Date of Award

1990

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Veterinary Medical Sciences - Pathobiological Sciences

First Advisor

Martin E. Hugh-Jones

Abstract

This study was divided into: (1) a descriptive study of the farm resources, management practices, veterinary services utilization, and socio-psychological characteristics of Louisiana ranchers in relation to beef cattle performance, (b) a classification of the ranchers according to their utilization of veterinary services with the objective of identifying producer characteristics that are associated with frequent, moderate, and non-use of veterinary services, and (c) identification of factors associated with continuing or ending beef cattle production. The intensity of management, herd health and veterinary services utilization was quantified by scoring and ranking indicator variables that defined these composite variables. Most ranchers had low mean scores for breeding practices (6.58/12.00), herd health practices (5.72/12.00), record-keeping practices (2.66/8.00), and veterinary services utilization (2.08/10.00). On average, the producer valued expressive and intrinsic values just as much as economic values. Classification of producers by veterinary services utilization resulted in 63 producers (42%) as non-users, 64 (43%) as moderate users, and 22 (15%) as frequent users of veterinary services. Step-wise discriminant analysis selected economic values, expressive values, record-keeping practices, herd health practices, breeding practices, and social values as variables that highly discriminated the three groups. The frequent users of veterinary services had the highest mean scores for economic values, record-keeping practices, herd health practices, breeding practices, and social values. The moderate users of veterinary services had the highest mean scores for expressive and intrinsic values. The model developed to classify the producers on the basis of their veterinary services utilization had a correct classification rate of 86% for non-users, 72% for the moderate users, and 86% for the frequent users. Comparison of producers still in ranching to those who had quit ranching demonstrated that producers who had left ranching had higher mean scores for economic values and formal education but lower scores for feeding practices, breeding practices, herd health practices, record-keeping practices, and social values. Of the six variables selected by step-wise discriminant analysis, two were socio-psychological (economic and social motivation), and two were managemental (breeding practices and feeding practices. The model correctly classified 76% of ranchers in production and 70% of those who had quit ranching.

Pages

197

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