Date of Graduation

Spring 2022


Master of Science in Agriculture


College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Christine Sudbrock


Farmers and ranchers will have to increase production by approximately 70% by the year 2050 according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (2017). People in the agriculture industry face several challenges from start-up costs to limited land availability (Ahearn, 2011). There are federal and state government programs available to assist with some of these challenges but bring their own hardships as well. This study measures off-farm decisions that affect financial performance and utilization of government programs for Missouri’s farmers and ranchers. Three types of financial performance of Missouri farms are prioritized in this study, liquidity (current ratio), solvency (debt-to-asset ratio), and profitability (rate of return on assets). In addition, government payments received were evaluated as a dependent variable in this study to explore what factors affect the level of payments received by beginning and all Missouri farmers. Using data from the 2019 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) for the state of Missouri, several significant results were found. Government payments received and the having an experienced operator displayed better financial performance. Farmers choosing to work off-farm for health benefits, retirement benefits, and income reasons compared to those that did not result in less government payments received. Overall, the results of this study provide valuable information for those involved in the agriculture industry today, tomorrow, and in the future.


beginning farmers and ranchers, Missouri, financial performance, government programs, marginal effect, farmer challenges, off-farm decisions

Subject Categories

Agribusiness | Agricultural and Resource Economics | Agricultural Economics | Agriculture | Econometrics | Economic Policy | Environmental Policy | Finance | Labor Economics | Other Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration


© Lyndsey Ann Parker

Open Access