Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural and Extension Education

Major Professor

David G. Craig

Committee Members

George W. Wiegers Jr, Homer D. Swingle


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to determine if the Hampton High School vocational agriculture program is relevant to modern agriculture. The specific objectives were: to determine occupational patterns of former students; to determine factors that influenced former students to enter or leave the occupation; to determine the number of former students in farming or related occupations; and, to identify the most beneficial aspects of the vocational agriculture program. Method. A review of literature was made. A questionnaire was prepared and mailed as the means of gathering data to meet the objectives of the study. All data were summarized into tables to show frequency and percentages. Findings. It was determined that 19 per-cent of the 75 former students were engaged in some type of farming on a commercial basis, and 11 per cent were employed in related occupations. Thirty-^nine per cent considered vocational agriculture helpful in employment. Fifty per cent of the respondents have had job patterns interrupted by military service. Preference for different type work and lack of land were the two main reasons graduates gave for not farming. Fifty-seven per cent of the graduates enrolled in vocational agriculture as freshmen because they were interested and wanted to learn better farming techniques. Graduates rated the following subject matter areas as most beneficial in order of importance: farm shop jobs in selecting, care and use of tools; farm mechanics jobs of care and operation of machines; farming program jobs in improvement projects; livestock production jobs of selection of breeds and determining the possibilities; and, crop production jobs of marketing, fertilization and selection of site. Future Farmer of America experiences were rated "good" in overall value and value in contribution to occupation. Recommendations. There should be periodic examination of the vocational agriculture curriculum with more persons brought into the evaluation. There is need for more emphasis on areas rated most beneficial and revision of areas rated low. Studies should be made to determine local employment possibilities for off farm work-study programs and possibilities of obtaining land for a school farm. Vocational guidance of students should include more information about the agriculture work training programs and about occupational opportunities in agriculture which do not require a college education.

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