Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Extension

Major Professor

Cecil E. Carter Jr.

Committee Members

Roy Lessly, James Tracy Jr., Robert Dotson


The purpose of this study was to determine relationships between characteristics of Tennessee farrow-to-finish swine producers, their farming operation, their use of selected recommended swine production practices and the number and types of contacts with Extension agents. A total of 611 Tennessee farrow-to-finish swine producers were surveyed to obtain the data for this study. Survey instruments were developed by The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension specialist staff in Animal Science and the Extension Education Department. The "nth" number method of sampling was used to select producers in each county to be interviewed. Personal interviews were conducted by County Extension Agents. Information was obtained about the general characteris-tics of the producers, their farming operation, their use of recommended practices, and the number of contacts producers had with Extension agents. The data were analyzed using the University of Tennessee Computing Center facilities. The Chi-Square test was used to determine relation-ships between the dependent and independent variables. The .05 level of probability was accepted as significant. Major findings of the study include the following: 1. Employment status of the farmer was significantly related to the size and scope of the farm operation. Full-time farmers farrowed more sows, were more likely to use confinement buildings to feed out market hogs, and were more likely to prepare their own feed at their home than were part-time farmers. 2. Full-time farmers were more likely than part-time farmers to practice disease control measures including vaccinations, use feed additives and medication in the hog waters. 3. As compared to part-time farmers, the full-time farmers attended more meetings and received more farm visits from their Extension agent and veterinarian. 4. Age and level of education of the swine producers were significantly related to the number and types of contacts producers had with Extension agents. Younger farmers attended more swine meetings and visited the county Extension office more often than older farmers. Farmers who had some college education were more likely to attend Extension swine meetings than those who did not. 5. Swine producers with over 43 sows made more personal contacts with Extension agents than those producers with less than 43 sows. 6. Farrow-to-finish swine producers who attended 1 or more Extension swine meetings during the 12 months prior to the survey were using a larger number of the recommended swine production practices than were producers who did not attend any Extension swine meet-ings.

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