Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural Education and Studies

First Advisor

Nancy Grudens-Schuck


This dissertation illustrates how Q Methodology was used to solve a problem of low enrollment in a dairy herd genetic registry project in Uruguay to better understand the reasons why many farmer producers declined to participate. The results of Q Methodology led to a more satisfying understanding of the needs, interests, and values of non-participants in this agricultural extension project. The dissertation argues for expanded use of Q as a tool for educational program planning and evaluation in addition to its better known use as a research instrument.;Q statements were developed from in-depth interviews with non-participating producers and project staff, and project documents. Data collection and analysis of q-sorts (44 total) occurred in February and September of 2003. Centroid factor analysis with theoretical rotation was used to arrive at a four-factor solution to the combined data matrix of 44 q-sorts. Three of the four factors were stable across both analyses. The first factor, the "Technicians", cited lack of technical assistance as the reason for non-participation and sought a solution that focused on delivering the project through better trained technical advisors. The "Efficiency Activists" cited structural issues as the barrier to participation with improved industry-wide efficiency as the solution. The "Traditionalists" offered personal and political reasons for their lack of participation. Finally, the "Economists" reflected the poor economic conditions facing many producers in Uruguay, namely depressed milk prices.;The study attended to consensus items as an entry point for program improvement. A primary strategic solution for increasing participation by working with other farmer organizations was shared by three factors. The four factors also provided insight into how program planners might garner farmers' participation by better training the technicians who deliver the service.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Brett Andrew Kramer



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

182 pages