Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

Robert Ray

Committee Members

T. H. Klindt, Darrel Mundy


Programs in resource development in agriculture can be considered successful only if they define changes in farm systems that result in increased productivity and higher returns on resource use and if the increases are sustained over long periods. This study was made to determine the performance of Rapid Adjust ment participants after they had been terminated from the program to evaluate the effectiveness and some of the long-run effects of the pro-gram. Performance was operationalized and measured by such variables as the value of crops produced and livestock and livestock product sales; the proportion of land in high return crops; net worth; labor efficiency and size of business as measured by productive man work units. Results of the study showed that 92 percent of former Rapid Adjustment participants are still farming. All the physical and economic variables selected as proxies for performance showed increases between the fourth program year and 1984 when the survey was conducted. For example, the percentage of land in row crops increased from 15 percent in the benchmark year to 29 per cent in the fourth program year and to 36 percent in 1984. In 1984, most of the labor on Rapid Adjustment farms was fully employed. The size and number of enterprises increased on Rapid Adjustment farms between the fourth program year and 1984, resulting both in increased labor efficiency and business size as measured by productive work units. From the first through the fourth year on the program, the average value of crops produced increased by 68 percent; and since completing the program, the average value increased by 157 percent. Livestock and livestock product sales increased by 36 percent since completing the program compared with a 124 percent increase while participating in the program. Most Rapid Adjustment farmers had a low level of financial leverage and average net worth increased 97 percent between the fourth program year and 1984. Record keeping, adjustments in the combination of enterprises and in cultural and management practices and contact with farm manage-ment specialists were identified as the most beneficial aspects of the program. From the results of the study, a conclusion was that management skills acquired by former cooperating farmers in the Rapid Adjustment program have been sustained and this had led to an enhancement in their business performance.

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