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Agriculture’s impact far more than economic, Cornell research finds


June 25, 2008
By Susan Lang

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June 25, 2008 – Agriculture is important, of
course, for generating jobs and income. But it has a host of
non-economic benefits, too, according to a Cornell study that asked New
Yorkers about the value of local agriculture.

Agriculture improves quality of life, the researchers concluded from more than 50 people in nine focus groups in three New York counties, by preserving open spaces for wildlife and bucolic views, providing a buffer to development and offering recreational access and a local source of fresh food, while preserving a highly valued heritage and its traditions.

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"There is growing evidence of agriculture's positive impacts on rural economies," said Duncan Hilchey, a senior extension associate in development sociology at Cornell. "However, the non-economic benefits of agriculture for local communities have received comparatively little attention."

Read more at www.news.cornell.edu.