An Inventory and Assessment of Sample Sources for Survey Research with Agricultural Producers in the U.S.

Jessica D. Ulrich-Schad, Shuang Li, J. G. Arbuckle, Edem Avemegah, Kathryn J. Brasier, Morey Burnham, Anil Kumar Chaudhary, Weston M. Eaton, Wei Gu, Tonya Haigh, Douglas Jackson-Smith, Alexander L. Metcalf, Amit Pradhananga, Linda S. Prokopy, Matthew Sanderson, Emma Wade, Adam Wilke

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Researchers need probability samples to collect representative survey data about the behaviors and attitudes of agricultural producers they study in relation to the natural resources that they manage, yet obtaining accurate and complete sampling frames is challenging. We extract data from a publication database to identify the most commonly used sampling frame sources in survey research of agricultural producers in the U.S., finding that government program participant lists are used most often, while private vendor samples are increasingly being purchased. Based on our research experience, we find that for many projects, private vendors can provide the most rigorous samples. Given that survey methods remain a useful and popular method for studying the behaviors and attitudes of producers on a variety of topics, such an assessment and guide is needed for researchers and practitioners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)804-812
Number of pages9
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
First, we would like to acknowledge all of the producers who participated in the studies over many years that we draw upon here. We also appreciate the support provided by Jackie Getson and Laura Esman at Purdue University in helping compare addresses from Farm Market ID and FSA. This work was partially funded by NSF award 1739191. This paper benefited from the support provided to many authors through a National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) project, NC1190: Catalysts for Water Resources Protection and Restoration: Applied Social Science Research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Agricultural producers, natural resources, probability samples, sample sources, survey research


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