Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural and Extension Education

Major Professor

Cecil E. Carter Jr.

Committee Members

Roy Lessly, Glenn Conatser


The purpose of this study was to characterize feeder pig producers according to their personal characteristics, and their type of operation as related to their use of selected management practices, and their contacts with Extension. Data were collected through personal interviews with 1,167 randomly selected feeder pig producers in 75 Tennessee counties using the 1987 Swine Interview Schedule. Producers surveyed had a minimum of five sows. The data were coded and processed for computer analysis and computations at the University of Tennessee Computing Center. The chi square test was used to determine the strength of relationship between the dependent and independent variables. Chi square values which achieved the .05 probability level were accepted as significant.

Major findings included the following:

1. The average age of the feeder pig producers was 48 years, with about 67 percent being part-time producers.

2. Fifty-three percent of producers attended at least one Extension swine meeting, while over 82 percent visited the Extension office at least once.

3. Over 90 percent of feeder pig producers used the following six management practices: dewormed sows, treated sows for external parasites, the addition of medication in sows gestation and lactation ration, the use of medication in pigs weaning ration, gave iron shots to pigs, and clipped needle teeth.

4. Full-time feeder pig producers attended more Extension swine meetings, received more visits from Extension agents, and had more total contacts with Extension than did part-time producers.

5. Producers 48 years old or under had more contacts with Extension through telephone calls made to the Extension office and had more total contacts with Extension than did producers 49 or over.

6. Feeder pig producers with six or more total contacts with Extension were more likely to use each of ten selected management practices than were producers with five or less contacts.

7. Full-time feeder pig producers were more likely than parttime producers to vaccinate sows for leptospirosis, treat sows for lice, use medication and antibiotics in water, give iron shots to pigs, and creep feed baby pigs.

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