Date of Award

5-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

Margarita Velandia

Committee Members

Dayton M. Lambert, Christopher D. Clark, Michael D. Wilcox Jr., Kimberly Jensen

Abstract

State programs promoting their own agricultural products have proliferated in response to increased consumer interest in locally grown foods (LGF). Tennessee, for example, currently has two state-funded programs promoting the consumption of Tennessee agricultural products: Pick Tennessee Products (PTP) and Tennessee Farm Fresh (TFF). The goal of this study is to examine the factors affecting producer awareness and participation in these state-sponsored marketing programs. This goal was achieved using survey data gathered from Tennessee’s fruit and vegetable producers. These results should interest individuals attempting to increase producer awareness and participation in these types of programs.

This thesis examines both producer awareness and participation in state-sponsored marketing programs. The first essay of the thesis focuses on factors affecting Tennessee fruit and vegetable producer awareness of TFF and PTP. The second essay examines factors that affect Tennessee fruit and vegetable producer participation in TFF and PTP.

The factors affecting producer awareness of Tennessee’s two state-sponsored marketing programs were evaluated using a bivariate probit model. Factors used in the analysis included observed producer, farm, and regions characteristics. Findings suggest that producer awareness was associated with education, percentage of income from farming, use of University/Extension publications, attendance at University/Extension education events, and operation location.

A bivariate probit model was used to examine the effect of observed producer, farm, and county characteristics on producer participation in TFF and PTP, given awareness of these programs. Results suggest that farmer participation in these programs was associated with size of operation, education, use of Extension resources, and sale of fresh produce.

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