Understanding Grower and Producer Motivations for Participation in Farm to School Programs
Lazarus, Jennie Annabel
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This thesis examined small-crop producers’ motivations for current and future participation in Farm-to-School programs within the region of Becker, Clay, Otter Tail, and Wilkin counties in Western Minnesota and Cass County in North Dakota. A quantitative approach was employed and utilized secondary data from the Growers’ Motivation Survey of 2013. The purpose of this study was to identify possible contextual characteristics that influence motivations; determine whether there were significant differences in the motivations of farmers who identified as currently participating; and to investigate significant differences in the motivations of farmers who identified as being at least somewhat likely to participate in Farm-to-School programs within the next five years. Findings from this research suggested that there is limited support for the theoretical framework of the embeddedness of farmers. However, there is a need for additional studies before the overall concept may be disregarded for all Farm-to-School or direct-to-consumer markets studies.