Small-scale farmers are faced with many challenges on a daily basis. In addition, they have several needs that, if fulfilled, could help reduce some of their challenges. The small-scale farmer remains an ideal target audience for Extension staff due to the increasing number of these farms combined with the limited impact that they can have with the current set of resources. However, without an adequate understanding of the challenges and needs they face, Extension staff cannot provide ideal service to the small farm audience. The purpose of this research was to discover the challenges and needs of small-scale farmers in Florida. Six focus groups were conducted throughout the state of Florida to identify perceived challenges that small-scale farmers believe affect their operations, as well as their current needs. The data collected suggest that the small farmer population in Florida represents a diverse array of individuals with varying needs. Extension programmers need to consider formatting their programming and information into different media to comply with the cultural, geographical, and agricultural needs of different parts of the state.

Publication Date