Understanding families’ motivation for engaging in livestock exhibitions: A collective instrumental case study
The purpose of this collective instrumental case study was to understand the motivational factors that support families’ decisions to exhibit livestock. The expectancy value theory served as the theoretical lens, and a review of literature led to four issues to be explored. Four typical family cases were identified, and interviews were conducted. Five In-Vivo themes were identified: (a) “a family tradition,” (b) “bonds us together,” (c) “on-the-job training for life,” (d) “joys and discomforts of agricultural life,” and (e) “the show industry.” It was concluded that families value tradition, family togetherness, the agricultural community, work ethic, and the development of life skills critical for the success of their children. Winning, as traditionally defined in the show ring, was not the expectation. Rather, families expected to grow together, enjoy their time, and be competitive. The perceived family utility outweighed the noted costs. It was recommended that all stakeholders in the livestock exhibition community identify ways to enhance family involvement and work to reward ethical behaviors.