Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Extension

Major Professor

Robert S. Dotson

Committee Members

Robert W. Burney, Cecil E. Carter Jr.


The purpose of this historical case study were to: (1) record and document the history, planning, project proposal, funding, staffing and first year of operation of the Tri-State Farmers' Association Retail Market (FARM); and (2) identify the procedure used in success-fully starting the Tri-State Farmers' Association Retail Market in Claiborne County, Tennessee. The data and information were obtained from a panel of experts regarding the Market, from survey information from buyers and producers, and operational data from the Market packing shed records. The surveys were done by preparing three different mail-type questionnaires to collect appropriate information from three different groups, namely: (1) a panel of five knowledgeable people who had been involved with the Market; (2) fifteen vegetable producers who had marketed through the Market in 1980; and (3) four retailers and whole-salers who had purchased produce through the Market in 1980. With regard to the major findings, the following steps were identified which appeared to have led to the Market's development: 1. Development of a market proposal by a college professor made to TVA in 1974. 2. Adoption of the idea for the Market by the revised Claiborne County Resource Development Committee in 1975. 3. Involvement of TVA through provision of some fertilizers, seeds, and other assistance following establishment of the Market. 4. Involvement of AMP in a Food Fair (i.e., tailgate market) at Harrogate in 1977. 5. Functioning of various individuals as Market managers (e.g., the County Extension Agent in 1977 and a CETA worker in 1978). 6. Incorporation of FARM in 1979 to handle the Market. 7. Contributions of representatives of RDC, ETDD, and UT Extension Agricultural Economics and Resource Development staffs in helping write the HUD project proposal in 1979-1980. 8. The approval of the FARM project proposal for federal grant by the state clearinghouse and ETDD in 1980. 9. The approval of the FARM project proposal for two-year funding under the HUD Neighborhood Self-Help Development program in 1980. 10. The establishment of a permanent packing house on land donated by the Jaycees at Claiborne County fairgrounds in Tazewell in 1980. 11. Employment of a Market manager to run the Market and handle other services in 1980. 12. Installation of packing shed machinery and equipment (i.e.,grader, washer, cooler, load lift and truck) in 1980. Other key factors include: 1. Tomatoes and zucchini squash were the main crops marketed from the beginning. 2. Major services provided by the Market for producers in 1980 were packing, grading, marketing, washing, and farm visits. 3. Most producers were "Satisfied" with services provided in 1980. 4. Most buyers were "Satisfied" with produce purchased in 1980 and suggested needed improvements in packing and market supply. 5. Recommendation for use of findings and further research also were included.

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