Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Gilbert A. Long


Gilbert A. Long


Eldon Drake


William F. Campbell


Th is study was limited to 165 farmers involved in various segments of production agriculture in the state of Utah. County agents and vocational agriculture teachers in each county nominated these farmers as candidates according to their respective farming operations.

The following six defined areas of production agriculture were used as selection criteria to insure equal input in the study: Beef, Dairy, Swine , Sheep, Poultry, and Crops. All farmers were surveyed by means of persona l interviews conducted by either county agents or vocational agriculture instructors in their respective counties. The surveying instrument used was developed through a thorough review of the National Agricultural Competency Study list of skill quest ions. Farmers were asked to rank on a likert-type scale, the importance each skill had on their operation. Farmers· were also asked to reply yes or no to whether or not they needed additional training in each skill area. Eleven categories of competencies were-used in the study in an attempt to highlight all areas of production agriculture. Data were compiled and a Burroughs 6700 computer was utilized for program evaluation to find means, rankings, ranges, and frequencies.

A review of the study revealed that:

1. Over one- third of all farmers surveyed terminated their formal education after high school . This places a great deal of emphasis on high school agriculture curriculum as well as adult education programs.

2. Many areas of production agriculture have overlapping areas of skills and competencies.

3. There is a commonality of competencies needed by all those entering the production agriculture industry.

4. Areas of anima l health, equipment maintenance, soil preparation, and planting as well as legal practices and safety precautions, all placed very high in ranks of importance throughout the study.

5. Most employment figures are projected to remain relatively constant with a 10% or less fluctuation projected over a five-year period. The only exception is that of part-time non-family employees which shows a decrease of 18%.

6. One-hundred-ten of the one-hundred- fourteen competencies surveyed in the study were considered to be of some importance to the agriculture industry.