Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural Education and Studies

First Advisor

Alan Kahler


The traditional agricultural workforce is changing at an alarming rate. These changes are being caused by new and developing technologies, changing demographics of the workforce and changes in employers needs. This phenomenon has caused many corporations to establish their own facilities for training and retraining of employees. This practice is working for now, but numerous companies are looking to higher education to help meet their training needs. To help fill this void in the educational arena, colleges of agriculture are exploring various means and methods to assist these corporations with their educational needs through the use of distance education technologies;Retraining of the workforce is only one of the factors impacting on the agricultural industry. Another factor is the predicted shortfall of graduates with expertise in the various disciplines of the food and agricultural sciences. And besides the shortfall of graduates, demographic shifts suggest that new audiences will have to become engaged in agricultural disciplines to fill the demand. Although, members of minority populations have not historically had positive experiences in agriculture, this predicted shortfall should award employment opportunities in "good" positions to those who pursue careers in agriculture related discipline;The national society of minorities in agriculture, natural resources and related sciences (MANRRS) heavily promotes the involvement of minorities in the agricultural related disciplines. The professional members of this organization were surveyed to measured their perceptions of participation in and the necessity of extended and continuing educational activities particularly through the use of distance education technologies. MANRRS members reported that courses taught by satellite or compressed video were of the same quality as courses taught on campus. However, most participants felt that courses taught by videotape were of lesser quality than courses taught on campus. The most desired feature in an educational program was that the information presented be based on the most current unbiased research available and presented in a usable form.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Dawn Andis Mellion



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

101 pages