Graduate Exit Seminar - Florence Becot

Florence Becot Graduate Program Exit Seminar

Florence Becot will present, "Linking farm households’ social needs, social policy, and farm persistence" on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. in room 333 Kottman Hall. 
Advisor: Dr. Shoshanah Inwood


Farm households have difficulties meeting some of their social needs such as healthcare. Beyond quality of life and health issues, the inability to meet these needs can have severe negative consequences on the farm business with broader implications on the renewal of the agricultural sector and on rural economic development. In this dissertation, I explore the interactions between farm households’ social needs, social policy, and farm persistence in three research articles. A cross-national comparative document analysis of social safety nets in France and the U.S. lays the groundwork for the empirical case and for a new research agenda at the intersection of the family farm and social policy literatures. The empirical case of health insurance and health care access in the U.S. points to a general sense of vulnerability with limited differences across farm households’ and operations’ characteristics. Furthermore, it highlights the importance of institutional arrangements of the health system in shaping households’ ability to meet their health needs. By bringing households level difficulties and social policy to the forefront, my research expands and re-frames our understanding of the factors that shape farm reproduction. It also provides insights into the importance of embracing the complexity of farming systems. For programs and policies aimed at supporting the agricultural sector, my work points to the importance of accounting for household level issues and as well as considering social policies as a tool.