Volume 53(2) - 2012 - DOI: 10.5032/jae.2012.02110
The purpose of this study was to develop a substantive theory for community development by school–based agriculture programs through grounded theory methodology. Data for the study included in–depth interviews and field observations from three school–based agriculture programs in three non–metropolitan counties across a Midwestern state. The substantive theory that emerged was that school–based agriculture programs can have a positive impact on the social connections among a small group of community members and students. Social connections among community members and students were reinvested back into the program in the form of fundraising and student interaction. The reinvestment of resources helps individual students in the agriculture program, especially students who are destined to leave the community for higher education.