Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Extension

Major Professor

Cecil E. Carter, Jr

Committee Members

Robert Dotson, James O'Neal


The purpose of this study was to characterize Tennessee swine producers, and determine the relationship between the number of contacts producers had with Agricultural Extension agents and their use of recommended swine production practices. Eighteen hundred and seventy-nine swine producers were randomly selected and personal interviews were conducted by county Extension agents. Interview schedules were developed by The University of Tennessee Extension Swine Specialists and the Agricultural Extension Education Department and agents conducted the survey during the fall of 1979. Information recorded included the farm characteristics of the swine producers, their use of recommended swine practices, and the number of contacts the producers had with the Extension office over a 12-month period. The data were coded and punched on computer cards, and computations were made by The University of Tennessee Computing Center. One way analysis of variance F-test and the chi square test were used to determine the significance and strength of the relationship between the dependent and independent variables. The .05 probability level was accepted as significant. Major findings Included the following: 1. The average swine producer surveyed had farrowed 45 litters and raised 275 pigs to weaning during the previous 12-month period. 2. Over 38% of the swine producers had not attended any Extension meetings and 6.2% had had no contacts with Extension through any of the contact methods (i.e., meetings, office visits, telephone calls, or farm visits) during the previous 12 months. 3. Fourteen of the 18 recommended swine production practices were used by at least 50% of the producers. Over 30% of the swine producers said pig scours was their most serious pig production problem. 4. Producers' use of nine of the 18 recommended swine production practices was significantly related to each type of Extension contact and to the total number of contacts producers had with Extension agents over a 12-month period. Only two practices were not significantly related to at least one type of Extension contact (i.e., worming weaned pigs and treating pigs for lice). 5. The use of 13 of the 14 recommended pig production practices was significantly related to the type of swine operation (feeder pig or farrow-to-finish). A larger percentage of the farrow-to-finish producers used each of these 13 practices when compared to feeder pig producers. 6. A significantly larger percentage of the full time farmers than of the part time farmers were farrow-to-finish producers. 7. Farrow-to-finish producers made significantly more contacts with Extension than did feeder pig producers. Implications and recommendations also were made.

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