Volume 36 - Number 3 - 1995 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.1995.03043

 

Abstract:

This study was conducted to assess the knowledge and perceptions of 4-H members in a midwestern state regarding agriculture, food, and natural resources. Data were collected from 550 respondents but did not constitute a representative sample of all 4-H members. However, the results of this study may have implications for agricultural literacy educational initiatives on a practical basis. Three objectives were specified for this study as follows: 1) to assess the level of agricultural knowledge among 4-H members; 2) to assess the level of positive perceptions about agriculture among 4-H members; and, 3) to describe the demographic variables of 4-H members that may influence their agricultural literacy. 4-H members were most knowledgeable about the Natural Resources and Marketing of Agricultural Products concept areas, whereas the lowest group mean knowledge score was the Plant concept area. The 4-H members group produced lower (most positive) perception mean scores for the Natural Resources and Animal Science concept areas, whereas the highest (least positive) score was in the Policy concept area. Respondents who indicated their farms were between 10 and 50 acres and who had experience in raising plants, gardens, or crops, and who were enrolled in high school agricultural education produced lower knowledge of agriculture scores than those who did not possess those characteristics. However, 4-H members who lived on a farm produced higher knowledge of agriculture scores than those who did not possess those characteristics. 4-H members who lived on a farm produced less positive perception of agriculture scores while 4-H members who indicated their farms were between 10 and 50 acres and were also enrolled in high school agricultural education produced more positive perception of agriculture scores.

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