Date of Award
Master of Science
Agricultural and Extension Education
Cecil E. Carter Jr
Robert S. Dotson, Ralph Hamilton
The major purpose o£ this study was to determine the influence of selected personal, family, and farm characteristics of adult male farmers on the number of office visits and telephone calls made to the Wilson County Extension office seeking agricultural information. The population and sample included 203 adult male farmers who made either a telephone call or visited the office between August 15, 1969, and August 14, 1972. Data for the number of office visits and telephone calls made by each individual were taken from records kept by the Extension secretary. Data concerning the characteristics of individuals, their family, and their farm were secured from records in the Extension office and the ASCS office and from personal knowledge from the knowledge other Extension staff members had about individual farmers, or through personal contact with farmers. The chi square test was used to determine the significance of association between the number of telephone calls, the number of office visits, and specific personal, family, and farm characteristics. Com-putations were made by The University of Tennessee Computer Center. Findings indicated that the farmer's age, race and whether or not he was a full-time or part-time farmer did not influence the number of visits made to the Extension office. However, education of the farmer was significantly related (P < .OSj to the number of office visits made during the three-year period. Farmers who had attended high school or college made a larger number of office visits than did those completing eight or fewer school grades. Although farmers who were members of the Farm Bureau, Grange, and community clubs made more office visits than did nonmembers, these differences were not statistically significant. Having children in 4-H did not influence the number of office visits made. However, a signifi-cant association was found between the number of office visits made and each of the following: employment of wife; wife being a member of a Home Demonstration Club; the farmer serving as a 4-H Club leader; and his attendance at Extension meetings. Farmers who made a larger number of office visits tended to have wives who were not employed away from home and their wives tended to be members of a Home Demonstration Club. Also, farmers who attended larger numbers of Extension meetings and who served as 4-H project leaders tended to visit the Extension office more fre-quently than farmers who were not 4-H project leaders and who seldom or never attended Extension meetings. Distance from the farmers' farms to the Extension office was the only farm operation characteristic studied which was not significantly associated with the number of visits farmers made to the Extension office. A significant association was found between the number of office visits and type of farming enterprise, size of farm, gross farm income, yield of tobacco, serving as a director of Farm Bureau, being an ASCS com-mittee member, serving on the county quarterly court, and serving as a member of the county Agricultural Extension Committee. Farmers having dairy, beef, or tobacco as their major farm enterprise made more visits than did those with either swine, sheep, or poultry. Farmers with larger farms, more gross farm income, and higher tobacco yields made more office visits. More visits also were made by farmers who were directors of Farm Bureau, members of the ASCS committee or county quarterly court, and members of the County Agricultural Extension Committee. Number of telephone calls made by the 203 farmers to the Wilson County Extension Office was not significantly related to any of the per-sonal characteristics studied (i.e., farmers' age, education, race, or farming status). Farmers who served as 4-H project leaders, attended Extension meetings, and were members of a community club made more telephone calls to the Extension office than those not participating in these activities. Number of telephone calls was not associated with employment of wife, wife having membership in a Home Demonstration Club, having children in 4-H, or being a member of the Farm Bureau or the Grange. Distance from the farmers' farms to the county Extension office, size of farms, membership on the ASCS committee, or membership on the county court were not significantly associated with the number of telephone calls made to the Wilson County Extension Office. However, dairy and beef producers made significantly more telephone calls than did those having swine, poultry, or tobacco as their major farm enterprise. Farmers who had higher gross farm income and higher tobacco yields also made more telephone calls to the Extension office. Farm Bureau directors and members of the County Agricultural Extension Committee made more telephone calls to the Extension office than did farmers who were not members of these organizations. Implications and recommendations also were made in the study.
Arnett, Melvin Haskel, "Influence of selected factors on numbers of office visits and telephone calls made to the Wilson County Extension Office, Lebanon, Tennessee. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1973.