Reader Profile


Where the following data comes from: The New Farm readership demographics were compiled based on the results of a survey posted on the web-site. The survey consisted of two separate modules for farmers and non-farmers. Both modules contained over 60 questions and the estimated time for completing the survey was about 25 minutes.

I. How to spot a New Farmer in a crowd

The majority of NewFarm.org readers are well educated, professional middle aged men and women. Overall they tend to be younger and better educated than the average for the farmer population in the nation. We also have a higher proportion of women farmers compared to national statistics. The proportion of women increases even more in the non-farmer category where the ratio of men to women is nearly 1 to 1.

Demographics

The Farmer
Gender Age Education
31% female Average age: 46 years 60% college/graduate degree
67% male   29% some college
2% no response   10% high school
    1% no response

The Non-Farmer
Gender Age Education
48% female Average age: 44 years 17% graduate degree
52% male   54% college degree
    25% some college
    4% high school

About half (48%) of our readers are under 45 years of age compared to 31% for American farmers in general while only 5% are above the age of 65, compared to 25% for the nation (Census of Agriculture 1997). The age distribution is similar to that of certified organic farmers surveyed by Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) in 1997 in that 25% are under the age of 40.

Our readers are on the average better educated than national averages, including the organic farmer population. The 1997 OFRF survey of certified organic farmers reports 56% of respondents with college degrees versus 65% for our readers.


II. You from around here?

One of the main objectives of The New Farm website is to be place where farmers can come together and learn from one another. Using interactive features, columns and departments The New Farm reaches out to farmers around the country and around the world.

Domestic reach

Note: * Numbers for US readers only. Meaningful data on international readers is not yet available.

The majority of respondents come from the Midwest (North Central) region of the United States – 35%, followed by the Northeast at 25%. The distribution of respondents compared to the proportion of farms located in each region of the United States indicates that we observe a slight overrepresentation of survey respondents from the Northeast and under-representation of respondents from the South.

III. Day-jobs

The New Farm, an advocate of a regenerative farming lifestyle, seeks to support and encourage farming hopefuls. By telling real farmer success stories in “1000 Stories of Regenerative Agriculture” and dishing out straight talk from active farmers in our columns we hope to facilitate the farm lifestyle for all those who dream it through a dose of practical advice and inspiration. But until the fairytales meet reality our readers haven’t given up their day jobs. Here’s a breakdown of how they are spending their free-time:

Occupation

Farmer

  • 37% farm full-time
  • 63% farm part-time and listed below are the main “second occupation” categories:
    • 63% hold second occupations not related to agriculture or farming ranging from firefighter to college researcher
    • 21% hold second occupations related to nature and health (education; vets; nurses; agriculture sales; landscaping)
    • 8% are writers or publishers
    • 7% are retired

Non-Farmer

  • 46% occupations not related to agriculture
  • 33% have a job related to agriculture, including marketing and sales of ag products/tools and food
  • 9% are educators (excluding ag educators, they are counted above)
  • 5% health related
  • 4% retired
  • 2% writer/publisher

The majority of our farmer-readers farm part-time. Among part-timers most hold second occupations not related to agriculture, food, or health. This is also true of our non-farmer readership only one-third hold a position related to agriculture. While they may not currently be employed as farmers, many of our "non-farmer" readers (73%) are strongly considering pursuing a career in farming, farm as a hobby or farm part-time but do not consider themselves farmers.

IV. How does your garden grow?

The New Farm advocates organic farming as an advantageous alternative by touting the environmental, social and economic benefits over conventional farming methods. Here’s a look at how well they’ve been listening:

Farming methods

At least part organic (79%)

  • Organic, not certified 34%
  • Organic certified 21%
  • Part organic 14%
  • In transition 10%

Non-organic (18%)

  • Conventional 4%
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) 7%
  • Considering transition 7%

Our readership is overwhelmingly practicing or considering using organic methods.