Date of Graduation

Fall 2015

Degree

Master of Natural and Applied Science in Agriculture

Department

College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Arbindra Rimal

Keywords

food hub, technology adoption, Missouri, producer attitude, producer attributes, producer participation, local food systems, local food marketing

Subject Categories

Agriculture

Abstract

Demand for locally-sourced food in the United States has spurred the introduction of a number of food hubs in recent years. The objective of this study was to examine the attitudes of agricultural producers in the Missouri Ozarks towards participation in a food hub. A survey of 218 farmers was conducted to assess how likely producers were to sell into a food hub and whether those producers would be willing to alter their supply to accommodate the needs of the proposed hub. Descriptive statistics, factor analysis and regression analysis were used to uncover which variables were most likely to contribute to a producer's decision to market his or her products through a food hub. Explanatory variables examined included producer attitude, social demographics, use of technology and extension services, and farm attributes. The study found that producer willingness to participate was positively related to farmer adoption of conservation and marketing technologies as well as a producer's positive attitude towards the benefits of a food hub. Age was found to be inversely related to producer willingness to participate as well as willingness to adjust supply to meet the needs of the proposed food hub. Producer attitude towards hub benefits and adoption of sustainable crop technologies were also positively related to willingness to adjust supply. These findings suggest that agricultural producers with favorable views towards technology in general and the benefits of foods hubs in particular will be more likely to market their products through a food hub.

Copyright

© Jennifer Michele Muzinic

Open Access

Included in

Agriculture Commons

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