An analysis of linkages between the manufacturing and agricultural sectors in Virginia

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Virginia Tech


In an effort to discover the trade-offs involved in pursuing the policy alternatives of increasing manufacturing employment in rural areas while still maintaining a viable agricultural sector, this study explored some interrelationships between the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. The objectives of the study were to determine the relationship of changes in manufacturing employment to agricultural sector changes in: (1) labor employment, (2) land use, (3) capital investment and (4) farm family income levels. The data covered the period from 1950 to 1974. Partial correlation analysis was used to examine the degree and direction of relationship between manufacturing and agricultural sector variables for the State and subregions.

The results indicated that increasing manufacturing employment is associated with agricultural decline. Nonfarm land use and the dual employment of farm operators were found to be increasing across the State. Investment in agriculture was shown to be adversely affected by proximity to manufacturing employment growth. Farm family income levels and their rate of increase were only partially explained by changes in manufacturing employment. While the decline in agricultural employment may not be affected by local policy, the resultant exodus of rural population may be moderated by the availability of employment alternatives in manufacturing



labor employment