Some other important findings...
- There was overwhelming support for dairy farm sustainability in the study region.
- Dairy farming was seen as being highly important to local economies. This finding, among the strongest in the study, was linked to the positive impact of dairying on employment needs of local dairy farms and the perceived benefit of dairying to the community work ethic. At the same time, low profits were recognized as a compelling issue mediating against small dairy farm survival.
- Vistas of cows grazing, crops growing, farm land, and freshly mowed fields were highly valued. Such core visual values associated with the green and open spaces of productive dairy agriculture cannot be underestimated in the Susquehanna watershed region.
Dairy farm amenities were particularly valued near housing developments.
- The key to large dairy sustainability was advanced pollution control technology. Three of five respondents would welcome a 500-cow dairy in their community if manure runoff and odors were well controlled.
- Grazing dairies were far more positively viewed than large confinement farms.
- Agricultural land preservation policies for poor quality soil farms practicing grazing or organic farming was supported by four of five respondents.