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Niche Croppind and the Rural Landscape in Wise, Dickenson, Scott, and Russell County Virginia
Niche market cropping can be a source of economic development to economically depressed rural areas. The thesis takes place in the four counties of Wise, Russell, Scott and Dickenson and this study region is used to develop the ideas of limited regional competition, and product diversity for niche cropping enterprises. These ideas create an identity for the region that reflects upon the farms and the products they produce. This thesis is intended to be a tool for county extension agents and economic development professionals to use in the pursuit of guiding small farmers and land-owners into successful niche cropping enterprises. Case studies within Wise County demonstrate the income potentials of these enterprises.