Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Extension

Major Professor

Cecil E. Carter Jr

Committee Members

Robert S. Dotson, William Miller


The specific purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between various groups of independent variables (i.e. background and training of agents, county situational factors, knowledge, interest and attitude of agents and use of recommended dairy practices) and major dependent variables (i.e. time spent by agents on various groups of dairy subjects and contacts made by agents with dairy clientele). The hypothesis in null form, assumed that there were no relationships between these variables.

The study was limited to Tennessee Extension agents who were responsible for the Extension dairy educational program in the counties having at least 40 percent of the total farm income derived from dairying and/or which had an annual income of at least three-quarters-of-a-million dollars. A total of 39 Tennessee counties was used for the study and data from agents in these counties also were included in the study.

Data for this study were obtained from (1) Tennessee Extension Management Information System (TEMIS), (2) Extension education files, (3) Extension personnel files, (4) dairy Extension records, (5) supervisors, administrators and dairy subject matter specialists, (6) college transcripts, (7) county Extension workers, (8) 391 selected dairy farmers in 39 counties and (9) a series of knowledge, interest and attitude tests.

Stepwise Regression Analysis was used to determine the relationships of all data collected. This analysis included: (1) the Coefficient of Correlation (r), (2) the Coefficient of multiple correlation (R), (3) the Coefficient of multiple determination (R2) and (4) the percent change in R2. The Coefficient of Correlation (r) denoted a relationship between two variables while R and R^ were used to denote correlations between one dependent and two or more independent variables simultaneously.

Findings indicated that the majority of the null hypothese were rejected. Significant relationships were found between specific variables within nearly all groups of independent and dependent variables.

Very significant positive relationships existed between the agents' interest-attitude in dairying scale and time agents spent on "other" dairy subjects and on all dairy subjects. Also very significant positive relationships existed between the percent of county farm income from dairying and the time agents spent on dairy housing and management subjects. The strongest positive significant relationships of the study existed between the number of Grade A dairymen in the county and the time agents spent on "other" and all dairy subjects and between the total number of contacts agents made with dairymen. There was also a highly significant positive relationship between the agents' score on the receptiveness of clientele test and the total number of contacts agents made with dairy clientele.

From the multiple regression analysis it was found that the most accurate predictor of the amount of time agents will spend with dairymen is the actual number of Grade A dairymen in the county and that the most accurate predictor of the number of contacts agents will make with dairymen also is the actual number of Grade A dairymen in the county. Agents' knowledge and attitude toward dairying also can be used to predict the time he will spend and the agents' perception of the dairy clientele to the Extension program can also be used to predict the number of contacts he will make with dairymen.

Implications and recommendations also were made.

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