The University of Arizona

Research Methods | CLIMAS

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Research Methods

Researchers collected statistical data on livestock operations with 100 head of cattle or more from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Census, the USDA Economic Research Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, the Arizona State Land Department, and the Arizona Agricultural Statistics Service. Additionally, researchers conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with ranchers and mailed out a written survey to livestock operations in the southeastern corner of the state. The interviews were conducted in Cochise, Santa Cruz, and Pima counties using the survey as a guide. The responses were reconstructed from notes taken during the interviews and from recall. While the most recent interviews (1999) were all conducted in person, some of the interviews during the previous drought year (1996–1997) were conducted over the phone. A total of 17 ranchers were interviewed, 11 in the fall of 1996 and spring of 1997 and 6 more in February 1999. Of the ranchers interviewed, one was Mexican-American, another was Native American, and the remainder were Anglo-Americans. In addition to ranchers, interviews with several livestock auction managers and range management experts contributed to the analysis.