Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Extension

Major Professor

Robert S. Dotson

Committee Members

Cecil E. Carter, Charles L. Cleland


This benchmark study was concerned with the problem of too rapidly increasing expenditures for publishing and distributing agricultural-titled Extension publications. Publication ordering patterns for all 95 Tennessee county Extension staffs were studied. Also, ten variables concerning county Extension programs and four variables concerning agricultural-titled Extension publication ordering patterns per county were investigated. The purpose was to obtain information concerning publication ordering patterns which would be helpful to Extension administrators in the future allocation of funds and to identify the association between certain county Extension program variables and the publication ordering patterns of the county Extension staffs. Data were drawn from publication order forms on file from all Tennessee counties for the period, 1965-1967, and from other secondary sources. Tabulated data were reported in numbers, per-cents and averages where appropriate for total, high order (numerically ranking from first through thirty-second in numbers of copies of publications ordered), medium order (numerically ranking from 33-63), and low order (numerically ranking from 64-95) counties. Main comparisons were between high and low order counties. Also, a step-wise multiple regression analysis was made with the assistance of the University of Tennessee Computer Center. Findings disclosed that the county Extension staffs for the state, high order and low order counties tended to "use order Form 559" (Ordering Procedure A) and "have the county agricultural agent initiate the order" (Ordering Procedure B) as recommended; but that the staffs did not tend to follow recommended Ordering Procedures C and D, namely; "averaging no more than one order every two months" (excepting for low order county staffs), and "pooling orders," respectively., Three of the eleven Extension publication title classes, namely; (1) farm crops and fertilizers, (2) fruits and vegetables, and (3) insects, plant diseases and pests accounted for almost two—thirds of all copies of agricultural titled Extension publications ordered, 1965-1967, and approximately one-half of the total copies on hand at inventory time, 1967. Slightly less than two-thirds of all copies of publications ordered by county staffs in the state 1965-1967 were accounted for in the inventory, 1967. Three-fifths of all copies of publications ordered in the state were ordered by the 32 high order counties. One-half of all copies of publications ordered in the state was ordered during the months of January, February and March. Furthermore, it was disclosed that, as the total number of full-time farm family equivalents per county, total number of county Extension staff members per county, total appropriation to county agricultural agents per county and total real and personal assessed taxable property per county increased, the numbers of copies of agricultural-titled Extension publications ordered for the state also increased. Multiple correlation analysis disclosed that when five selected county Extension program variables were correlated with the total number of copies of publications ordered, the county appropria-tion to county agricultural agents was the most accurate predictor of the total number of copies of publications ordered for the state. The numbers of full-time farm family equivalents constituted the best indicator for low order counties. It was implied that state staffs responsible for funding and distributing such publications, and district supervisors responsible for training county personnel should make appropriate use of findings. Recommendations for further study were included.

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