The University of Maryland Extension (UME) has conducted regional Agriculture Needs Assessments in 2015 and 2017. The assessments were designed to assist UME in three areas: understanding issues concerning agriculture, identifying educational needs and focusing UME agricultural training resources.
The survey included four sections 1) industry priorities, concerns and viability, 2) research and education needs, 3) education and training preferences and 4) demographic and farm information. Results were received from 467 farmers through paper or online survey. The results for gender, ethnicity, race and age is consistent with data from the 2012 Agriculture Census.
Results from industry priorities and viability were predominately related to regulatory, legislative and production topics. Major farm concerns include farm transfer to the next generation and loss of farmland due to urban encroachment. Industry concerns include agriculture maintaining its viability and profitability in years to come and the public image of agriculture.
Survey respondents were asked about desired knowledge, education and training they would like to receive as well as educational preferences. Priority services would be the interpretation and assistance with agricultural regulations, research data from field and variety trials and on farm consulting. Moving forward UME will continue to analyze the data and prepare a plan to respond to the requests and to meet the needs of farmers and landowners in Maryland.
|Conference||2018 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference|