Measuring public preferences to improve the design of farmland preservation programs
Farmland preservation programs exist, in some form, in all states. Most programs pursue agricultural objectives, such as preserving productive soils and viable farms. However, in some states the public may believe that programs should pursue broader goals often associated with preserving open space. As farmland amenities have become relatively more scarce than food and fibre, public concern has shifted away from protecting agricultural production, toward preserving rural environmental quality. Choosing appropriate policies requires accurate information describing public preferences regarding farmland preservation.^ Qualitative information provided by focus groups and survey data from a sample of Rhode Island residents, are used to identify and compare public objectives regarding farmland and open space preservation. A system of structural equations is used to examine preferences for farmland preservation goals among residents with different socioeconomic characteristics. Paired comparisons data from the survey are used in a dichotomous choice model to measure public preferences for preserving hypothetical farmland and open space parcels. An intertemporal conceptual model of farmland preservation is used to derive optimal farmland preservation paths. The analysis shows that Rhode Island residents believe environmental objectives should be important goals of farmland preservation programs. Public preferences for preserving farmland compare favorably with preferences for preserving other types of open space. Lands that protect endangered species and groundwater are preferred. Broadening the scope of farmland preservation programs to address environmental goals may increase the public benefits generated by those programs. ^
Agriculture, General|Economics, Agricultural|Environmental Sciences|Urban and Regional Planning
Jeffrey David Kline,
"Measuring public preferences to improve the design of farmland preservation programs"
Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access).