This doesn’t tell the whole story, though.
In general, farmers are older than the rest of the population; older people usually are less risk tolerant. So, when Roe adjusted for age, he found that farmers are more risk tolerant than the average business owner.
“If we make farmers ‘look like’ the general population, their risk tolerance jumps to 6.33 from 5.7; a 10 percent jump and now, they are clearly more risk tolerant than the general population,” he explains. Taking the statistical analysis deeper and making farmers “look like” business owners, Roe reports that now the jump is even bigger: nearly a 19 percent jump to a risk tolerance rating of 6.79. Now farmers risk tolerance is even higher than that of non-farm business owners.
Therefore, as a population, farmers are not terribly risk tolerant – you can’t distinguish them from the general population and they are clearly less risk tolerant than the average non-farm business owner. However, this is largely driven by the fact that farmers are older than the general population and the non-farm business owner population and, with age, comes less willingness to put up with risk.
So I ask again, are you a risk taker or risk-averse? I’m betting on the former. You went to work on your farm this morning.