Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications

Major Professor

Dr. Bryan Q. Patterson

Committee Members

Dr. Carrie A. Stephens, Dr. Barbara Thayer-Bacon

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify the key educational components of agritourism in Tennessee. The study strived to identify if knowledge of the agricultural industry increased due to agritourism experiences and if perception of the agriculture industry changed due to the experience. Additionally, the research sought to describe visitor demographics and characteristics.Following a pilot study in 2009, three agritourism venues throughout the state of Tennessee were used to collect surveys to create a pool of respondents and to identify their original knowledge of perceptions of the agriculture industry for the 2010 study. Additional data was gathered through an extensive post survey that gathered demographic information and respondents’ knowledge and perception levels based on several five point Likert scale questions. The responses were coded and entered by the primary investigator. The information was analyzed using means, standard deviations, and frequencies.The study revealed that respondents to agritourism venues do think that they experience are educational. The visitors expected an educational experience. Experiences at agritourism venues tend to increase consumer confidence slightly. Many respondents agree that they learn best through the hands on experience provided through the agritourism venues. Additionally, all respondents agreed that they would recommend the experience to others.

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