Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Systems Technology and Education

Committee Chair(s)

Von H. Jarrett


Von H. Jarrett


C. Dennis Funk


Thailand is an agricultural country with about 80 percent of the population operating farms. Agriculture is the main source of national income and 90 percent of all exports are agricultural products. The farms are small and a high percent of the farmers are illiterate which accounts for so many people remaining on farms. Even though agricultural development is under the National Economic and Social Development Plan, new methods of farming are not easily accessible to the small farmers. They still follow their ancestor's methods of cultivating, irrigating, and harvesting their crops. Most farmers operate subsistent farm units. They plant enough rice for their own family for the year and if all the rice is not consumed it is sold. They are not familiar with modern agricultural science: fertilizer, soils, plants, mechanization, entomology or market demands. Farm boys and girls have to drop out of school in low grade levels because the farmer cannot afford school expenses. Young people are expected to help their families on the farms. The younger generation will likely follow in the footsteps of their parents unless additional educational opportunities are provided. Extension Service can be a way of providing informal education to farmers and their families.

Separate Agricultural Extension Departments in Thailand were organized by the Ministry of Agriculture many years ago for general agriculture, rice, livestock, fishery, and forestry. In 1967 the Agricultural Extension Department was established in the Ministry of Agriculture and combined three Extension Departments: Office of the Under-Secretary of State, General Agricultural, and Rice Department into one department. This is likely the beginning of real Agricultural Extension Service in Thailand.

Although the Cooperative Extension Service in the United States of America started under the Smith-Liver Act in 1914, agricultural extension had been organized long before that year. The general objectives of Cooperative Extension Service are to strengthen agriculture, home economics, and youth programs. Extension Service is organized to meet the people's needs. Utah is one of the pioneers in agricultural extension in the western states. In 1911, Lou Windsor was hired as the first county agent in the Uintah Basin. Since Utah has one of the oldest Cooperative Extension Services, its organization and administration will be studied to gather information that might be applied and incorporated into the Agricultural Extension Service in Thailand.