Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

First Advisor

Barbara A. Holt

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine perceptions of coordinators with the Board of International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) of sustainable agriculture, and practices and the ideas needed to promote it. The study also sought to verify Crosson's model of agricultural productivity and land potential. A three-part, field tested questionnaire was mailed to all 157 Title XII coordinators at Land Grant Universities throughout the United States. Of the 103 returned questionnaires a 58.6% usable response rate was obtained. An additional 21 responses obtained from nonrespondents reached by phone showed no significant differences from mail respondents. Descriptive statistics, Cramer's V, and a scale of practical significance were utilized to describe Title XII coordinators' perceptions of sustainable agriculture, practices and the ideas to promote it. For the validation of Crosson's model it was established a priori that at least 50% of the Title XII coordinators would agree with placement of selected countries in his model. Results of the study showed that: coordinators generally were older people with a Doctor of Philosophy degree who had specialized in an agricultural area, and possessed both administrative and technical skills; a majority of coordinators did not agree with Crosson's placement of selected countries; Crosson's theory was rejected; a low association existed between the variables, types of international field experiences and work levels during coordinators' most recent field experience, and their placement of selected countries. The definition of sustainable agriculture of the American Agronomy Society was chosen as the 'best' definition; soil, water, and energy conservation, biological diversity of crops, integrated pest management and nutrient recycling were practices considered most important to the success of sustainable agriculture; international grassroots experience, types of field experiences and work levels during coordinators' most recent field trips were related to coordinators' perceptions of practices. Four actions were thought to be most important to the promotion of sustainable agriculture: incorporate the ecological dimensions of the economy, trade, and industry into agricultural policies; develop technologies to extend the environmental agricultural resource base while reducing damage; give the public greater information regarding the environment; and encourage population control.

Pages

171

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