Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ag News

Iowa State study: Small Towns Benefit From Large Farms

Des Moines-Recent studies by Iowa State University rural sociologists show that small towns benefit from large farms. “Our findings suggest there is a modest favorable effect of large-scale agriculture on quality of life in the 99 Iowa communities we studied,” said Steve Sapp, professor of sociology. “It’s not especially surprising, given the close relationship between Iowa’s rural communities and agriculture.”

Sapp said quality of life was defined from residents’ impressions of government services (such as police and fire protection, street and park maintenance and garbage collection) and community services (such as medical care, schools, shopping, recreation and entertainment options, child care, senior citizen programs and youth programs).

In Idaho, small towns havn't felt the presures of the recession and unemployment rates are lower in small towns located in farming communities, according to rural economic studies. Quality of life also included socioeconomic data within each county, such as income, percentage of population living in poverty, crime rates, infant mortality rates, unemployment rates and gaps between rich and poor.

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