We solicited information and feedback on northeast (twelve states) specialty crop industry members' views and preferences with respect to the upcoming 2007 Farm Bill. Several aspects of federal support for specialty crop producers were considered. This information was used to gauge responsiveness to a wide set of policy options and possible directions for titles that might be incorporated into the next farm bill.
Methods used included a survey of specialty crops organizatins and listening sessions.
A study was conducted to examine the potential benefits of establishing government subsidized farm savings accounts for specialty crop growers. (In the survey and listening sessions, it was determined that specialty crops interests in the northeast were in favor of alternatives such as subsidized counter cyclical, tax deferred savings accounts.) The primary goal of this component of the project was to determine whether farm savings accounts would provide specialty crop growers with a useful tool for managing financial risk. The project examined how various features of the farm savings account proposals ultimately impacted the benefits that specialty crop growers would receive from the accounts.
In a third component of the project, our research assessed distribution of the specialty crops production in the urbanizing areas in the Northeast and the U.S., in order to answer the questions such as "Does specialty crops production still thrive in the metro areas?" or "Does farming persist in the city's shadow?"