Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Extension

Major Professor

Robert S. Dotson

Committee Members

Haley M. Jamison, Cecil E. Carter Jr


The purposes of this study were to: 1) determine the character-istics of the Claiborne County cow-calf producers, their farms and their beef herds and to compare the participants and nonparticipants in the graded feeder calf sales; 2) determine which research-verified practices the Claiborne County cow-calf producers, participants and nonparticipants, were using, and 3) identify some of the factors that influenced them to adopt or reject the practices. A total of 38 beef producers was randomly selected, a sample of 19 participants and one of a like number, 19, nonparticipants. These were interviewed for the purpose of collecting data for the study. Data collected reflected the 1969 beef production season. Comparisons were made between participants and nonparticipants. Findings disclosed that beef producers and their farms had the following characteristics: (1) had an average farm size of 161.3 acres; (2) had an average of 89.3 acres of cropland, and (3) had a median educa-tional level of 8th grade. When participants and nonparticipants were compared, it was found that the former had; (1) a larger average farm size (180 vs 142 acres); (2) more acres of cropland (102 vs 76 acres) , and (3) the same median educational level (8th grade) attained by the latter. With regard to adoption of 31 recommended beef production practices studied, farmers in the participant group had a higher total practice diffusion rating than nonparticipants. On the average, participants rated higher in the use of the 31 practices than did the nonparticipants. Some reasons given to explain why beef producers often do not adopt beef production practices included: (1) they lacked the time necessary to carry out the practices; (2) they follow custom or habit, and (3) they do not think recommended practices are necessary. With regard to sources of advice relative to beef production practices, the producers listed (in order of frequency of mention): (1) County Agent; (2) cattle buyer; (3) neighbor or friend; (4) feed dealer or salesman; (5) banker of PGA representative; (6) equipment . dealer; (7) Special Agent; (8) local veterinarian; (9) artificial breed-ing technician, and (10) Vocational Agricultural Teachers. Additional sources of information mentioned were bulletins and publications, news letters, weekly newspapers, radio, farm magazines, daily newspapers, television, and commercial bulletins, in that order. It was recommended that study findings be used in the development of an Extension teaching plan for beef producers in Claiborne County.

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