 2009

    Among the many responsibilities of USDA are implementing the Food Stamp Program and other food and nutrition assistance programs; managing Federal forest land; implementing standards of humane care and treatment of animals; providing incentives for adopting wildlife habitat enhancements and other conservation practices; participating in trade negotiations; ensuring the safety of meat, poultry, and eggs; providing funds for rural business development; and implementing farm programs legislated by Congress. The Department has a broad mandate, and virtually everything with which it is charged has economic dimensions. It is not surprising, then, that USDA employs over 800 economists across 16 of its agencies.

  • Rural America At A Glance, 2008 Edition

    EIB-40, October 31, 2008

    Rural America At A Glance, 2008 Edition highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. The 2008 edition focuses on employment, poverty, population change, and demographic characteristics of nonmetro areas.

    Listen to a podcast 16x16 Multimedia - Podcast based on this report.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2008

    Research area charts from the September 2008 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Defining the “Rural” in Rural America

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2008

    The use of different definitions of rural by Federal agencies reflects the multidimensional qualities of rural America.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2008

    Indicators charts from the June 2008 issue of Amber Waves

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2008

    Research area charts from the June 2008 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2008

    Indicators tables from the April 2008 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, April 01, 2008

    Research area charts from the April 2008 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2008

    Research area charts from the February 2008 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Education's Role in the Metro-Nonmetro Earnings Divide

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2008

    Average earnings are lower in nonmetro areas than in metro areas, even after accounting for differences in the individual characteristics of nonmetro earners. The nonmetro-metro earnings gap is greater for workers with more education and more experience. For nonmetro households, lower earnings may be offset by factors difficult to measure, such as lower living costs or the value of rural amenities.

  • Agritourism Offers Opportunities For Farm Operators

    Amber Waves, February 01, 2008

    Farm-based recreation provides an important niche market for farmers, but limited empirical information is available on the topic. A recent ERS study found that both farm-based and place-based factors are associated with farm-to-farm variation in agritourism, as well as the amount of income farmers earn from operating a farm-based recreation business.

  • Farm-Based Recreation: A Statistical Profile

    ERR-53, December 31, 2007

    Farm-based recreation provides an important niche market for farmers, but limited empirical information is available on the topic. Access to two USDA databases, the 2004 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) and the 2000 National Survey on Recreation and the Environment, provided researchers with a deeper understanding of who operates farm-based recreation enterprises, such as hunting and fishing operations, horseback riding businesses, on-farm rodeos, and petting zoos. Regression analysis identified the importance of various farmer and farm characteristics, as well as local and regional factors associated with farmer operation of, and income derived from, farm-based recreation.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    Research area charts from the November 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2007

    Indicators tables from the November 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Rural America At A Glance, 2007 Edition

    EIB-31, October 01, 2007

    Rural America At A Glance, 2007 highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas for use in developing policies and programs to assist rural areas. The brochure provides information on key rural conditions and trends for use by public and private decisionmakers and others involved in efforts to enhance the economic opportunities and quality of life for rural people and their communities.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    Indicators tables from the September 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • Research Areas

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    Research area charts from the September 2007 issue of Amber Waves.

  • On The Map

    Amber Waves, September 03, 2007

    In many Farm Belt counties, losses in farm-related jobs have not been offset by new types of jobs, resulting in a well-known trend of population loss. What is less known is that nearly 500 nonmetro counties with recent population outmigration also have more deaths than births-known as natural decline-and thus are losing people from two sources. Natural decline stems both from dwindling family size and prolonged outmigration of young adults, resulting in high average age. This phenomenon has spread somewhat into the lower South and is now common in parts of Appalachia, where it also affects many diminished metro industrial areas. The condition, which did not arise overnight, poses difficult development challenges.

  • Rural Low-Wage Workers Face Multiple Economic Disadvantages

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2007

    Low-wage workers made up one-fourth of the rural labor force in 2005. Although most rural low-wage workers are not poor, they are more likely to depend on Federal assistance programs to meet their families' needs than are other rural wage and salary workers.

  • Indicators

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2007

    Indicators tables from the June 2007 issue of Amber Waves.