Vegetable Production Important Part of Farm Income
Posted on 9/5/2013
Bottineau, ND, 9/3/2013 - The Entrepreneurial Center for Horticulture (ECH) at Dakota College at Bottineau recently conducted a survey of forty-five vegetable producers throughout the state of North Dakota. In addition to vegetable production, farmers were involved in producing fruits such as melons, strawberries and raspberries as well as conventional crops and grass fed beef. All but three of the producers surveyed used vegetable production to supplement their family income. The three remaining producers had on farm revenue as their sole source of income for their families.
Participants in the survey were asked to explain how the extra income from vegetable/flower/fruit/crop sales impacted them and their families. Answers included insights to the importance of extra on farm income to rural North Dakota families. While some producers used the income for what could be considered luxury items such as family vacations, buying children's bikes, attending family camps, and purchasing holiday gifts; others use the money for necessities such as utility bills, covering expenses during poor conventional crop years, offsetting a loss of income from another source, and making it possible for both spouses to stay on the farm to work rather than seek off farm jobs. Additionally, some respondents listed quality of life impacts such as the health benefits, the satisfaction it brings to feed their communities and customers and the passion it allows them share with others.
Whether for an additional source of income, or the sole supporter for farm families, vegetable production in North Dakota is playing an important role in the economics of our state. The Entrepreneurial Center for Horticulture is committed to providing educational opportunities and resources to North Dakota vegetable growers as well as demonstrating working business models for producers and small farms.