This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Growing Naturally in Alabama: Needs and Possibilities




Cui, Lina

Type of Degree



Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology


The emergence of the term 'organic farming' describes a distinct system of agriculture compared to conventional or industrial agriculture. Since October 2002, farmers planning to market their products as ΄organic‘ must be certified following USDA procedures. But many farmers avoid certification costs and paperwork by selling their products as ΄natural‘ or ΄pesticide free‘. In Alabama, most producers, with small-scale farms, prefer to sell their ΄natural‘ or ΄organically-oriented‘ products directly to the consumers without USDA certification. But few studies focus on these farmers’ production and marketing needs and possibilities before. This study examines Alabama low-input and organic producers’ needs and concerns. It focuses on Alabama low-input and organically-oriented producers (LIOP) to describe the practices and approaches currently employed by LIOP; to assess the information and technical needs of LIOP; and to profile the marketing strategies used by LIOP.