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1 VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP IN THE U.S. BEEF INDUSTRY By CRYSTAL DAWN MATHEWS A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORID A IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010
2 2010 Crystal Dawn Mathews
3 To Valgene Mathews, my papa, colonel and cattleman
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am thankful that God gav e me a strong mind, a loving family, and an abundance of opportunity that ensues with being an Amer ican girl. He has blessed me with a fine education and the chance to pursue my dreams. First and foremost, I thank Hannah Carter for giving me the opportunity to learn from and w ork with her. I began this journey with her and I absolutely would not have completed it without her. She has become more than my advisor and chair. She is my mentor and my friend. She means more to me than she will ever know. I appreciate Anna Ball, Chad Carr, Gary Fa irchild and Nicole Stedman for serving as members of my committ ee and for their shared expe rtise, wisdom and guidance through this process. I thank each of them for bei ng an integral part of this research. I thoroughly enjoyed working with them. This research began with a conversation with Mike John, who is my beef industry leadership hero, and would not have been possible without the support provided through the W.D. Farr Scholarship awarded by the National Cattlemens Foundation. Thanks go to Roxanne Johnson, Linda Davis, Dick and Bill Farr for investing in me. Dr. Paul Vaughns memory was alive in my heart through this journey. I miss him. Thanks go out to Darla Eggers and Mandy Spieker for their unconditional love and support. I am thankful for my wonderful Aunts Pam, Peggy, Debbie and Vali for cheering me on every step of the way. This experience would not have been complete without Florida Gator Football and I was thrilled to experience a National Championship, a Heisman Trophy and an undefeated regular season as a student. Than ks go to Alex Alvarez and Brian Estevez for three years of tailgating memories. Besides Gameday, karaoke can keep a
5 graduate student sane, and I am grateful that Tate Mikell was always ready to go to Jackson. I am blessed to have an abundance of w onderful friendships, especially great girlfriends in my life: Amanda Brumby, Kate lyn Crow Landrum, Rachel Divine, Jessenia Rodriguez, Rochelle Strickland, Christy Wi ndham Chiarelli, Kati McWaters, Sallie Ann Sims, Katie Abrams, and Melissa Metcalf. I am thankful for Kris Mayfield, Kay C ourson, and my Abundant Grace family for caring and praying for me, encouraging and believi ng in me. One of the greatest things I leave Gainesville with is the growth in my relationship with Christ because of them. Josie and Abby Ball are two of the best li ttle sisters I could a sk for. I am so thankful that they welcomed me into their fa mily and let me become part of their lives. I would not have survived the trans ition to Florida without them. I never expected a dissertation and romance to coincide, but Trey Warnock has seen me through every step of this process and I have been blessed by his love, strength and support. I am so glad I got t hat tour of the Be ef Teaching Unit. Niki, Victoria, Stephanie, and Chad Boy have given me plenty of tough love. I am so proud of each of them, the families they have started and the lives they are creating. Being Aunt Crystal to Hannah, Lottie Mae and Leigha is absolutely one of the coolest things in my world. I know I have been far from home for three year s, but I cherish my Grandmothers phone calls that have kept me c onnected. And most of all, I thank my parents, Matt and Denice, for instilling into me a love of agriculture and the beef industry and teaching me how to work hard and play hard. They fought for me when I wanted to give up and would not let me come home to farm at least not yet.
6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDG MENTS .................................................................................................. 4LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................ 9LIST OF FIGURES ........................................................................................................ 10LIST OF ABBR EVIATIONS ........................................................................................... 11ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................... 12 CHA PTER 1 INTRODUC TION .................................................................................................... 14Agricultural Organizati ons ....................................................................................... 14U.S. Beef Industry ................................................................................................... 16Beef Industry Organizations .................................................................................... 17Volunteer Leadership in Beef Industry Or ganizati ons ............................................. 19Problem St atement ................................................................................................. 20Purpose and Objectives .......................................................................................... 21Significance of the Study ........................................................................................ 21Definition of Terms .................................................................................................. 23Methodology ........................................................................................................... 23Limitations ............................................................................................................... 24Assumpti ons ........................................................................................................... 24Summary ................................................................................................................ 252 LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................................... 26Volunteer Or ganizati ons ......................................................................................... 26Management of Volunteers in Organizations .......................................................... 29Motivations of Volunteers ........................................................................................ 32Development of Volunteer Leader s ........................................................................ 36Volunteer Leadership in Agricu lture ........................................................................ 38Agricultural Leadership ........................................................................................... 40Leadership Education ............................................................................................. 43Agricultural Leader ship Pr ograms ........................................................................... 44Summary ................................................................................................................ 493 METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................... 51Subjectivity Statement ............................................................................................ 51Research Design .................................................................................................... 52Procedur es ............................................................................................................. 56
7 Participants ............................................................................................................. 59Instrument ation ....................................................................................................... 59Data Coll ection ....................................................................................................... 61Data Anal ysis .......................................................................................................... 63Summary ................................................................................................................ 644 RESULTS ............................................................................................................... 65Demograp hics ......................................................................................................... 67Objectiv e 1 .............................................................................................................. 72Membership and Leadersh ip Recrui tment ........................................................ 72Organizational Involvement .............................................................................. 75Organizational Leadership ................................................................................ 84Young Cattlemens Conference ........................................................................ 86Humility ............................................................................................................. 87Objectiv e 2 .............................................................................................................. 88Volunteer ism .................................................................................................... 88Costs and Benefits of Leadership ..................................................................... 89Leadership De velopm ent.................................................................................. 95Training ...................................................................................................... 96Mentoring ................................................................................................... 97Challenges ................................................................................................. 98Objectiv e 3 ............................................................................................................ 101Intervie ws ....................................................................................................... 101Focus Group ................................................................................................... 102Questionna ire ................................................................................................. 106Summary .............................................................................................................. 1135 SUMMARY AND CO NCLUSIONS ........................................................................ 114Summary of the Study .......................................................................................... 114Problem St atement ......................................................................................... 114Purpose and Objectives ................................................................................. 115Methodology ................................................................................................... 115Findings ................................................................................................................ 116Objectiv e 1 ..................................................................................................... 116Objectiv e 2 ..................................................................................................... 119Objectiv e 3 ..................................................................................................... 121Conclusi ons .......................................................................................................... 124Implicat ions ........................................................................................................... 128Recommendat ions ................................................................................................ 131Addressing the Cost s of Leader ship ............................................................... 137Leadership Education ..................................................................................... 138Organizational Staff ........................................................................................ 139Industry Alliances ........................................................................................... 141Further Re search ........................................................................................... 142
8 Future of the Beef Industry ................................................................................... 144Summary .............................................................................................................. 148APPENDIX A BEEF INDUSTRY VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP INTERVIE W QUESTIONNAIRE 150B PARTICIPANT info rmed cons ent .......................................................................... 151C PRODUCER EDUCATION FOCUS GROUP MODERATORS GUIDE ................ 152D PRODUCER EDUCATION FOCUS GROUP QUESTIONS .................................. 153E LEADERSHIP QU ESTIONNAIRE ........................................................................ 154F FIRST EMAIL TO YPC MEM BERS ...................................................................... 166G SECOND EMAIL TO YPC MEMBERS ................................................................. 167LIST OF RE FERENCES ............................................................................................. 168BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................... 173
9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Interviewees ....................................................................................................... 664-2 Demographic characteristi cs of interview partici pants ........................................ 684-3 YPC demographi cs in years ............................................................................... 694-4 Demographic characterist ics of survey res pondents .......................................... 704-5 Industry me mbership .......................................................................................... 714-6 Industry pa rticipation .......................................................................................... 714-7 Beef industry vo lunteer l eadership ..................................................................... 724-8 Recruitment ........................................................................................................ 754-9 Factors that influence or ganizational in volvement .............................................. 824-10 Involv ement ........................................................................................................ 834-11 Volunt eerism....................................................................................................... 894-12 Ranked costs of volunteer leadersh ip in beef industr y organizations ................. 934-13 Ranked benefits of volunteer leadership in beef industry organizations ............. 944-14 Leadership c hallenges ........................................................................................ 994-15 Volunteer leadership ......................................................................................... 1004-16 Leadership educ ation needs ............................................................................ 1014-17 Importance of leadership skills for YPC members ............................................ 1074-18 Proficiency of leadership skills for YPC members ............................................ 1094-19 Comparison of leadership ski lls importance and proficiencies ......................... 111
10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Logic model of leadership development program ............................................... 482-2 Conceptual model of volunteer leadership in t he beef in dustry .......................... 50
11 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ANCW American National CattleWomen BQA Beef Quality Assurance CBB Cattlemens Beef Board CEO Chief Executive Officer COOL Country of Origin Labeling FFA National FFA Organization (F uture Farmers of America) HSUS Humane Society of the United States MBA Masters of Beef Advocacy NASS National Agricultural Statistics Service NBAP National Beef Ambassador Program NCBA National Cattlemens Beef Association PETA People for the Ethica l Treatment of Animals USDA United States Depar tment of Agriculture YCC Young Cattlemens Conference YPC Young Produc ers Council
12 Abstract of Dissertation Pr esented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulf illment of the Requirements for t he Degree of Doctor of Philosophy VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP IN THE U.S. BEEF INDUSTRY By Crystal Dawn Mathews May 2010 Chair: Hannah S. Carter Major: Agricultural Education and Communication Agricultural organizations have served the industry for nearly 150 years. As the industry faces new challenges in a changing society and more global marketplace, there are greater demands on these gr assroots organizations and t he volunteer leaders that serve them. This research is an analysis of participation and volu nteer leadership in organizations that specifically serve t he interests of the beef industry. Sixteen interviews were conducted with cattle producers across the country who had various levels of participation and l eadership experience in beef industry organizations and represented a cross-section of the beef cattle industry by segment and region. A focus group was conducted with vo lunteer leaders that work to meet the producer education needs of the industry. A leadership questionnaire was administered to a subset of young producers that are members of the Nati onal Cattlemens Beef Association. Through this mixed-methods qualitative and quantit ative study, themes emerged relating to participation and leadership in beef industry organizations, including membership and leadership recruitment, organizational involvement, organizational leadership, Young Cattlemens Conference, hum ility, volunteerism, costs and benefits of
13 leadership, and leadership development. Th e questionnaire included a leadership needs assessment fo r NCBA members. Asking people was the prevalent way to get others to join, partici pate and lead in industry organizations. Volunteerism was deem ed significant by interviewees because it does make a difference and help guide the organization. Volunteer leaders want to know that their work is meaningful and that t hey make a difference. Within leadership development, there is a need for training, an industry mentoring program and to address the reality of the challenges leaders face. The biggest costs of volunt eer leadership are the time commitments, particularly time away from family, and financial costs to attend conventions an d meetings. The top benefit was improving the indus try, and producers served because they wanted to give something back to the industry and make it better for fu ture generations. Recommendations include more emphasis on asking people to join, participate and lead; expansion of more leadership development opportunities for producer members; and the need for organi zations to address the costs of leadership, particularly time commitments. Leadership development programs should be targeted to meet the leadership education needs of producer me mbers and an emphasis should be placed on recruiting and retaining young people to work in agriculture and serve in industry organizations.
14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Agricultural Organizations Agricultural organizations have been an acti ve part of American agriculture since 1867 (National Grange History, 2002). Thro ughout the years, names change, mergers and splits occur, the issues evolv e, but one thing has remained constant: agricultural organizations are working to sustain Americ as oldest livelihood, heritage, and a way of life which continues for millions of farmers and ranchers today (F arm Facts, 2008). These organizations were formed and contin ue to be funded by and for agriculturalists and their specific interests (A ssociation History, 2008). From product promotion to legislative lobbying, and from producer education to consumer communication, the activities of agricultural organizations are directed by members beginning at the grassroots level and carried out by staff and volunteers at local, state, and national levels (Associat ion History, 2008). The volunteer leadership that members provide plays a vital role in supporting and sustaining the mission and goals for these organizations. These volunteer leaders of agricultura l organizations take on many roles, including elected officers, committee and board chairpersons and members, event planners, and fundraising organizers. Some ro les are assigned leadership with a title and designated length of service, while ot her roles are assumed by emergent leaders who accept the responsibility without a title or official office (Northouse, 2007). One might consider both the president of t he organization and the member who spearheads membership recruitment effort s to be leaders, but leadership is expressed and identified differently in each situation.
15 Grassroots organizations are unique because policy of the national organization had its beginnings at the local level. Many of the organizations that serve agriculture, such as commodity groups, trade associ ations and Farm Bureau are grassroots organizations. Members generate policy by writing resolutions at the local level. Someone from the local level then carries the po licy on to the state level. If passed by a majority vote at the state level, the state then carries it on to the national level. If voted in by a majority at the nationa l level, it then becomes offici al organizationa l policy of the national association. At this point in a gras sroots organization, the role of paid staff is to carry out the policies and directions of the organization set and voted upon by members, while staff might bring feedback to producer members as they progressively make policy decisions, amendments and changes. Grassroots organizations ar e prevalent in agriculture because only the local farmers and ranchers know the details of the i ssues and challenges that are distinct to their county or region. Only when agricultura lists come together with their concerns and debate the issues can they pass the best polic ies to represent their industries as a whole on the national level and provide the or ganization with a stronger voice to speak and lobby against threats and for issues. Agricultural grassroots organi zations would struggle to su rvive without leadership from both volunteers and paid staff. Without staff spearheading the daily operations of the organization and the volunteers that create policy for staff to carry out, the role of the association would cease to be little more than social at best. J. Kleiboeker said the need for leadership in these organizati ons has never been greater (personal communication, January 28, 2010) Leaders of grassroots agricultural organizations
16 today often do not come from multi-million dollar ranching oper ations as they often did 100 years ago (Ball, 1998). If money yi elds influence, this makes the need for possessing and effectively using leadership skill sets even greater for volunteer association leaders today. Organizations must determine what leadership skills are needed for these volunteer leaders before educ ation and training can be provided. U.S. Beef Industry The beef industry comprises one piece of t he vast American agric ultural industry, but the economic, environmental, and political impacts of this industry segment are far reaching. The U.S. beef industry is compris ed of more than one million farms, ranches, and businesses from all 50 states (National Cattlemens Beef Associ ation, 2007). On January 1, 2009, there were an estimat ed 94.5 million head of cattle and 800,000 ranchers and cattlemen in the United States (Ca ttle Fax, 2009). U.S. cash receipts from cattle and calves totaled $49.6 billion in 2005 (National Cattlemens Beef Association, 2007). Beef is an important component in diet s of Americans, as near ly nine out of ten U.S. households will eat beef at home in t he next two weeks (Nati onal Cattlemens Beef Association, 2006). Last year, the aver age American spent $271 on 73 pounds of beef, yet according to USDA Food Pyramid Guideli nes, we still only get 82% of the meat we need in our diet (AFBF, 2007; Cattle Fax, 2009). Beef consumption per capita is highest in the Midwest (Economic Research Service, 2009). The U.S. beef industry is not only vast, it is also very efficient. The United States has less than 10% of the worlds cattle inve ntory, but produces approximately 25% of the worlds beef supply (National Cattlemens Beef Association, 2006). With the amount of beef produced wit hin the United States, export mark ets play a vital role in the
17 movement and consumption of U.S. beef and the profits returned to producers and processors. While we exported $1.8 billion in beef pr oducts last year, the United States is also the largest importer of beef in the world (Economic Research Service, 2009). Many of the products we export are more val uable in foreign markets, as our culture does not consume them. Much of the meat imported is leaner than our corn-fed beef, then blended with fatter trimmings and used for ground beef products such as hamburgers for quick serve restaurants. In order to stay in business, one has to st ay in the black. Over time this means consistently turning a profit, breaking even, or in some cases, minimizing losses. In the food production business, this requires kn owledge and underst anding of consumer needs and demands, and the ability to efficient ly and effectively meet those needs and demands. This also requires cooperation or mi nimal interference from local, state and national governments (Cat chings & Wingenbach, 2006). Beef Industry Organizations With the volatility of th e political arena, there is never a guarantee that the interests of Americas beef producers will be protected or cons idered with eac h new piece of legislation or jurisdiction from t he courts. This has cr eated the need for unity amongst beef producers through industry or ganizations. These organizations have historically played an integral role in the ratification and implementation of farm legislation that impacts beef producers. T hey also serve as channels of communication between producers and policy makers (Catch ings & Wingenbach, 2006). There is strength in numbers, and these organizations provide a synergistic voice and greater influence than any individua l member on their own.
18 One organization within the beef industry that was created for this purpose is the National Cattlemens Beef Association (NCB A). In 1898, a national cattle producers organization was formed to combat issues such as land rights, cattle rustling, and the packer monopoly (Association History, 2008) For more than 100 years, this organization has sought to bring cattle producers together to fight for rights and issues with a unified front. Through three mergers, numerous or ganizational splits, economic busts, natural disasters, world wars, changi ng political views and evolving consumer wants, NCBA has persevered as the voice of the American beef i ndustry (Association History, 2008, p. 1). Today, NCBA is a grassroots agricultural organization consisting of more than 31,000 members nationwide (A. Graham, personal communication, April 14, 2010). Members are associated with all segments of the beef indus try and there are many beef industry organizations which are affiliated with NCBA, such as state cattlemens associations, state beef industry councils an d breed organizations. These affiliated organizations have a combined total me mbership of 230,000 members. NCBA considers itself to be the parent organizati on that represents all 230,000 of these affiliated members, even though only a sm all percentage of them are paying membership dues directly to NCBA. As a producer operated organization, members volunteer to serve in leadership roles at the county, state, and national levels, often in conjunction with paid staff, to carry out the operations and goals of the organization. Organizational policy is developed and voted upon by producer members, beginning at the local and state affiliate le vel and working up to the national level at NCBA. Policy then determines how the organization will serve as a voice for cattlemen
19 and address industry issues such as food safety, animal health, animal welfare, globalization, bio-terrorism, obesity, envir onment, media and public perception, among other issues (National Cattlemen s Beef Association, 2010). Volunteer Leadership in Beef Industry Organizations Volunteer leaders may serve in many capac ities. For example, volunteers run the meetings that set this organiz ational policy, meet with legislators on behalf of NCBA members to lobby for this policy, devote ti me to coordinating educational programs for members, and raise scholarship and charity funds through cattlemens events. These volunteers may be asked to serve and assigned to leadership roles, chosen in an interview process or elected through a voting procedure. NCBA has a long history of strong leadership. Ball (1998) discussed the influence of the men and women who served this industry and association over the past 100 years. The June 1919 issue of The Producer described one past president of the association as the most prom inent and influential livestock man in the United States, to whose efforts in its behalf the industry owes more, perhaps, than to those of any other individual (as cited by Ball, 1998, p. 46). Past leaders of the industry and association serve as examples of what strong collabora tion and leadership can accomplish to better the industry by improving profit ability and increasing beef demand. It is crucial to the survival of NCBA and its subsidiary associations to have volunteer leaders who are comp etent and effective in fulfil ling their service to the industry and association. These leadership roles carry with them a degree of credibility that must be maintained. Leaders in the beef industry have a responsibility to have the knowledge and understanding necessary to comm unicate the reality of what is happening in the industry and global marketpl ace (Purcell, 2002). Former NCBA Chief
20 Executive Officer Terry Stokes said t he organization needs members with strong communication skills and a holistic industry perspective to fulfill volunteer leadership roles. He also noted the need for st ronger association management, with more volunteers and partnerships between staff and volunteers (personal communication, January 28, 2008). When considering the most approp riate ways to approach leadership development for those in production agricultu re, it is important to consider the characteristics of the people and culture of this industry. Participants in the Michigan Farmers Study Program, one of the first leadership development programs in the country for production agriculturalists, tended to be conservative, primarily concerned with their families and farms and the issues that affected them on a direct, local basis. Their leadership activities at the start of the program reflected th is limited range. (Miller, 1976, p. 21). While this description of those involved in production agriculture is over 30 years old, many of these characteristics hold true for Americas farmers and ranchers today. Any attempts at leadership educatio n and leader development in this industry must be adapted and targeted to the uniqu e people that make up this industry. Problem Statement Former NCBA President and cattl e producer Mike John has said it is a struggle to recruit leaders to leave successful businesses for volunteer service (personal communication, April 29, 2008). Pot ential leaders have responsibilities and commitments to their agricultural operations and professions that make it a challenge for them to devote time and re sources to serve in leadersh ip roles. Some leadership roles, such as serving as a national office r in the NCBA, require spending approximately 300 days on the road in a given year (M. John, personal communication, April 29,
21 2008). Volunteer time was valued at $16. 05 per hour in 2002, which means 300 days would be equivalent to an NCBA president d onating $38,520 to the organization in one year (Rudd, Stedman & Mo rgan, 2002). Only in identifying the factors that influence the decisions that producers make to take on the responsibilities of leadership can we answer the question of how to recruit em erging leaders and address their concerns about leadership. Additionally, leadership education and developm ent programs within NCBA will only be effective to the extent that they address the actual leadership education needs of NCBA members. Agricultural organizati ons such as NCBA have the potential to make a greater impact in se rving the beef industry and beef producers by more effectively recruiting, training and retaining volunteer leadership. Purpose and Objectives The purpos e of this research is to asse ss beef producers perceptions of, interest in, and commitment to serving in leader ship roles within the beef industry. The objectives of this research are to: 1. Identify the factors that influence producer members decisions to participate and lead in beef industry organizations. 2. Determine perceptions of active Nati onal Cattlemens Beef Association (NCBA) members about volunteer leadership responsibilities and commitments. 3. Identify the leadership educat ion needs of NCBA members. Significance of the Study This study is significant because of its imp lications for agricultural organizations. Understanding participation in and perceptions of leadershi p in voluntary organizations is important because it can be used to enhance organizational participation a nd leadership (Chinman & Wandersman, 1999).
22 With an aging generation of agriculturalists in this country, organizations will have to find a way to attract new members and leaders from an upcoming younger generation (Allen & Harris, 2005). This research could initiate or provide direction for programs and training to prepar e more producers for leadership roles in the future. Traditionally, animal agriculture has been associated with people caring for animals, wholesome agrarian liv ing, stewardship of the l and, and the self-reliance and independence of small farm owners (Fraser, 2001). However, the New Perception described by Fraser (2001) views animal agriculture as detrime ntal to animal welfare, controlled by large corporations, motivat ed by profit, increasing world hunger, producing unhealthy food and harmful to the environment. As social media has made this debate viral, there is an increasing need for industr y leaders who can engage in this debate by effectively communicating agricultures me ssage and uniting farmers and ranchers as the voice of anti-animal agriculture and anti-conv entional agriculture c ontinues to grow. Carter and Rudd (2005) analyze d participation and leadership of active members within Florida Farm Bureau. Other re searchers have conducted analyses and evaluations of other agricultural organizations and their members. Wi th this study being focused on a beef industry organization, it will be of interest to compar e the findings with similar research that has previously been done in other agricultural organizations. Agricultural organizations, particularly thos e in the beef industry, will be able to utilize this research to better understand producer members concerns, apprehensions, and conflicts with volunteering for leadership ro les. NCBA will gain specific knowledge as to the leadership education needs of it s members, providing a roadmap for future leadership development progr ams within the organization. With this knowledge,
23 organizations can improve their leadership recruitment, development, and retention efforts presently, and then more effectivel y address these issues with potential and emerging leaders in the future. Definition of Terms The following definitions are used in this study: BEEF INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION. Organized group of people collectively working toward a shared goal pertaining to beef cattle production or marketing. NATIONAL CATTLEMENS BEEF ASSOCIATION (NCBA). National organization consisting of dues paying members involved in every aspect of the cattle and beef industry (Association History, 2008). ACTIVE NCBA MEMBER. NCBA member actively invo lved in beef cattle production who consistently pays dues and attends lo cal, state or national organization meetings. YOUNG PRODUCERS COUNCIL (YPC). A subset membersh ip group within NCBA of members that are 18 to 35 years of age. CATTLEMENS BEEF BOARD. Governing body comprised of 106 members that have been appointed by the United States Secret ary of Agriculture; this group is responsible for allocating national beef c heckoff dollars and is regulated by the USDA (Cattlemens Beef Board [CBB], 2010). JOINT INDUSTRY PRODUCER EDUCATION COMMITTEE. Committee consisting of representatives from NCBA and CBB that fo cus on meeting the education needs of the beef industry and provide ov ersight to the BQA program. LEADERSHIP. Serving in a defined role within an organization. VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP. Serving in a defined role within an organization without compensation or pay for time. VOLUNTEER LEADER. Organizational member who choos es to give time without pay to serve the organization and its members in any capacity. Methodology This research used a combination of qua litative and quantitative data gathered in three different phases of data collecti on utiliz ing interviews, a focus group and a questionnaire. The first phase included sixteen interviews with cattle producers across
24 the country from different s egments of the industry with a variety of past experiences participating and leading in or ganizations, from those who were not a member of any organization to past presidents of NCBA. Interview findings were used to develop questions for a focus group conducted with members of the Join t Industry Producer Education Committee. Data from the focu s group was used to validate the interview findings and then combined to develop the su rvey instrument utilized in the third and final phase. A leadership questionnaire wa s administered to a purposive sample of NCBA members. The data from all three phases addressed t he objectives of the study. Limitations The qualitative portion of this research co llects data through interv iews and focus groups with beef producers, many of whom are NCBA members and leaders, and is not generalizeable to other populations. The quant itative part of this study conducts a survey with a subset of active NCBA me mbers belonging to the Young Producers Council (YPC), which includes all NCBA members between 18-35 years of age and may or may not be generalizeable to other organizations. According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, the average age of an American farmer was 57 years and has been increasing since 1978 (Allen & Ha rris, 2005). Therefore, t he survey of YPC members may or may not be representat ive of all NCBA members. Assumptions Utiliz ing interviews, focus groups and a survey instrument for data collection, this research assumes that all participants will answer all questions truthfully. There is also an underlying assumption that volunteer leadership is a desirable task.
25 Summary Agricultural organizations were formed out of a necessity to promote and protect Americas oldest indu stry and the livelihood of millions of Americans through a unified voice. The lifeblood of agricultural organiza tions is the members who participate. The pinnacle of that participation is the time and resources that are dedicated to serving the organization. In order for beef industry or ganizations to continue to protect their producers, members must be willing to serve the organization through leadership. By understanding why members choose to partici pate in organizational leadership roles, and what skills they need to successfully fulfill their volunteer leadership responsibilities, current beef industry leaders and employees c an work to recruit, train and retain members to lead this industry into the next century.
26 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW The purpos e of this study was to assess beef producers perceptions of, interest in, and commitment to serving in leadership roles within the beef industry. To accomplish this purpose, the objectives of this research were (1) identify the factors that influence producer members decisions to participate and lead in beef industry organizations; (2) determine perceptions of active National Cattlemens Beef Association (NCBA) members about vol unteer leadership responsibilities and commitments; (3) and identify the leadership education needs of NCBA members. This chapter will review the relevant re search literature t hat served as the foundation for this study. This literature re view includes the following specific areas: volunteer organizations, management of vol unteers in organizations, motivations of volunteers, development of volunteer leaders volunteer leadership in agriculture, agricultural leadership, leadership education, and agricultural leadership programs. Volunteer Organizations Understanding participation in and perceptions of leadership in volunteer organizations is important because it can be used to enhance participation and leadership in voluntary groups. C hinman and Wandersman ( 1999) conducted an extensive literature review of the cost s and benefits associated with participation in voluntary organizations. T hey found that costs and benefits can be measured, they are related to participation, and they can be managed by voluntary organization leaders. Researchers have used membership, activity le vel, and different organization types to examine costs and benefits.
27 In 2001, Catano, Pond and Kelloway ex plored leadership and organizational commitment in volunteer organizations. Canadians are among the most active volunteer participants in organizations of countries spanning the globe. The study examined 212 Canadian volunt eer leaders from an international social/charitable organization. The questionnaire administered to the volunteers consisted of eight measurement scales including transformati onal leadership, transactional leadership, humanistic work beliefs, Marxist work be liefs, psychological involvement, inter-role conflict, commitment, and participation. Resu lts showed volunteer leaders to be more psychologically involved and committed to t heir organization as compared to members from a trade union, and transformational leadership was a predi ctor both characteristics. The volunteer leaders also rated higher in transformational leadership than their union counterparts. Social exchange theory has been used to determine patterns of volunteer participation in natural res ource and environmental organi zations (Passewitz, 1991). Passewitz developed three models based on incentives of volunteerism to predict four patterns of volunteer participant behavior. This model is based on social exchange theorys emphasis on rewards, costs, and reciprocation. Th e models define three reasons why people become involved in volunteer activities within an organization: (1) their values match those of the volunteer organization; (2) people volunteer based on their self-interest, ranging from a desire for recogniti on to gaining job related experience; (3) and people volunteer based on their social relationship network, including family, friends, and professional rela tionships. Each of these models is used to predict four patterns of volunteer par ticipation which include: (a) levels of
28 involvement, from little current activity to extremely ac tive and holding positions of leadership; (b) amount of ti me, measured by the number of hours contributed per month; (c) proportion or percent of volunteer activities par ticipated in during the past twelve months; (d) and consistency or r egularity of participation over time. Based on his model, Passewitz (1991) developed a survey instrument for volunteers from four natura l resource and environmental or ganizations. Results from 446 respondents showed the most important value-based benefit as doing something useful, the dominant self-int erest based benefit was a s ense of achievement, and the highest rated networking benefit was meeti ng new people. Only two costs of volunteering were rated as important, the self -interest based costs of lack of free time and night meetings. Questions remained about the role that support from peer groups and work environments might play in a decisi on to volunteer. Further research was suggested to determine whether competition fr om other groups affects participation in volunteer organizations, and the impact that competition may have on the policies of the organization, such as more aggressive recruitment and development efforts. Cummins (1998) discussed the problems associated with failure of volunteer organizations, not as a lack of leadership for the organization as is commonly cited, but as an issue of unrealistic assumptions The author examines four common assumptions regarding leadership for volunt eers in an organization and a solution to dealing with each of these false assumptions. 1) Everyone knows and understands the organizations goals. Many organizations deal with frequent volunteer turnover. To assure common goals, leaders must frequently share those goals. 2) Everyone in the organization knows their role, which is typi cal for employees, but not as common with
29 volunteers. Specific guidelines are needed fo r an organization to function smoothly and role clarification cannot be emphasized eno ugh. 3) Volunteers know where to get information. Volunteers need to know how pa rts of a project are fitting together and where to go when further information is needed. This may require the establishment of a specific reporting mechanism. 4) Everyone gets feedback. Volunteers that cycle through organizations may be unaware of prev ious projects and prior experiences. Providing feedback to volunteers at all levels of the organization is considered critical. These assumptions are counteracted through four arts for sustaining volunteer involvement: active listening and being awar e of volunteers values; mentoring and matching volunteers skills with organizational needs; public dialogue, emphasizing the free-flow of information; evaluation and reflection, incorporating the lessons that have been learned through experience. Management of Volunteers in Organizations Boyd (2003) studied volunteer administrato rs in nonprofit organizations, using the Delphi technique to garner consensus of experts on three questions: competencies needed by volunteer administrators in the next 10 years, barriers th at prevent volunteer administrators from gaining those competencies, and ways organizations can motivate employees that work with volunteers to acquire these competencies or eliminate barriers to them. A purposive sample was chosen of volunteer administrators, Extension specialists, university faculty, and volunteer center directors based on their reputation, speaking, consulting, resear ch or publications related to managing volunteers. After three r ounds, consensus was gained on 33 competencies needed, 12 barriers to developing those competencies, 9 motivating factors and 11 ways to remove barriers. The 33 competencies were categor ized into five constructs: organizational
30 leadership, systems leadership, organizational culture, personal skills, and management skills. Several of the barriers deal with organiza tion culture, where the role of volunteers in achieving the organizations mission is not valued, attributed both to the culture and perhaps the volunteer coordinators lack of co mmitment to the job a ssignment. Ways to motivate and remove barriers for volunteer administrators includes organizational culture, again highlighting the importance of a culture that values the contributions of volunteers. This culture can be developed by encouraging and motivating volunteers, providing for their development, and rewarding sa laried staff for working with volunteers. However, organizational culture is co mplex and cannot be developed overnight. Recommendations made for agricultural educa tion include courses to prepare students to effectively lead volunteers and web-bas ed materials to help develop volunteer management competencies. In 2004, Boyd went on to use the results of the Delphi study (see Boyd, 2003) as the basis for further conclusions as to how this information applies specifically to extension agents. Extension programs are successful in large part because of their use of volunteers to solve individual and communi ty problems. Those who lead and direct volunteers may be salaried staff or voluntee rs. Every county-leve l Extension agent is considered a manager or admin istrator of volunteers, ye t they often lack volunteer leadership competencies that can lead to issues in quality of work and programs, participation, organizational li ability and risk management. T hey spend relatively little time developing these competencies, with agents reporting 1-5 hours over 24 months on volunteer management professional dev elopment (Boyd, 2004 ). Volunteer administration models used in Extension, such as the LOOP model, include identifying,
31 recruiting, placing, directing and evaluating volunteers. However, they do not include competencies in systems leadership, developi ng a positive organizational culture, and personal skills related to effective t eams and managing change. Boyd recommends regular and ongoing faculty development in volunteer leadership, making these competencies part of employee performanc e expectations, and allocating resources and professional development time to acquiring volunteer administrati on competencies. In 2006, Stedman and Rudd determined fact ors that contribut e to volunteer administration leadership pr oficiency by conducting a correlational study using data survey from 4-H agents in the southern region of the country. Data was collected from three questionnaires administered on the web, including a short demographic instrument and the Vo lunteer Administration Leadership Competency Instrument which measures seven competencies: organizati onal leadership, systems leadership, accountability, management skills, personal skills, organizational culture, and commitment to the profession. The thir d questionnaire was the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, which measures nine leadership behaviors (idealized influence attributed, idealized influence behavior, intellec tual stimulation, inspirational motivation, individualized consideration, contingent reward, management-by-exception active, management-by-exception passive, and laissezfaire leadership) that influence three leadership styles (transformational, transacti onal and laissez-faire). Age, race, systems leadership, accountability and commitment to the profession had a low relationship, while organizational culture and volunteer administration leadership importance had a moderate relationship. Findings indicate that if respondents believed volunteer administration leadership was important, they also perceived themselves to be more
32 competent. The predictability model includes the two variables that combined explained the most amount of variance, which we re age and organization al culture. King and Safrit (1998) ex amined volunteer management competencies through a descriptive-correlational study with 100 extens ion agents in Ohio. Extension educators are expected to recruit and develop volunteers to multiply the effo rts of extension and are responsible for effectively involvin g and managing their volunteers. The nine competencies on the questionnaire include: identifying 4-H vo lunteer opportunities, and recruiting, selecting, orienting, traini ng, utilizing, supervising, recognizing, and evaluating volunteers. Res pondents identified utilizing, supervising and recognizing volunteers as important, and t he other six as somewhat im portant. The agents reported themselves as somewhat competent in a ll nine competencies. For the six areas considered to be somewhat important, t hat agents will not be motivated to become more competent in these areas unless they view them to be of greater importance. The authors suggest a conceptual gap between agent s perceptions of the importance of these nine areas and their competence in them The researchers claim that these nine competencies create a valid and reliable conceptual framework for developing and implementing volunteer managem ent professional development programs for extension agents, and support the use of the ISOT URE model for volunteer leadership development. The ISOTURE model includes the following steps: identifying, selecting, orienting, training, utilizing, recognizing and evaluating volunteers for the purposes of leadership development. Motivations of Volunteers Participation and volunteer leadership in organizations requires motivated indiv iduals who are willing to make a commi tment. Understanding mo tivations of rural
33 farm workers may provide insight into motivations of farmers and ranchers that serve as volunteer leaders in agricultural organization s. Barbuto, Trout and Brown (2004) used the Motivation Sources Inventory (MSI) to measure five sources of motivation among rural farm workers. The 30item MSI was developed from a meta-theory of motivation that was operationalized from an extensiv e literature review and compilation of motivation theories. The five sources of mo tivation include: intrinsic process motivation, where a person is motivated to engage in work or behavior for the fun of it; instrumental motivation, in which a person is motivated by what they perceive to be certain tangible outcomes such as pay or promotions; se lf-concept external motivation, when an individual is seeking affirmation and accept ance and motivated by ones reputation; selfconcept internal motivation, where an individ ual is internally motivated by the traits, competencies, and values perceived to comp rise ones ideal self; and goal internal motivation, where there is complete removal of self-interest and the motivation source is a belief in the cause and a strong sense of duty. The MSI was found to be both valid and reliable, and there was a response rate of 86.1%, in part because this assessment was later used to enhance the cooperatives leadership development programs. Results showed that the prevailing source of motivation for the ru ral farm workers was self-concept internal motivation. This implies that agricultural workers are internally selfdirected and their behavior is based off their belie fs of what is required to be their ideal self. They are naturally motivated to liv e up to a standard set by themselves, and need more than fun, money, public recognition/repu tation, or a purpose/worthy cause to motivate them. The remain ing population had motivation factors that were evenly distributed among the other four sources. The research highlights several times the
34 importance of identifying the specific motivati ons of a target audience to better select, design, promote, deliver, and ev aluate education programs. Dunaway (2007) addressed the concerns that leaders have with morale and motivation, and the relationship between thes e two factors in addition to performance and professionalism. The fact ors are based on work of Fr edrick Herzberg, known for his 1975 article in Harvard Business Review t hat has since been frequently reprinted. Herzberg identified six factors he believed to be intrinsic motivators that lead to job satisfaction and motivation: achievement, re cognition, work itse lf, responsibility, advancement, and growth. He also identified t en factors that lead to job dissatisfaction when they are not present: company policy and administration, supervision, relationship with supervisor, work conditions, salary relationship with peers, personal life, relationship with subordinates, status and secu rity. From Herzbergs theory, Dunaway developed his eight behaviors that increase motivation and morale: identifying ones own knowledge and beliefs about organizati onal leadership; being the learner and teacher of all things leadership; affirming and teaching the or ganizations beliefs, vision, and mission; leading with accountability and res ponsibility; building collegiality around job content; emulating actions of a successf ul coach; recognizing leadership produces discomfort; and developing a sense of professi onalism in pursuit of common goals. Kalkowski and Fritz discussed the history of perceived gender differences related to motivation in business and organizational settings, and the implications this has for women in leadership. While much resear ch has been done in this area, there have been significant differences in the findings over the past 50 years. Several theories of motivation have been used to develop instruments to assess motivation over this time
35 period, including: Maslows hierarchy of needs; McClellands trichotomy of needs that motivate humans; Motivation Sources Inventory (MSI); Alderfers ERG (existence, relatedness, growth) needs theo ry of motivation; and the Equity Sensitivity Construct that designates individuals as benevolents, equity sensitivites, or entitleds. Much research has been deemed flawed by applicati on of male-dominated motivation theory and testing. Stereotypes that men are co mpetitive and goal-oriented while women are affiliative and sensitive have been factors in researchers hypotheses and perceptions in this field. Research in the 1950s and 1960s showed women had lower achievement motivation than men. Miner found in t he 1970s that there were no consistent differences between men and women in m anagerial motivation, showing women to have the same motivational capacity as me n. Other research in the 1970s showed women scoring lower than men on desire to co mpete, assertiveness, exercising power, and standing out from the crowd, but in t he 1980s studies began to show no gender differences in the motivation to manage. One researcher noted that even if there were gender differences in motivation, less motiva tion does not equal less effectiveness. The theory of the glass ceiling wa s discussed, and a potential barrier to women wanting to assume managerial roles may be that the ro les are defined in masculine terms that do not appeal to women. Further research could include longer studies that include various stages of a persons career, developi ng motivational testing that eliminates all gender issues, and what role women and their motivation will play if the industry continues to head to a more participative type of leadership. Recognition can be key to maintaining vo lunteer motivation. In 2003, Fritz, Karmazin, Barbuto and Burrow studied whether assumptions from past experience with
36 4-H volunteers about volunteer motivation, recognition, and program quality perception held true for a growing base of urban volunt eers. A stratified, random sample of organizational and project leaders from across the state of Nebra ska was selected and administered an instrument that measured demogr aphic, attitudinal, and motivational items, based on McClellands trichotomy of n eeds theory that motivations can have as their source the need for achievement, affiliati on, or power. The instrument was found to be valid and obtained a response rate of 46%. Results showed that the average 4-H volunteer was 43 years of age, married, tended to have children that were involved in 4H, and had participated in 4-H as a member themselves. Rural and urban volunteers were found to be alike in more ways than th ey were different. Urban volunteers felt more appreciated by extension staff and less appreciated by youth than rural volunteers. The most appealing form of reco gnition for both groups was a letter from a 4-H member. Urban volunteers ra ted 4-H in their club, count y, and state to be excellent to good, while rural adults rated 4-H good. Both urban and rural volunteers were predominately motivated by affiliation needs, followed by achievement and power needs. This aligns with appreciation for a per sonal (letter) form of recognition. These findings can be used to help 4-H staff expan d the volunteer pool by competing for volunteers time, and developing and implementi ng strategies to retain, recognize, and develop volunteers. Development of Volunteer Leaders Penrod (1991) developed the LOOP model for developing volunte er leadership. LOOP is an acronym for locating, orienting, operating, and perpetuating leaders and is a four-step management tool to help leaders or ganize volunteer work in a meaningful way. The first step is locating volunteers through a recruitment and selection process.
37 The second step in orienting volunteers by providing guidance and inspiration in both formal and informal settings. Operating with vo lunteers is the third step, and includes drawing attention to individual accomp lishments and providing opportunities for continuing education. The final step is perpet uating the involvement of volunteers, and this occurs through evaluation and recogni tion to maintain volunteer participation through the completion of a job or task. When used corr ectly, the LOOP model is designed to increase project effectiveness and efficiency while helping volunteers stayed motivated and focused. Every organization competes for volunteers time with every other activity to which volunteers could alternat ively devote that time. Time -use studies research the duration and frequency of human activities. Stinson (1999) described the decisions of methodology that must be made when conducti ng time-use surveys. One decision is the mode of data collection, which could be through time diaries kept on paper, or information recorded via the telephone or com puter. Follow-up probes are conducted to determine the location of activities, other pers ons who were present or participating, and whether multi-tasking occurred. Deci sions must be made about how to code and classify time use, and recording and assessi ng time spent doing multiple activities or bouncing between activities can be the most c hallenging to categorize. Research has shown that humans spend as much as 3-4 hours per day multi-tasking. Most cattle producers are self-emplo yed entrepreneurs, and organizations must keep this in mind as they recruit, train and re tain volunteer leaders. Reimers-Hild, et al. (2005) suggest that those w ho are successful at distance learning and entrepreneurs may share similar characteristics because they seek out opportunities and maximize
38 their resources. Entrepr eneurial personality is measured by the combined score of locus of control, need for achievement, and risk taking propensity. Researchers suggest that a relationship exists betw een entrepreneurial personality and success and persistence in the academic environment. It is believed that by looking through the lens of the entrepreneurial learner, we can better understand dist ance students. Successful distance learners may approach education sim ilar to how an entrepreneur approaches a new venture, as an innovative individual who recognizes opportunities and capitalizes on resources, such as time, money, technology, and personal support, to take advantage of those opportunities. Entrepreneurs are described as creative and open to change, characteristics that may lend themselves well to distance learners that are getting an education in a non-traditional or informal environment. Entrepreneurs are also willing to take risks, and distanc e education may be a risk for someone who has never participated in distance or adult educat ion before and may not know what it will look like or what to expect (Reimers-Hild et al., 2005). Institutions and educators who are on the forefront of offering programs that address t he needs and wants of those seeking adult learning opportunities may have a competitive advantage. Volunteer Leadership in Agriculture Carter and Rudd (2005) analyze d participation and leadership of active members within the F lorida Farm Bureau Federation ( FFBF). This study explained individual motivations, attitudes towards volunteeri ng, and opinions of serving on county Farm Bureau boards by determining the reasons why local Farm Bureau members choose to participate or not participate in leadership roles in local c ounty farm bureau boards. The instrument included a motivation sources in ventory, developed by Barbuto and Scholl, that measures intrinsic, instrumental, external and internal self-concept motivation.
39 Research by Martinez and McMullin has shown the impact of demographics and involvement on volunteerism and the demogr aphics found to be significant in their studies were included in the survey in strument. The survey instrument was administered to a random sample of 419 from 36,100 active FFB F members. The survey consisted of three parts: a motivation sources inventory, a semantic differential scale to measure volunteering attitudes, and a Likert scale inventory to assess respondents desire to serve on a county board. There were 24 independent variables, in cluding several motivation factors, volunteering attitudes, and demographic vari ables, that were regressed on the dependent variable of participation on a count y board. The data were analyzed with backward multiple regression analysis. From the original 24 variables, seven were identified as statistically significant. Another regre ssion eliminated two of those variables due to a lack of statistical signif icance, and the third regression revealed the correlation and explanatory power of the re maining five variables on the dependent variable. The five variables of volunteering evaluative factor, volunteering activity factor, number of farm bureau events attended, membership in youth development organizations, and participation in leadership development program explained 36% of the variance in serving on county boards. The most significant variable with the largest explanatory power was the vol unteering evaluative factor. A key implication of Carter and Rudds (2005) study was that how individuals evaluate volunteering was t he strongest determinant of serving on county boards. Therefore, Farm Bureau shoul d appeal to individuals on a per sonal level, highlighting the value to their lives, personal achievement, and use of skills and talents that
40 accompanies serving on county boards. Literature showed age, gender, and family status to have influenced volunteering; these variables were not fo und to be significant in this study. Previous research also showed motivation to be important to why individuals participate in organizations. Other research suggested included: recruitment and retainment of volunteers; evaluation of leadership progr amming offered; and of the Farm Bureau organization itself. The long-term impact of vo lunteer leadership was studied by Karr, Keith, Lockaby and Vaughn in 2001. With a population of former Texas 4-H Council members, a survey was used to determine the self-perceived impact of serving at the highest level of leadership in the state 4-H organization. The impact was measured by the members educational attainment, career choice and community involvement. All respondents attended college, and a large majority agreed or strongly agreed that the state 4-H council contributed to their colle ge success, career success and level of community involvement. 90% were satisfied with their current occupation. They had a much lower divorce rate and much higher level of educational attainment than the general population. Most fo rmer council members were actively involved in their community, with more than half involved in professional organizations and church. They were unlikely to hold elected positions to public office, but much more likely to hold elected positions within agricultural organiza tions. The majority felt they had gained useful skills serving on the council, with l eadership and public speaking most commonly cited. Agricultural Leadership The American agricult ural industry is di verse comprised of more than 2.2 million people producing dozens of different commodities, with numerous segments of
41 production involved in each industry (National Agricultural Statistics Service [NASS], 2009). Agriculture also leads American industri es in having the most significant impact of any on the U.S. economy. The value of all agricultural industries combined contributed $364,900,000,000 to the U.S. economy in 2008 (Economic Research Service, 2010). The people that produce our nations food and fiber supply are certainly as diverse as the products they produce. Character and community that is, culture in the broadest, richest sense constitute, just as much as nat ure, the source of food (Berry, 1996, p. 16). Produc tion agriculturalists tend to be conservative, primarily concerned with their families and farms and the issues that affected them on a direct, local basis. (Miller, 1976, p. 21). Strickland (2008) studied the relationship between leadership st yle and emotional intelligence of agricultural leaders. Using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire and the Bar-On EQi, results showed this group of agricultural leaders to be transformational leaders than transactional or passive/avoidan t leaders. Emotional intelligence levels were comparable to national norms, but younger leaders reported higher levels of emotional intelligence than older leaders. Females were found to use more transformational leadership while males reported higher levels of emotional intelligence. Much of what is accomplished by leader s in agriculture, especially within the context of organizations, is done through t he collaboration of teams. Teams are organizational groups composed of memb ers who are interdependent, who share common goals, and who must coordinate their activities to accomplish these goals (Northouse, 2007, p. 207). Team leadership places the focus of team effectiveness on leadership. Agricultural organizations provide useful illustrations of how and why team
42 leadership works as an applied theory in agriculture. Mu ch of the work of these organizations is done by teams of producer members, such as the officer team, standing committees, and the boar d of directors. Hills Model for Team Leadership outlines internal and external leadership actions that can increase team effect iveness through performance and development (Northouse, 2007). The internal task leadersh ip action of structuring for results is currently in progress at NCBA, as the gov ernance task force (team) continues to work, developing plans for a restructur ing of the organization in t he near future. This process has required team members to lead the inte rnal relational leadership action of collaborating, as the gove rnance task force is comprised of producers with polar opposing viewpoints on some issues the task force is working through. The external environmental leadership action of advocat ing happens at every nat ional meeting of cattlemen, as leaders within t he team are already beginning to share recommendations and strategies of the team in order to garner support among members of the organization for the changes t hat are forthcoming. Research suggests a need for more effective beef industry leadership. Purcell (2002) addressed problems within the beef industry that must be addressed to keep the industry healthy, meaning cattle producers can ma ke a profit, resour ces are protected, and the future of the industry is sustainab le. Issues addressed include beef demand, pricing problems, costs of production, and inadequate beef industry leadership. Prescriptions for a healthy industry include: improved production efficiency and keeping production costs down; growth in vertical alliances and contracting arrangements; investments in new product and market development; broader perspective on trade to
43 enhance export growth; continued support for t he Beef Check Off program; pricing fed cattle on an individual carcass basis; and elected leadership of beef industry organizations hiring competent professional staff and listeni ng to them in order to address the media and general public with more knowledge and understanding of the pending industry issues. In order to develop more effective beef industry leaders as Purcell (2002) suggests, an emphasis must be placed on training leaders with the skills identified as necessary to make them effective in their leadership roles. The skills approach takes a leader-centered perspective on leadership, em phasizing skills and abilities that are needed for effective leadership and that can be learned and developed (Northouse, 2007, p. 39). The skills approach embraces the concept that le aders are made, not born, and that anyone can develop or improve their leadership abilities. Katz (1955) suggested that effective leadership depended on three basic types of skills: technical, human and conceptual (as cited by Northous e, 2007). Technical skills are those involving proficiencies and competencies in a particular area dealing with a specific activity. Human skills are the knowledge and abilities required to manage and interact with people. Conceptual skills are related to the big picture or abstract ideas and include creating vision and strategy. Dependi ng on where a leader is positioned in the structure of an organization, some skills may be more important than others. Leadership Education In 2002, Townsend explored leadership education in organizations. This article addresses the questions surrounding leadership educators and identifies questions that remain unanswered, providing support for c ontinued work in leadership research and development. Leaders are identified as common people striving to improve
44 organizations and activities. Many volunteer organizations look to leaders to increase member involvement. Leadership educators ar e identified as those who are hired to provide programs, teach leadership concept s and develop leaders. Three questions are outlined to determine if leadership educators ar e providing fantasy or factual programs. One question is directed toward determining the best teaching environments for people to achieve their leadership potential, and disc usses how organizations often provide this environment through their leadership dev elopment efforts. Evaluation and accountability are needed for organizations in these efforts, and leadership educators could be the ones to provide that evaluation. The author s uggests that some cultures may not respond to traditional concept s of leadership and should be further investigated. The question of short-te rm versus long-term leadership program effectiveness is addressed, with a summary of research supporting sustained, long-term programs to be more effective in leadi ng to behavior changes, while short-term programs increase awareness. Student involvement in activities was also highlighted to lead to the development of more transforma tional leadership characteristics. The author suggests research and development in leadership education can improve teaching and learning environments, expan d program and worksh op possibilities, and develop productive curricula. Agricultural Leadership Programs Based on a need for more leaders in agriculture, agricultural leadership programs have been developed. Hustedde and Wood ward (1996) developed a guide for designing a rural leadership program and cu rriculum. The guide advocates a postheroic view of leadership, and develops the i dea of this new kind of leader as a servant leader who fosters, strengthens, and sustains vibrant and diverse leadership in the
45 community. There are three major ways that these servant leader s are nourished, in the forms of mentorship, self-study and pr actice, and community leadership programs. They highlight the Michigan State Universi ty Extension Service model for a rural leadership program. Michigan State University Extension Servic e has a vision for its community action leadership efforts to develop energized communities of co-leaders and co-learners committed to concerted action for a collect ive vision (Vandenberg and Sandman, 1995). The MSU model is based on the following four concepts: COMMUNITY. Develop leadership programs that foster trust, respect, and appreciation of diversity in the community. VISION. Help community members develop a vi sion of what they want to become. LEARNING. Stimulate learning communities where people expand their collective thinking and learn together. ACTION. Stimulate action and encourage leadership by doing. These goals are a guide for leadership program activities. Every co mmunity is unique, and needs to address the goals and vision that are appropriate for that community, but clear goals are essential to the success of every leadership program (Vandenberg and Sandman, 1995). From the four concepts outlined in the MSU model, Sandmann and Vandenberg (1995) further developed a conceptual framew ork for community action leadership development. The first part was a holistic ph ilosophy of leadership based on the four concepts of community, vision, learning, and ac tion. The second part relates these core concepts to seven action-based values. These values of community action leadership development include: visioning together, l eading together, learning together, building community, developing energy, acting together, and communicating (Sandmann and
46 Vandenberg, 1995). The third part of this framework defines the roles of leaders in promoting community action leadership. T hese leadership roles include: facilitation, learner focus, leadership focus, issue/acti on focus, non-prescriptive, and process as content (Sandmann and Vandenberg, 1995). In the context of agricultural leadership programs, the authors hi ghlight the importance of the role of Extension in taking this conceptual framework from concept to practi ce. Extension faculty and staff must not only understand the framework, but also have the time, co mmitment, and resources to consistently apply this framework for 21st century leadership. Networking opportunities is a recurring outcome of agricultural leadership programs. Graduates of t he Oklahoma Agricultural Lea dership Program identified networking opportunities as t he most important aspect of the program (Kelsey and Wall, 2003). Kaufman and Carter (2005) studied t he community benefit from the networking provided by agricultural leadership progr ams. Networks are identified as the connections people make with the life of t heir community. Leadership development programs foster opportunities for people to work together and create these connections (Kaufman and Carter, 2005). The Wedgworth Leader ship Institute in Florida has shown over 77% of evaluated participants to site increased contacts and networking opportunities as outstanding pr ogram features. Over 50% of the same group noted that they were more involved in organizations as a result of the program. Quality networks are a necessary part of the infrastructure of successful rural communities (Carter, 1999). Research has shown that one factor af fecting participation in agricultural leadership programs is socioeconomic status. Wall, Petti bone, and Kelsey (2005) used
47 factor analysis to test the e ffect of socioeconomic status on leadership and participation of agricultural leadership program graduates. Results showed that levels of income and education were statistically significantly related to community commitment. Highincome leaders have been found to show a gr eater extent and degree of participation in program activities than did low-income leaders (Dhanakumar, et al., 1996). Logic models can be used for program development or evaluation to relate the concepts, perspectives and theories about behavio r into a statement that describes how the program will work. This statement is generally a diagram that shows the major components and outcomes of a progr am. Useful models must have variables that can be manipulated by a program and are feasible to manipul ate (G.D. Israel, personal communication, March 2, 2009). These models also show variables and factors that influence leadership that ar e beyond program control. A general logic model for leadership development programs can be found in Figure 2-1, and could be adapted to specific agricultural leadership programs with modification. The logic model in Figure 2-1 shows the pr ocess that ultimately leads individuals from a leadership development program to leadership in their organizations, government, community or business. The leadership development program includes the knowledge, experience and skills that can be learned and gained through a welldesigned program. Programs can make adjus tments in this arena to best meet the needs of the people the program serves. Within the indivi dual there are factors that determine if they ultimately serve as leader s, including their attitudes, personality and level of emotional intelligence. These factors feed into the intention of this individual to lead and to what degree they discover and develop their personal lea dership style, and
48 Figure 2-1. Logic model of leadership development program
49 eventually influence the leadership they choose or choose not to exert in organizations, government, community or business. At any point along this pathway, situational factors can make individuals more or less likely to become leaders. These factors are typically situations life brings that are beyond the r ealm of the potential leaders control. Summary The concept map for this research, wh ich includes a regression model with variables adapted from Carter and Rudd (2 005) and Passewitz (1991), is shown in Figure 2-2. This study of volunteer l eadership in agricult ural organizations was narrowed down from general grassroots agric ultural organizations to beef industry organizations, where the focus remained fo r the interviews and focus group utilized in the data collection process. The study concluded with a questionnaire directed toward NCBA as a specific organization within the beef industry to determine the variables that influence producer tendencies toward volunt eer leadership in these organizations. While limited research has been conducted to study volunteer leadership in grassroots agricultural organizati ons, the literature reveals some studies that contribute to the knowledge base for conducting such res earch. This previous research presented in this chapter was organized into the fo llowing categories: volunteer organizations, management of volunteers in organizations, mo tivations of volunteers, development of volunteer leaders, volunteer l eadership in agriculture, agricultural leadership, leadership education and agricultural leadership programs. This study has the potential to make a contribution to the literat ure in this field and add to this body of knowledge.
50 Grassroots Agricultural Organizations Beef Industry Organizations NCBA VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP L = f ( M + PP + LA + V + S + PC + PB + R + D) Where: L = Volunteer Leadership M = Motivation Factors PP = Past Participation LA= Leadership Ability V = Attitude of Volunteering S = Attitude of Service PC = Perception of Costs PB = Perception of Benefits R = Recruitment D = Demographics Figure 2-2. Conceptual model of volunt eer leadership in the beef industry Grassroots Organizations Agricultural Organizations
51 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY The purpos e of this study was to assess beef producers perceptions of, interest in, and commitment to serving in leadership roles within the beef industry. The objectives of this research were to identify the factors that influenc e producer members decisions to participate and lead in beef indu stry organizations, determine perceptions of active National Cattlemens Beef Asso ciation (NCBA) members about volunteer leadership responsibilities and commitment s, and identify the leadership education needs of NCBA members. This chapter will outline in det ail the specific research methods used to plan and implement this study. These descripti ons will include the research design and implementation procedures, t he study population, development of instrumentation, data collection and data analysis. Subjectivity Statement This researcher was raised on a beef cattl e operation in the Midwest, immersed in agriculture as a way of life, devoted to rura l values and beliefs, intensified by further education, advocacy opportunities and a passi on to protect the A merican agricultural heritage. This research was conducted th rough the lens of my personal knowledge and understanding of the people and cu lture of production agricult ure and my perceptions of agricultural organizations and the volunteer l eaders that serve them. I admire, respect and am fascinated by their challenging work on and off the farm. As a researcher, I acknowledge that my views and perceptions create the pers pective through which I see the world and are rooted in my own experiences as a product of a Missouri family farm.
52 Research Design Both qualitative and quantitative research have their place within agricultural education, including the specializ ation of leadership development. Rigorous research requires one to match the research questions and type of investigation to the correct research design, which could create a quant itative study, a qualitative study, or both through a mixed methods design. Attempting to fit all research in this field into only one category or the other w ould be trying to fit a round peg in a square hole and compromise the integrit y of the research. People are complex and difficult to study, es pecially ethically within the confines of the scientific method. Observ ation and replication can be c hallenging, particularly for quantitative researchers who may not recogni ze the bias of their own values and attitudes and may have problems with the inte ractions between subjects and observers (Ary, Jacobs, & Razavieh, 2002). Unlike qualit ative researchers, they tend to collect observations from a distance and try not to interact with s ubjects (participants) or the environment. Traditional attitudes of scientis ts show the following characteristics: scientists are doubters who seek to verify their findings through repeated observations, they are objective and impartial, and they deal with facts, not values (Ary, Jacobs, & Razavieh, 2002, p. 11). This barrier of attitude and opinion can be overcome by continuing to produce high quality, trustwor thy qualitative resear ch in agricultural education that produces meaningful k nowledge and results for the field. There are certain assumptions researchers make when doing qualitative inquiry. The first assumption is ontology, or the researc hers stance toward the nature of reality. Qualitative research assumes subjective and mu ltiple realities, as seen by participants in a study. As shown in the findings and c onclusions of this study, researchers use
53 multiple quotes and themes in the words of participants to provide evidence of different perspectives (Creswell, 2007). The second assumption is epistemology, or how the researcher knows what she knows. One must consider the relationship between the researcher and what is being researched. Qualitative re searchers attempt to minimize the distance between themselves and the participants being studied. Thus, the researcher collaborates with participants, spends time in the field with them, and tries to become an insider (Creswell, 2007, p. 17). In this study, the researcher had a personal relationship with many of the participants in every phase of data collection, especia lly with those that participated in interviews. The role of values in the research, or axiology, is another qualitative research assumption. Research is loaded with val ues and biases are present. Qualitative researchers position themselves in a study by openly discussing and reporting their personal values and biases in a subjectivity statement, particular ly those that shape their narrative (Creswell, 2007, p. 18). Researchers might include their personal interpretations along with parti cipants interpretations. Rhetorical assumptions are made bas ed on the language of the research. Qualitative researchers writ e in a literary, informal st yle using a personal voice, qualitative terms, and limited definitions; t hey may use an engaging style of narrative that could include first-person pr onouns (Creswell, 2007, p. 17). The final assumption of qualitative inqui ry identified by Creswell (2007) is methodology. The procedures, or methods, of qualitative research are characterized as inductive, emerging, and shaped by the re searchers experience in collecting and
54 analyzing data (p. 19). The research questi ons may change in the middle of the study and data collection strategies have to be modi fied accordingly. For example, the original third objective of this research wa s modified after the first two phases of data collection, which then influenced the final stage of the study. There are also assumptions made by quant itative researchers. The fundamental assumption is universal det erminism, that events are ordered and lawful and can be predicted (Ary, Jacobs, & Razavieh, 2002). Sci ence is rooted in the belief that events are orderly and regular, and c an be explained through obser vation of nature through scientific inquiry. The second assumption quantitative re searchers make is that reliable knowledge can ultimately derive only from direct and objective observation (Ary, Jacobs, & Razavieh, 2002, p. 11). Sci ence depends on empirical evidence, not authorities, and many researchers have reje cted the paradigm of their day to study science through observations and experiments. This also entails the belief that only phenomena that are subject to observati on can be scientifically investigated. Participation and leadership in agricultur al organizations can be observed; however, producer members beliefs and perceptions cannot. The assumptions of qualitative research tend to be more philosophical and subjective, while those of quantitative resear ch are more objective and scientific in nature. These assumptions underlying two di fferent types of research and inquiry can create conflict and tension among the two different schools of thought. Both are vigorous methods of research and follow th e general procedures of research, beginning with a research problem and the questions to be answered, data collection and
55 analysis, and reporting the findings. Qualitat ive methods might conduct data collection through the use of observations, interviews, focus groups or documents (Creswell, 2007). This study included both qualitative and quantitative methods to accomplish the purpose and objectives of the study. Three com ponents contributed different information to achieve the overall objectives of this research. The first segment was qualitative research done as a basic descriptive study utilizing basic interpretive methods. The data was collected through in terviews with cattle producers to identify themes and patterns of beef industry organiz ation participation and leadership. This type of research design allowed for an in -depth analysis of the participation and leadership attitudes and patterns of cattle producers. However, onl y a limited number of producers could be interviewed, so the purposive sample was diverse and included producers from a variety of per spectives and backgrounds. The second part of this research was qualitative and added credibility to the first part by confirming and validating the interview results through a focus group. The focus group was an hour-long discussion of the findi ngs of the interviews and producers feedback based on those results. The cattl e producers selected for the focus group were those currently serving on the Joint I ndustry Producer Education Committee. This committee is comprised of both NCBA members and Cattlemens Beef Board (CBB) members that may or may not belong to NCBA or a state affiliate as they serve on the federation side that manages Beef Checkoff dolla rs. As this committee is dedicated to meeting the education needs of cattle producers, this focus group included a discussion
56 of the leadership education needs of t he industry based upon the findings of the interviews. The third part of the study was a quantit ative design conducted as descriptive survey research with data gathered through su rveys from NCBAs YPC members. This quantitative research included a correla tion research design and analyzed the relationship between participation and vol unteer leadership in beef industry organizations and recruitment, involvement, and demographic charac teristics. The survey instrument is also an assessment of the leadership education needs of NCBA members. The YPC survey in cluded all members of NCBA that are 18-35 years of age. The repercussion of using this research desi gn is that the results may or may not be generalizeable to all NCBA members, all cattle produc ers or all agricultural organizations. Procedures Interviews were scheduled with the cattle producers chosen for the purposive sample. Sixteen interviews were conducted fa ce-to-face, with cattlemen identified from each of the following groups: past beef industr y leaders, current industry leaders, emerging industry leaders, members that participate but ar e not in leadership roles, members that pay dues but do not actively participate, and cattlemen that are not dues paying members of any beef i ndustry organizations. Interviews ranged in length from 30 minutes to two hours. In addition to t heir varying levels of past participation and leadership, participants interviewed for this re search were from various parts of the country and involved in different segments of the cattle industry, including seedstock, cow/calf, dairy, stocker/backgrounder, lives tock auction market, feedlot and allied industry company. Participants were selected from both from the researchers personal
57 network and from the recommendations of i ndustry leaders and national organizational staff in the researchers netwo rk. A concerted effort was made to include producers that represented each of the categor ies listed above to create diversity in the purposive sample. One focus group was conducted with mem bers of the Joint Industry Producer Education Committee. This focus group took place at the annual Cattle Industry Summer Conference in July, 2009, and cattlem en in attendance at the summer meeting were from all over the country with dive rse backgrounds and histories in the cattle business, representing many di fferent segments of the indus try. The focus group lasted one hour, as to the allotted time on the agenda of the committee meeting. To measure the perceptions of the l eadership needs within the U.S. cattle industry, a questionnaire was developed from the findings and themes of the interviews and focus group and distributed to a sample of cattle producers across the country. Conducting research using a survey requires several decisions to be researched and made before the survey instrument is actually developed. In 2009, there were 94.5 million head of ca ttle and calves in the United States residing on 956,500 operations (NASS, 2009b). While there are an estimated 800,000 ranchers and cattlemen in the U.S., the exac t number of owners, operators, partners and workers involved in these cattle operatio ns is unknown (National Cattlemens Beef Association [NCBA], 2007). It would be extremely difficult to conduct a survey using a population of all cattle producers in this count ry. A survey with this population could not have a truly random sample, and it would be difficult to approach and overcome the potential errors, limitat ions and barriers.
58 Therefore, it is more manageable and appropriate to nar row the focus of such a survey to more defined boundaries (Dillman, Sm yth, & Christian, 2009). This can be done by channeling the survey through a nationa l beef industry organization that has a membership database of dues-paying members that are also more likely to have a vested interest in the leadership needs of the industry. Sending the survey through an organization also creates more credibilit y for the participants and might positively influence responses to Internet surveys (Simsek & Veiga, 2001). The oldest and most prominent national organi zation within the beef industry is the National Cattlemens Beef Association (NCB A). In 1898, a national cattle producers organization was formed to comb at issues such as land rights, cattle rustling, and the packer monopoly (Association History, 2008) For more than 100 years, this organization has represented the economic, polit ical and social interests of the U.S. cattle business. Today, NCBA is a grassroots agricultural organization consisting of more than 31,000 individual members nationwide (A. Gr aham, personal communication, April 14, 2010. Together with 64 affiliated state asso ciations and breed organizations, NCBA represents more than 230,000 cattle breeders, feeders, and producers. This makes NCBA a solid choice to conduct a national survey. This research utilized a web-based questionnai re to collect quantitative data from a subset of NCBA members. While NCBA maintains a database with as much contact information as possible for each of their 31,000 members, the organization only has email addresses for 6,000 of those mem bers (N. Jaeger, personal communication, January 28, 2010). Drawing a random sample from these available email addresses
59 would create major coverage and sampling erro rs that could not be accounted for or defined. While organizational research has traditionally relied on designs that are vulnerable to sample selection bias, the re searcher must still ens ure that the sample represents the population from wh ich it was drawn, which is particularly difficult to achieve with Internet surveys (Simse k & Viega, 2001). Thus, the survey was administered as a census to a known and def ined subset of members within NCBA that all had an email address available and on file with the organization. In July of 2008, NCBA introduced an effort to get more young people involved in the association by creating the Young Produc ers Council (YPC). Any NCBA member between the ages of 18-35 becomes a YPC me mber when they pay their NCBA dues and confirm their birth date with the associati on. As of January 20 10, there were 289 YPC members (A. Graham, per sonal communication, February 4, 2010). NCBA had an email address on file for each, while communi cating with the group primarily through a YPC Facebook group and YPC Cattle Call Blog. Because of the electronic access to this population, a purposive census within NCBA of all YPC members was used for the survey instrument data collection. Participants The population for this study was American cattle produc ers. For the initial interviews and focus group, accessible cattle producers were selected as part of a purposive sample. The population for the su rvey included a purposive census of all YPC members, with the questionnaire email ed to all YPC members within NCBA. Instrumentation A list of nineteen interview questions wa s researcher-develop ed and piloted with an expert panel. These questions served as the foundation for the semi-structured
60 interviews and further probing questions we re asked when needed for clarification or additional explanation. This list of questions is included in Appendix A. From the interview responses, a list of questions was generated that was narrowed down and directed to the focus gro up, which can be viewed in Appendix D. Prior to the focus group these questions were also reviewed by a panel of experts and further refined to best meet t he objectives of this research. A moderators guide was developed to facilitate the focus group and can be found in Appendix C. A researcher-developed survey was t hen created from the interview and focus group findings and distributed to NCBA members that may or may not be serving in leadership roles at the county, state or national level. The survey instrument was based on the findings and themes that emerged from the interviews and were validated by the focus group. Survey questions incorporated variables identified through interviews and focus groups as potential factors influencin g participation and volunteer leadership in beef industry organizations. Leadership educati on needs that were identified by the interviews and focus group results were co mbined with those included in Carter and Rudds (2005) survey instrum ent for FFBF members. This list of potential leadership education needs was also includ ed in the questionnaire. The original survey instrument cont ained 121 constructs. This original questionnaire was then reviewed by a panel of experts and changes were made based upon their evaluation. After the expert panel review, the survey instrument was tested through a pilot study to check for validity and reliability. The mean, standard deviation and Chronbachs alpha were computed for each survey construct and more changes
61 were made to the instrument by combining or removing questions. The final survey instrument contained 78 constructs and can be found in Appendix E. Data Collection Data collec tion for the qualitative portion of this research was conducted through interviews and a focus group with cattle pr oducers from across the country. A purposive sample of producers was chosen for the interviews, including those who were past beef industry organizatio nal leaders, current leaders, emerging leaders, members not serving in leadership roles, members not actively participating, and producers who are not dues-paying members to any beef industry organization. These interviews took place face-to-face on ranchers home operati ons in the spring of 2009. The interviews were audiotaped and later transcribed into wri tten documents. Field notes were taken during the interview and ranch visit and la ter transcribed as well. These documents were then converted into a user-friendly fo rmat in preparation fo r coding and data analysis. The focus group was conducted with producers serving on the Joint Industry Producer Education Committee who attended the Cattle Industry Summer Conference in 2009. The focus group was audiotaped, videotaped and notes were taken during the focus group, and later all documents were transcribed and combined to create a full bodied description of the conversation and interactions. The process of transcription serves as a measure of validity and a method of analysis. These documents were organized and formatted in preparation for coding and data analysis. The interviews and focus group provided the foundation for development of the survey instrument. The survey was admin istered to a purposive sample of NCBA members. The web link to the survey instrument was sent via email to every YPC
62 member. The questionnaire was administer ed using Survey Monkey and was available for 14 days at www.surveymonkey.com/s/NCBA. The use of web-based surveys for data collection with agriculturalists has pr oven to serve as an effective method for distribution of research instrumentation in the past (S trickland, 2008; Windham, 2009). Dillmans (2009) web survey implementation procedures were followed to the best of the researchers ability and to the extent within the researchers control. The first email was a standard notice letter that in cluded the web link to the study from Steve Foglesong, NCBA President (Appendix F). T he second email was a thank you/reminder to respond to the web survey instru ment (Appendix G). Other methods of communication used to prompt YPC members to respond to the questionnaire included a post on the YPC Cattle Blog by a YPC offi cer, a message sent to the YPC Facebook group, and tweets with the survey link to YPC me mbers on Twitter. The researcher also made direct contact with YPC members in attendance at the 2010 Cattle Industry Annual Convention a nd NCBA Trade Show in San Ant onio, Texas, and distributed business cards with the survey link to YPC members. Any survey research has the potential for several types of survey errors. Nonresponse error occurs when the people w ho do respond to the survey are different from those who do not respond in a way that is meaningful to the results (Dillman, Smyth, & Christian, 2009). A follow-up to participants was in cluded in a reminder email and different methods of communication were used to help reduce nonresponse error. Early and late responders were compared to te st for nonresponse e rror. Measurement error occurs when a respondents answers are i naccurate or imprecise, typically due to a misinterpretation or mis understanding of the question. To minimize measurement
63 error, careful consideration was taken wit h the layout and design of the questionnaire, as well as the wording of individual questi ons (Dillman, Smyth, & Christian, 2009). Feedback from the panel of experts and pilot test was used to make needed corrections. Data Analysis The qualitative research conducted th rough the focus group and interviews was transcribed from audio files and organized into a logical format for analysis and interpretation. Data derived from the interviews and focus group was provided back to the participants for their review as part of a member check audit trail. Weft QDA was the software used for the qualitative analysis. All text from the transcribed files was loaded into the program. T he data was coded and re-coded to look for patterns that emerged and related to our objectives seek ing to understand volunteer leadership. Separate files with interview quotes kept in context from each pattern were developed through the process of coding and re-coding. Categories were then re-combined into themes using Glasers (1965) constant co mparative and discrepant analysis. This process was done first using only the interv iew files, then combined with the focus group as a method of triangulation to validate the findings from the interviews. Themes discovered through these procedures we re interpreted and summarized, and transferred into a measurable format that wa s included in the survey instrument administered to collect quantitative data. The quantitative research used the data gathered through the leadership questionnaire. 289 YPC members were invit ed via email to participate in this webbased survey. With 137 respondents, a respons e rate of 47.4% was obtained. Utilizing web-based survey instruments with agricul tural leaders, Stri ckland (2008) obtained a
64 response rate of 42%, while Windham (2009) received a 57% response rate with a similar population. Previous research with similar methods indicates that this response rate is acceptable. SPSS statistical base software was used for this quantitative analysis. Descriptive statistics were compiled and analyzed to det ermine patterns or trends in the data and assess the demographic characteristics of the respondents. The mean and standard deviation were obtained for all questions. A reliability analysis was conducted for all questions containing a Likert-type scale. Summary While limited research has been conducted to study volunteer leadership in grassroots agricultural organizati ons, the literature reveals some studies that contribute to the knowledge base and methodology for conducting such research. The methods outlined in this chapter for use in th is study included qual itative and quantitative research methods utilizing interviews, a focus group and survey instrument as tools for data collection. The methodology of this research was designed to achieve the objectives of this study by obtaining findings and results that were valid and reliable.
65 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The purpos e of this study was to assess beef producers perceptions of, interest in, and commitment to serving in leadership roles within the beef industry. The objectives of this research were to identify the factors that influenc e producer members decisions to participate and lead in beef indu stry organizations, determine perceptions of active National Cattlemens Beef Association members about vo lunteer leadership responsibilities and commitments, and identif y the leadership education needs of NCBA members. This research included three major secti ons that each utilized a different type of data collection and built upon t he previous step(s). T he interviews formed the foundation for the focus group, while the themes that emer ged from the interviews and confirmed by the focus group became the ba sis for the development of the survey instrument. However, for the sake of answering the research questions posed by this study, this chapter organizes al l results from all three steps of data collection by the research objectives, with each objective specif ically supported by all related findings. From the interviews and focus group, seven themes emerged from the data relating to participation and leadership in beef industry organizations: membership and leadership recruitment; organizational invo lvement; organizational leadership; Young Cattlemens Conference; humility; volunteerism; costs and benefits of leadership; and leadership development. Additionally, seve ral subthemes surfaced from within several themes. To report these fi ndings, both interviewees and focus group participants are quoted throughout this chapter. Background in formation of the interviewees can be found in Table 4-1.
66 Table 4-1. Interviewees Producer A Cow/calf producer from the Southeast, > 60 years of age Retired from full-time job of 30 years Producer B Purebred producer from the Midwest, 3 children at home 30-60 years of age Producer C Allied industry compan y employee from the West 30-60 years of age Producer D Seedstock producer from the Southwest 30-60 years of age, tw o children at home Producer E Cow/calf producer from the Southeast, > 60 years of age Previously held government appointed offices Producer F Cow/calf producer, stocker and feedlot owner from the Midwest 2 children and their families work on ranch, 30-60 years of age Producer G Stocker/backgrounder from Northern Plains < 30 years of age, no beef industry memberships Producer H Manager of seedstock operation in the Midwest > 60 years of age Producer I Cow/calf producer from the Midwest, 30-60 years of age Regional livestock alliance em ployee, 1 child at home Producer J Seedstock producer from the Midwest > 60 years of age, grown childr en now partners on the ranch Producer K Livestock auction market manager from the Midwest 30 60 years of age, teenage children living at home Producer L Cow/calf and stocke r operator from the Southwest Banker and community developer, < 30 years of age Producer M Cow/calf produc er from the Midwest 30-60 years of age Producer N Stocker/backgrounder from the Southeast > 60 years of age Producer O Feedlot owner from the West, 30-60 years of age Previously paid staff at beef industry organization Producer P Seedstock producer from the Southwest, marketing manager 30-60 years of age, 2 teenage children All 289 YPC members were invited via emai l to participate in this web-based survey. With 137 respondents, a response ra te of 47.4% was obtained. Utilizing webbased survey instruments with agricultural leaders, Strickland (2008) obtained a response rate of 42%, while Windham (2009) received a 57% response rate with a similar population. For a web-based survey with agricultural produc ers, this response rate is comparable to similar studies.
67 Demographics The sixteen producers intervie wed for the first phase of this research came from seven different states, which provided r epres entation to four of NCBAs seven geographical regions. These participants ranged in age from 26 to 79 years and were predominately male. Each of the cattle pr oducers interviewed in this study had been involved in the cattle industry at least since they finished their last year of formal education. Only three did not grow up on a fa rm or ranch. Ive been involved my entire life, or just about foreve r were common statements. Beef industry segments represented by this group include seedstock, cow/calf, dairy, stocker/backgrounder, livestock auction market, feedlot and allied industry company. They had a variety of motivations for workin g in the cattle industry, from the risk and reward of a challenging job in the free enterprise system to raising a family in a rural setting. One said he just didnt want to go to college, but only three interviewees did not have a four-year co llege degree, while si x had graduate degrees. The majority expressed their passion for t he industry, saying raising cattle was what I enjoy and just what I love doing. Our mission here is very simple. And that is that we are continually striving to improve the efficiency of converting Gods forage, all the grass out there that you and I, and chickens and hogs cann ot utilize. Improve the efficiency of converting Gods forage into safe, nut ritious, great tasting beef to better feed His people. Thats why our familys in the cattle business. According to the purposive sample, there was a wide range in their past participation and leadership within beef industry organizations as some were not members of any organization while others were past pres idents of NCBA. Of the participants that were duespaying members of beef indus try organizations, all happened to be members of NCBA in addition to other cattle organizations and several
68 were Farm Bureau members as well. Thos e who were members ranged from 4 to 45 years of membership, while the average mem bership was just more than 20 years. Table 4-2. Demographic characterist ics of interview participants Age 26 79 years NCBA membership 4 45 years Raised on farm/ranch 13 Education 3 no college degree 7 four-year college degree 6 graduate or pr ofessional degree N=16 The members of the focus gr oup were a purposive sample of members of the Joint Industry Producer Education Committee, and si milar in diversity of backgrounds to the interviewees. Some had been involved in industr y for their entire lives, while others only a few years. Half of the committee mem bers were NCBA represent atives from their respective state affiliates, while the other half were appointees serving on the Cattlemens Beef Board and may not have necessarily been NCBA members. The group was predominately male and comprised of older individuals those interviewed. The survey instrument was administered to YPC members, ranging in age from 20 to 35 years, with an average age of 28. These individuals had anywhere from less than a year to 29 years of experience as an NCBA member with an av erage membership of just more than three years. Years of ex perience in cattle production ranged from those with no experience to those who were born into it with a full lifetime of experience (35 years). Many ranch familie s and operations pay membersh ip dues as a company but not as individuals. This may be why some survey respondents indicated that they considered themselves to have been NCBA members and/or beef cattle producers their entire lives. See Table 4-3.
69 Table 4-3. YPC demographics in years Mean SD Range Age 27.99 4.038 20 35 Years of NCBA membership 3.23 3.372 0.5 29 Years in cattle industry production 16.89 7.650 0 35 N=139 Of the 137 YPC members who responded to the leadership questionnaire, 61% were male, 52.2% were married, and 70.1% di d not have any children. Less than 14% did not have a four-year college degree, as 51.8% had completed a four-year degree and 34.4% had earned a graduate or professional degree. There were respondents from 34 different states t hat represented all seven of NCBAs geographical regions. Regional representation was fairly evenly spread, with slightly less responses from the western region VI and eastern region I. More than 55% of respondents came from families that have been in the beef business fo r more than three gener ations. The vast majority (72.1%) were involved in cow/calf beef produc tion, with the seedstock industry the second most represented se ctor at 22.1% involvemen t. 36.5% of respondents had a cowherd size of 50 or less, and nearly 60% ran less than 250 head per year, which is logical in light of the next demographic. Nearly 80% of re spondents work off the farm or ranch, with 81% of those having full-time other jobs, as seen in Table 4-4. The introductory questions of the leadership survey instrument asked respondents about their membership in other organiza tions and participation in NCBA and other industry organization events. As Table 4-5 re veals, three quarters of respondents were members of their state cattlemens associ ation in addition to NCBA, and nearly half were members of a local county cattlem ens affiliate. 42.3% were Farm Bureau members and 41.6% were members of ot her commodity or agricultural groups.
70 Table 4-4. Demographic charac teristics of survey respondents Frequency Percent Gender Male 83 61.0 Female 53 39.0 Region I CT, DE, IN, KY, MA, MD, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, VA, WV 15 11.2 II AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN 23 17.2 III MO, IL, IA, MN, WI 23 17.2 IV AR, OK, TX 19 14.2 V AK, CO, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY 21 15.7 VI AZ, CA, HI, NV, NM, UT 11 8.2 VII KS, NE, ND, SD 22 16.4 Marital Status Single 65 47.8 Married 71 52.2 Number of Children 0 96 70.1 1 20 14.6 2 14 10.2 3 7 5.1 Education High school 4 2.9 Some college 7 5.1 2 year degree 8 5.8 4 year degree 71 51.8 Graduate or professional school 47 34.3 Ranch Family First generation 17 12.8 Second generation 14 10.5 Third generation 28 21.1 More than three generations 74 55.6 Industry Segment Seedstock 30 22.1 Cow/Calf 98 72.1 Stocker/Backgrounder 26 19.1 Feedlot Owner/Manager 16 11.8 Farmer/Feeder 22 16.2 Vet/Consultant/Sales 11 8.1 Other (Retail, Dairy) 4 3.0 Size of operation (number of head) 1 50 50 36.5 51 100 14 10.2 101 250 16 11.7 251 500 14 10.2 501 1000 15 10.9 1001 1500 7 5.1 1500 and up 9 6.6 Employment Full-time on farm or ranch 30 22.1 Off farm part-time 20 19.0 Off farm full-time 85 81.0
71 Table 4-5. Industry membership Percent Yes Percent No Frequency Yes Frequency No Local county cattlemens association46.7 53.3 64 73 State cattlemens association 75.9 24.1 104 33 Breed association 31.4 68.6 43 94 Farm Bureau 42.3 57.7 58 79 Commodity, agricultural or livestock groups 41.6 58.4 57 80 Community or civic organizations 47.4 52.6 65 72 N=137 Of those YPC members responding to the leadership questionnaire, 66.4% had attended a local cattlemens meeting, 64.2% had gone to a state cattlemens convention, and 60.6% had been to the national Cattle Industry Annual Convention. Only 23.4% had been to the Be ef Industry Summer Conferenc e, which is similar in nature to the annual convention for NCBA and CBB with more committee work and no trade show. 16.8% of respondents had been on the YCC tour, which is an intensive 10day program that takes participants across the U.S. to gain an in-depth understanding of the entire beef industry and NCBAs role in the industry. A limited number of participants are chosen for YCC each year by NCBA state and breed affiliates and participants must be at least 25 years of age. The frequencies and percentages of these responses are listed in Table 4-6. Table 4-6. Industry participation Percent Yes Percent No Frequency Yes Frequency No Cattle Industry Annual Convention 60.6 39.4 83 54 NCBA Trade Show 58.4 41.6 80 57 Beef Industry Summer C onference 23.4 76.6 32 105 Young Cattlemens Confer ence 16.8 83.2 23 114 State cattlemens convention 64.2 35.8 88 49 Local cattlemens association meeting 66.4 33.6 91 46 N=137
72 While the majority of YPC respo ndents had participated in cattlemens associations through local meetings, st ate and national convent ions, very few had served in leadership roles at t he local, state or national leve l. Only 21.9% had served as officers in their county cattlemens a ssociation, 15.3% had served on the board of directors for their state cattlemens associ ation, and 10.9% had served on a committee within NCBA. As the statistics indicate in Table 4-7, a decr easing number of YPC members had served in leadership roles moving up into higher levels of the cattlemens associations. Table 4-7. Beef industry volunteer leadership Percent Yes Percent No Frequency Yes Frequency No Served as an officer of a county cattlemens association 21.9 78.1 30 107 Served on the board of directors for state cattlemens association 15.3 84.7 21 116 Served on an NCBA committee 10.9 88.3 15 121 N=137 Objective 1 Objective 1: To identify the factors that influence produc er members decisions to participate and lead in beef industry organizations Data collected from the interviews, focus group and the leadership questionnaire were used to achieve the first objective of this research in the areas of recruitmen t, organizational involvement and leadership, YCC and humility. Membership and Leadership Recruitment Youre selling a concept, not a product when it comes to membership and leadership. To get producers to participate or lead, they have to kn ow how to make it happen and why it is important. One cattleman said that organiz ations have to get people to think, it is really cool to be included in this deal.
73 Every interview participant except one mentioned they or others became members of beef industry organizations or involved in volunteer leadership roles because they were asked. The theme of asking people to join or participate emerged 65 times throughout all the interviews. This t heme was further validated through numerous comments in the focus group, with one participant from that group concluding that in many cases, volunteer leaders are picked fo r that position because other people either encourage or place them in t hose positions. Somebody t hought enough of you to say, you need to be on that committee. One producer spoke of the number of people he had recruited to join organizations and referenced the monetary cost of membership saying, You just have to keep asking. I have a passion for it and some of mine will rub off on them and I will get them for $100. A few producers described the process of joining an organization as a neighbor hit me up. One mans neighbor came up my dr iveway and said, I would really like for you to be a part of this deal. He signed me up and it was the best deal I ever got. Another cattle producer talked about the lack of people asking fellow producers to join because of the culture of the cattle industry. We dont go around trying to sell people stuff and that is a tr adition that just kills us in membership. Some joined because I just decided a cattleman ought to be a member. Another mans father said you need to belong to the associat ions that support your indust ry. It wasnt a question, it was a statement. Several were not involved in certain in dustry organizations because they had been selected instead of asked to serve, and becaus e they felt they had not been asked to contribute anything of substance. When asked why she chose one particular
74 organization, one producer said, Cause we were asked. Wanted. Needed. Appreciated. Producers agreed that they w anted someone to ask for and value their personal opinions and experiences. The bulk of your membership will give input when asked and approached. Leadership has to make sure that theyre repr esenting what this group wants them to represent. Some of the women were recruited particularly because women would relate to another woman on food safe ty and nutritional issues facing the industry at the time. When it comes to leadership involvement, t he majority of the participants took on a leadership role because someone asked t hem to. If you cut through all the BS answers I could give you, its probably mostly because someone ask ed me. Most saw this as an advantage to getting the right people. One commented that the best leaders Ive seen are the ones that do it because someone talks them in to it, rather than deciding up front they want to do it because its a service mindset. Based on the themes that emerged in the interviews from the leadership and membership recruitment category, the next portion of the survey instrument used the same 5-point Likert scale to determine how respondents became involved in the cattle industry or recruited others to become involved, or what it might influence them to become more involved in the future. The response results are fo und in Table 4-8. The highest means and lowest standar d deviations and thereby strongest agreements were with the two following statement s: I have told others about how cattlemens association are helping the beef industry (M=4.11); and I would be more likely to serve in leadership roles with the cattlemens associations in the future if
75 someone asked me to (M=4.05). These stat ements indicate that young producers in NCBA view the organization favorably and are willing to serve in leadership roles if recruited and asked. Table 4-8. Recruitment Mean SD I became involved with the cattlemen's association because someone asked me to. 2.95 1.176 I have asked other people to become involved in the cattlemens association. 3.79 1.021 I have told others about how cattlem ens associations are helping the beef industry. 4.11 0.892 I have served in leadership roles wit hin my local, state or national cattlemens association. 3.33 1.315 Someone has asked me to serve in leadership roles within my local, state or national cattlemens association. 3.26 1.288 I would be more likely to serve in leadership roles with the cattlemens associations in the future if someone asked me to. 4.05 0.828 Total Mean 3.58 1.087 Cronbachs Alpha .807 N=134 The statement with a mean that fell on the disagreement side was I became involved with the cattlemen's associati on because someone aske d me to (M=2.95). This statement indicates that many YPC me mbers did not initially become involved with industry organizations because someone asked them This could be due to the fact that while many members pay dues, they do not cons ider themselves as actively involved in the organization yet. Organizational Involvement Every participant interviewed in th is research discussed organizat ional involvement, with more than 100 comments related to why peop le did or did not join
76 organizations and/or participate. Involvement is important to agricultural organizations because we need all the numbers we can get. People who participate in organizations f eel like they can make a difference and change things by banning together with others in agr iculture. Many felt that the work of the cattlemen and those organizations could rea lly help us. One woman told her story of how she became a member and involved by finding an organization that helped her successfully fight the government in a battle of eminent domain. Many of the things the organization does affect my profit ability. I mean, if I sit at home, they may not do what I think they ought to do. If I want to participate I gotta be there. Those producers who had been involved in t he past indicated they were highly likely to stay involved in the future. For those that did get involved, many did so because they found common ground with the peopl e, philosophy and culture associated with the organization. I like being involv ed, I like serving on committees that do something. When I have the time to do it and do it right. Many participants enjoy their involvement and several stated it was just the right thing to do. A strong passion for and real commitment to the industry was di scussed several times as motivators for being involved. One producer summarized involvement: Come, get educated, get informed, and then use that in their organi zation back home or in their community, in their area, in their state, around the world. People want to spend their time involved in something they perceive to be worthwhile, where they feel they are making a difference. If you cant make a difference, you wont do it. One produc er became involved with an organization because they wanted me to be involved in their leadership and help build their
77 organization stronger, build more grassroot s support. Several other people discussed the importance of feeling wanted and appreciated by the organization as a major factor influencing their involvement. Many producers choose to be involved in organizations where they feel they ha ve the most to offer. Theres an awful lot of social cowboys out there. While many interviewees enjoyed the people they worked with, they fe lt some people showed up and got involved because they wanted to go drin k a beer with your buds. O ne person said historically, organizations have annual meetings to drink whiskey, have fun and bring the family, but we have to do something much more effective than that. While the fun factor was important to getting people there and getting members involved, there was consensus that people also wanted to work hard and f eel their time at meetings was well spent. Data revealed that just because people di d not like an organization did not mean that they would not join, but they were mu ch less likely to become involved. You know I prefer those people to the ones that dont join at all. One producer described his experience attending the annual conv ention of a state affiliate: It was in a high dollar hotel at a hi gh dollar convention center in a high dollar city in a place I didnt want to be, with people I didn t really like. It was people that were wealth y, that were in the cattle business because of a byproduct of land ownership and that frustrated me. The decisions that were being made, they werent speakin g my language. It was politically based and not based on sound science and whats best for livestock production and for the environment. I got plenty to do, I dont need to go to your parties, and I dont plan to go. And they were very shocked. This cattleman remained a dues-paying me mber of the organi zation but had no intentions of being involved with that par ticular group, now or in the future. Some chose not to be involved in organizations because they did not see the value in it. [NCBA] hasnt been able to say clearly enough who we are, who our
78 customer is, what were about, and hey come jo in us. One young pr oducer said, If I dont know the benefit of it, I aint going to do it. If serving on a board was viewed as only a title and not an important responsibilit y, people felt they had better things to do with their time. Another producer referred to an organizations annual meetings as a big social, drinks and hors doeuvres deal tea parties never have turned me on. I want to go get something done. One cattleman made a conscious decision not to get involved in the leadership of any organization for five year s after returning to the familys ranch upon graduation from college. He believed it was important to learn the family business first, earn respect from employees, and then become a vo lunteer leader later on down the road. Another producer felt people should not be serving and leading unless they had paid their dues and spent a good deal of time worki ng in and gaining an understanding of the industry. Someone else chose to become involved later in life because he wanted to choose for himself which organization was important to devote his time. I didnt want to just be involved in what dad had been involved in. Several producers said they did not know or understand what the organization did until they became involved, while several did not become involved because they did not know what the organization did or where dues money spent. This can be a vicious cycle and difficult for organizations to break. Some were unsure of how to get involved, one stating that he found it very hard to figure out where I was supposed to be [within the organization]. Lack of time is a big barrier to organiza tional involvement. People can burn out on going to too many different functions. A nd it requires a commitment of time to go
79 off the farm and leave their fa mily and do those kinds of th ings, free, volunteer, you know they just dont have a lot of time for that. Cost and lack of desire also emerged as major inhibitors to participation. However, while cost was frequently discussed as a limitation to participation, it was nearly unanimously not c onsidered a true reason that people did not pay dues to join an organiza tion. Our dues are nothing. Its embarrassing how little we charge for what we a ccomplish. Its hard for me to believe that a person would decide not to support their industry organization because the dues are $100. You can spend more than that going out to dinner. Some beef producers do not feel comfor table around people, leading or speaking in front of others. Very fe w of us are trained in public sp eaking. Other people lack the confidence to become involved, believe som eone else can do a better job, or may not feel they have the skill set to do it. All it may take is someone providing encouragement and support to get that producer more engaged. Why are there so many beef producers w ho do not join an industry organization? Well I dont think that the issues have ever walked in their door. Most people do not worry about a problem until it knocks on their front door. People are unlikely to join organizations if they are not aware of what they will do for them. While a lot of the issues affect them, they don t threaten their livelihoods, particularly if their cattle operation is not their fu lltime occupation. Many producers that belonged to organizations expressed the issue of the free rider. You get the benefits of the success of the trade a ssociation whether you pay dues or not. Producers may not feel t he need to pay membership dues because other people are already taking care of the issues they face. Producers benefit because
80 NCBA is effective. They help all producers, not just the ones that are members, because if we change policies in Washington that are going to effect everybody, everybody benefits. Others may think, I guess the government is going to take care of us. You know, that may or may not be. Ive never seen that to be the case. One reason people do not join organization s is due to feeling like an outsider; the organization is seen as an exclusive club and they have yet to be invited. This thought resonated with the focus group as well. Some times all it takes is for someone to ask them and invite them to becom e involved. Many intervie wees discussed the potential number of people that are ju st waiting to be asked. Sometimes people get crossways with so mebody and therefore just choose to blame the whole organization. This is more likely when leaders don t get with the right perception. That doesnt help increase mem bership. Other prod ucers may not join because they focus on one or two issues that they disagree with the organization on instead of seeing the whole good that an organization does. Oh, I dont want to be a member because of their poli cy on COOL. You know, pick your poison. Some feel like organizations serve the interest of t he large ranches and do not really care about the little guy. People often join organizati ons because membership is made up of other like-minded individuals, but were not all like -minded. I still think its better to be a member of something than nothing, even with all the differences. One barrier to participation is educati ng people on what the organization does, how the structure works, and w hat opportunities there are to be involved. Organizations cannot be relevant to the people they were designed to serve unless those people are aware of what the organization does. I ll betcha 80% of the people dont know [where
81 dues money goes]. Some claim that the mem bership program is too complex, causing confusion among producers that are not sure how to pay dues and join. You have to be informed enough of whats going on and what the positions are before you can say, Hey, I can do that. Id be glad to do that. Once you get somebody to a convention or you get somebody to a meeting, then they get more engaged, but if they never come, they dont know. Participants in both interviews and the focus group agreed that getting people to conventions was ke y to exposing them to the organization and getting them hooked, but the hard part is getting them there. While some people expressed the issue of producers being too small to join and get involved in industry organizations, ot hers expressed concern about the extreme opposite case. A lot of people think, bei ng a small cattle producer, they dont have a voice. It is not a matter of having a voice, it is a matter of giving to an organization that will be the speaking voice for you. One producer comment ed on the number of people he knew who had retired from other industr ies, decided to live on a ranch, and now wanted to be involved and lead in agriculture organizations when they failed to fully understand the business. Then youve got some other people who the cow deal is just a hobby who want to get too involved and dont really under stand the business I mean, the people with 5 or 10 cows who think theyre an expert on the whole shebang. Another challenge in organizational involvement is getting fresh thoughts, new ideas and not becoming stagnant or complacent as an organizati on. You just cant let the same people do the work all the time. More than half of the participants talked about the importance and chal lenges of getting more young people involved. Youve got to have young people. And that is one of our biggest problems is we dont have a lot of young people because they cant make a living
82 directly from agriculture. They have to have outside jobs. So that eliminates them right there because they are working 40 hours a week. When people are working regular jobs in additi on to ranching and raising a family, it can create quite a barrier to organizational in volvement. There needs to be a way for young people to get involved in agriculture. Or someday everyone is going to wonder where all the food went. Table 4-9. Factors that infl uence organizational involvement Factors that lead to involvement Feeling of making a difference Past involvement Time with like-minded people Passion for the industry Commitment to the industry Feeling wanted and appreciated Social interaction Factors that detract from involv ement Dislike of others involved No value title not responsibility Time away from business Not knowing how to get involved Lack of time Lack of desire Monetary cost Lack of skills needed Factors that detract from member ship Lack of awareness of issues Alternative primary income Free rider Feeling like an outsider Never been invited to join Disagreement on issues Now knowing what the organization does The leadership questionnaire included a section on organizatio nal involvement. After the initial introductory questions, the firs t section of the survey instrument for YPC members used a Likert scale to assess participants past and anticipated future involvement in industry organizations and m easure factors that may influence their decision to be involved. The 5-point scale asked respondents to rate how much they agreed or disagreed with each of the statements in Table 4-10, where 1 = strongly
83 disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree and 5 = strongly agree (also see Appendix E). With a Cronbachs Alpha of 0.857, this instrument is considered highly reliable. Table 4-10. Involvement Mean SD I have been involved with my local or state cattlemen's associations in the past. 3.90 1.291 I have been involved with NCBA in the past. 3.68 1.131 I plan to be involved with my loca l or state cattlemens association in the future. 4.42 0.773 I plan to be involved with NCBA in the future. 4.32 0.766 There is a need to get more young people (40 or under) involved with cattlemens associations at all levels. 4.76 0.549 I have worked to get young producers (40 or under) more involved with cattlemens associations. 3.94 1.083 Every person in the cattle industry should be a dues-paying member of an industry organization. 3.95 1.159 I am more likely to be involved wi th an organization if I feel I can make a difference. 4.42 0.704 My local, state or national cattl emens associations give me the chance to make a difference. 3.83 1.000 I understand the goals and objectives of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. 3.93 0.979 I understand how my NCBA dues m oney is spent. 3.74 1.024 Total Mean 4.08 .951 Cronbachs Alpha .857 N=136 The statement with the highest mean (4.76) and the lowest standard deviation (0.549) was the perceived need for more young people to get involv ed with local, state and national cattlemens associations. This finding agrees with many interview and focus group statements. The second most agreed with statement with a mean of 4.42 and a standard deviation of 0.704 was I am more likely to be involved with an organization if I feel I can ma ke a difference. This also supports the interview findings
84 that revealed cattlemen wanted to give back to the industry and make a difference. Most respondents indicated that they plan to be involved with their local or state cattlemens association and NCBA in the future with a mean of 4.42 and 4.32, respectively. This may indicate that YPC members view beef industry organizations as a place where they feel they can get invo lved and make a difference. The statement with the most discrepancy, visible in the gr eatest standard deviation (1.159), was Every person in the cattle industry should be a dues-paying member of an industry organization. The results of all the in volvement questions are found in Table 4-10. Organizational Leadership From the focus group conducted with t he Joint Industry Producer Education Committee, data from the discussion revealed many different motivations of those currently serving as volunteer leaders withi n NCBA or CBB. Before the question was completely posed, the first response came as heads around the room nodded in agreement. To give back to the i ndustry if you dont give back to it its not going to be here. To try to make the industry better in the future for the next gener ation. Im doing this for the next generation, but Im also doing this as an example to my children. I want them to also be involved in this industry and to be involved in the professional side of our industry. Others also felt a sense of responsibility to the people that came before us in the industry, to see that the industry continues and carries fo rward for the generations behind us because it is such a wonderful way of life. If we dont promote agriculture, nobody else is willing to. I want to make sure theres food on the table for the futu re. I guess its partly self ish. I want the industry to do well so then I can do better. Its a passion, its emotional connection to this
85 industry. One producer felt the organization could use that emotional connection to recruit more volunteers. To represent those that cant be here or are too small to be able to afford to come. I have an opportunity to represent a lot of different people from a lot of different areas to bring their viewpoints forward so that we have a broader representation of people. Along with their repres entation of other producers fr om home, participants felt a responsibility to carry the information they gained back to their neighbors, family and fellow ranchers. Its kinda a growth thing. A couple producers discussed their introduction into leadership roles at the county level, and the pr ocess to gradually work up to the state and now the national. You just start small a nd build yourself up. Another producer believed most volunteers were placed in a le adership position and in many cases you just grow into it by learning how the pr ocess works and then becoming a part of it. Theres an educational component in leadership. The more you get involved, the more you learn. One produc er went on to say that sh e used what she learned at meetings to be able to look at the issues of the industry and to make good decisions both at home and in leadership roles. Another cattleman discussed the role of education as you learn how the organization works by watching and participating in whats going on that ki nd of education you cant have a graduation day for. Your graduation date is when you get pushed into t he next position. And if youre going for your doctorate, youll be pr esident of the organization. The beef industry is unique because of the people that it has to offer the people that are involved in this industry hav e passion; they also have compassion. And
86 it makes it easier to get involved because youre with such high quality people. Certainly networking is a big part of why wer e here. Within our pe ers and to gain information that we can take home. A lot of people volunteer because ther e are many people w ho will criticize an organization and the decisions made by others and after awhile I think certain people will sit back and just decide that either theyll be a par t of that or stop complaining. In other words, put up or shut up, and there s a number of people sitting at all of these tables that are her e for that reason. Young Cattlemens Conference Eight of the sixteen int erview partici pants had participated in Young Cattlemens Conference put on by NCBA. Every one of t hem expressed how vital this experience had been to their subsequent participation and l eadership in the beef industry. Five of them described the experience al ong the lines of one of the best things Ive ever done in my life. These cattlemen discussed this as a tipping point in their level of organizational involvement, as a pivot al point in my participation. The vast majority of the leaders in our industry organizati on are YCC grads. After ten days on the road fr om Denver to Chicago to Washington, D.C., these participants gain an understanding for how important having an active and successful association is to the longevity of t he industry. Along with a comprehensive understanding of the struct ure of the industry and i ndustry organizations, YCC participants also noted that t hey developed friendships and expanded their networks to include people they still communicate with t oday. One cattleman from Illinois described another cattleman from North Carolina he h ad met on YCC 25 year s ago. We have done business for 25 years.
87 The focus group also discussed the import ance of YCC in developing industry leaders. That was talent that wed of never found if we wouldnt ha ve put that program in place. By the end of it, theyre wanting to get on committees and theyre wanting to be involved in our convention an d everything else. And I thin k YCC is a great program. Several states are trying to grow our own leaders through state-level leadership programs similar to YCC. Humility Two-thirds of the interview participants discu ssed or expressed humility, both in terms of leadership and membership. Hum ility is defined by Webster as a modest or low view of ones own importance. Interviewees openly discussed their naivety when they first took on leadership roles. Even to day, Im not saying Im the best at it. One past organizational leader said, It will humble you to know the quality of people that youre working for, and the impact we can have on the young people that have a burning desire to try to get into livesto ck and this business. Several discussed how serving in leadership roles had been a humbling experience, even if ego played a role in their decision to lead. Even a past NCBA pr esident and legendary industry leader said, I feel like there are younger people that are a lot smarter than I am. Let them do it. Other respected leaders talk ed about the ways they could have been more effective and recognized staff and mentors for helping them develop their leadership skills. Still other interviewees discussed the humble nature of mo st cattle producers. Its not considered a positive trait in a producer that youre arrogant, and brag and talk about how many cows you have and what you do. They talk ed about how blessed they were to be able to do what they were doing and live off t he land. These producers not only exuded humility themselves, they str ongly valued it in others.
88 Objective 2 Objective 2: To determine percept ions of active NCBA members about volunteer leadership responsibilities and commitments. Data from the interviews, focus group and leadership questionnaire were used to address th is objective. Perceptions of cattlemen and NCBA members related to volunteerism, costs and benefits of volunteer leadership, and leadership development are discussed. Volunteerism More than half of those interviewed talk ed about the importance of volunteeris m, that it does make a difference and help guide the organization. I particularly think that clubs and organiza tions fulfill a great, great service in this country. Have had the opportunity to travel internationally and realize that most quote, most countries around the globe do not have the service organizations that we have in this c ountry. Or the vol unteerism within us that we have in America. Several people discussed the need for volunteer s with pure motives. While some want to be on there to do the greater good, you get some that are just totally self-serving. When folks volunteer their time, they have to buy into the organization and know that what they are doing makes a difference. There was a need expressed for organizational members to be forgiving of volunteers who arent perfect people. One beef producer discussed the concerns of volunteer leaders who struggle with knowing what to say and how to say it when they represent the organization. I dont know any way to get good at these things without just doing it. And its very easy when you first get start ed to put your foot in your mouth and say something youll regret later, I guarantee it. But again youre talking about people that arent paid, these are volunteer leaders and I think people gotta realize that you get a pass on so me of that because it isnt your profession. Its your passion but its not your profession.
89 The survey instrument confirmed the interview theme of the importance of volunteerism. YPC member s agreed that volunteering as a leader in beef industry organizations is a way to give back to the industry (M=4.29) and that volunteering in these industry organizations is more reward ing than the sacrific es made (M=3.93). These two statements also had little variation, indicated by the low standard deviation. With a mean of 2.60, most respondents disa greed that volunteering as a leader in beef industry organizations is too costly. YPC members believe that volunteer leadership is either not costly or worth t he cost, and that volunteer leader ship is an important way to give back to the industry while finding such work rewarding (Table 4-11). Table 4-11. Volunteerism Mean SD Volunteering as a leader in beef indus try organizations is too costly (time, money, etc.) 2.60 1.057 Volunteering as a leader in beef industry organizations is more rewarding than the sacrifices made to serve. 3.93 0.735 Volunteering as a leader in beef i ndustry organizations is a way to give back to the industry. 4.29 0.711 Total Mean 3.61 0.834 Cronbachs Alpha .807 N=135 Costs and Benefits of Leadership The costs and benefit s of serving in vol unteer leadership roles was frequently a theme of conversation among interviewees. The rewards of leadership that emerged include education and expansion of kno wledge, both from formal seminars and cattlemens colleges and through conversations with other producers. The thing about the cattle business is people don t mind sharing, particularly something thats worked well for them. They gained more empat hy for others in leadership roles and more
90 insight into how organizations work Several people enjoyed working with organizational staff and m entioned their appreciation an d admiration of staff. Other rewards include time spent with like-minded people, having fun, networking and building relationships with lifelong fr iends and long-term business partners, and gaining skill sets they use for the rest of their lives. A fo rtunate few were able to meet Presidents of the United Stat es, attend inaugural balls, Wh ite House state dinners and Christmas parties. Several expressed their desire to give so mething back to thei r industry, and felt volunteer leadership gave them the chance to make a diffe rence and you know that will have an impact. Others said they got back far more than I ever gave. Anything I could do to make the beef business better I was willing to do it because that is how we made a living. Their contributions to the industry in turn improve their livelihoods. Appreciation of these efforts is also rewa rding. One past NCBA president said, Ive had so many people come up to me and really express how much they appreciate what we did, as an organization, as a team its really something to see how much it means to a lot of people bec ause you represent them. The biggest cost of leadership, which emerged from more than 30 comments, is the time it requires. Personal time, family time, travel time and ranch time were each discussed in regards to the time commitment of serving as a volunteer leader, with the most emphasis on family time. Many produc ers said they would be more involved if they felt they had the time, while one young producer talked about activity overload. Even if they dont have the time, they still have the financial abilit y to join or support the people who repr esent them.
91 For leaders, even when they are not directly giving time to an organization, they are still kind of always in a sense repres enting the association because you were listening to what problems they were havi ng and a sounding board of course for everybody who was ticked off about anything. With 24-hour access to people through cell phones and email, many people never truly take a break from their paid or unpaid work. There are a lot of good people out there Id love to see be officers that wont, at least not for a long time, because they ju st dont have the time. Theyre such a key component of their business or operati on that they just cant be gone. One person noted the frustrati on of slow decision-making processes. People who are busy by nature dont like to spend that much time talking about the same thing. You know, once youve heard the argument, boom. Its done. Lets vote. Lets get on with it. Other costs include monetary costs of taking off work or paying a hired hand and paying to attend meetings and conventions. Even if the expenses are getting paid, theyre not getting paid for their ti me. They have to be willing to travel by car or plane. You know it takes years off your life to go through as many airports as you go through. One expressed regret that although she had done extensiv e traveling all over the country, she did not get to spend much time with the people. Saw nothing of the area except the hotel. T hat I regret. Leaders sacrifice their personal opinions to represent the voice of the organization and the member-adopted position on policy. They take cr iticism from the media, dissident voices and organizations that do not agree with their policy. One organizational leader had to deal with an exas perated cattlemen in a personal situation,
92 as someone tried to create a fiasco of her bu ll sale by buying cattle online that they never intended to purchase fr om an unauthorized account. A few past leaders counted as a cost the ch ange in their role on the ranch. The hardest decision was to give up my day-to-day hands-on involvement in the ranch. One cattleman said he has yet to get over that because for the most part people kind of get used to their roles and they dont go back to them. One person actually felt the ranch operation was strengthened bec ause others in the family were able to stand up and exert their influence and their ideas and see what kind of effect those would have and thats good, that was h ealthy for our ranch operation. Some producers felt these costs were not a great sacrifice, one producer noting, this industry has given me qui te a bit I damned sure ought to be able to give something back. While others felt the costs were too grea t, especially for the family. Were not willing to sacrific e the family to work for t he betterment of the industry. These costs and benefits that emerged from the interviews and focus group were combined to create a list that was then pr esented to the YPC survey respondents to rank the top three costs and benefits they perceived of partici pation and volunteer leadership in beef industry organizations The costs and benefits ranked 1st were weighted three point s, those ranked 2nd were weighted two points and those ranked 3rd were assigned one point. The sum totals were added and the results of the ranked costs of volunteer leadership are presented in Table 4-12 while the ranked benefits are listed in Table 4-13. F represents the frequency, or number of respondents who ranked that particular variable as one of the top three costs or benefits.
93 The number one cost of vol unteer participation and lea dership in beef industry organizations, with a sum that nearly doubled the second cost, is the travel costs and other expenses of attending meetings. Vo lunteer leaders are of ten not even reimbursed for the costs of attending meetings and convent ions to participate, such as mileage or airfare, lodging and meals. When leaders are expected to attend monthly meetings at a location across the state, quarterly meetings that may last several days and require overnight stays, or even biannual national meetings that requ ire airfare, these costs and quickly add up. Four-day registration fo r the Cattle Industry Annual Convention and NCBA Trade Show is nearly $400, and with airfare and lodging can easily add up to well over $1000 per person to attend (NCBA, 2010) While there is a tax incentive for attending meetings and conventions, it appears t hat is not enough to offset the cost for young producers. Table 4-12. Ranked costs of volunteer l eadership in beef industry organizations Sum F Travel costs and other expenses of attending meetings 256 109 Time away from family 138 68 Taking unpaid time off from work 127 64 Time away from business 105 54 Working with difficult people 47 32 Giving up personal opinions to represent the position of the organization 40 22 Feeling unappreciated by the organization 39 24 Working with complex issues 38 19 Time away from more enjoyable activities 14 9 The second, third and fourth costs of volunteer leadership, all weighted significantly higher and more than doubling t he remaining five costs, each involve the cost of time. Time away fr om family, unpaid time off from work, and time away from
94 ones business are considerable costs that YPC members associate with leadership in beef industry organizations. As producers move up into greater leadership roles that carry more responsibility, ther e is also a greater time co mmitment expected of them (M. John, personal communication, April 29, 2008) While this time could be spent doing other activities, YPC members seem most c oncerned that it is time they must spend away from their family and away fr om their jobs or cattle operations. As producers indicated in the interviews there are also per ceived benefits of volunteering in beef industry organizations. The top ranked benefit was improving the beef industry. Just as many those who participated in the interviews and focus group indicated a very strong sense of duty and responsibility to serve and work to improve the industry that they belong to, this survey finding is also consistent with Barbuto, Trout, & Browns (2004) research that show ed adult agricultural workers to be motivated by self-concept internal motivation, while also revealing a goal internal motivation among YPC members. Many pr oducers have a passion for th e industry they work in, and believe they can make a positive diffe rence to improve the beef industry. Table 4-13. Ranked benefits of volunteer l eadership in beef industry organizations Sum F Improving the industry 217 98 Networking 173 79 Education about industry issues 152 82 Friendships 89 43 Education about production practices 81 43 Time spent with like-minded people 53 30 Business partnerships 28 17 Travel 10 8 Publicity for my business 7 5
95 Other highly ranked benefits include netwo rking and education about industry issues. Survey respondents who have attended local, state and nati onal meetings or conventions (more than 60%) are likely to have experienced the benef its of networking and industry issue education in the past. Leadership Development As interview participants discussed their experiences and perceptions in regards to leadership roles and development, m any of them began asking themselves questions. How do I keep the leadership of agriculture in the hands of people that know it, love it, live it? How do we keep people from leading in an uninformed manner? How do we keep the leadership in people th at want and understand a longterm and sustainable business ? Many discu ssed the implications of leadership development, and how the trade associations can be more competitive with a progression of strong, well-trained leaders. Several acknowledged that the need for leadership de velopment was stronger today than it ever has been bef ore. Regarding priorities, one participant said, Our organization has continued to have leader ship and leadership development as important but not as critical. Some noted the problem is that leadership development is not an issue staring you in the face waiting for a response; it does not demand legislative action or a media response right now Leadership development its just, its really not real sexy. When interviewees talked about the wrong p eople for leadership, they tied it a personal agenda or selfish motives. Too oft en its hard to find the right people to move up and sometimes you get some people who ar e passionate but not necessarily skilled leaders. I want people who exhibit leadership qualities and can actually lead in a
96 meeting. I dont need som ebody on there because its an appointment. I want somebody on there because they know what the hell is going on. This brings in the need for leadership education and training. A good organization identifies and recruits and develops leaders. So we need to be abl e to know how to best develop these people so that we get the job done with the best people caus e theres a lot of good people out there. They need to be given their chance. Training More than half of the participants discussed this need for leadership training. If were going to have people that can run t hese organizations, they kind of need to be trained how to do it theyr e cattlemen. Which is not a negative, but this is a very different role, in understanding group dynamics and decision-making processes and persuasive speaking. Many cattlemen agreed you could always have more training. One producer called NCBAs efforts sporadic attempts at training. Theyre not as organized as they could be, and Id say thats primarily because that would cost money. And it would take quite a bit of resources to actually design a trul y effective training program. A couple noted that the leadership of an organizati on is not a coincidence; it must be cultivated. We need the talents of all. Many of those interviewed cited a need for media training. Several producers in the focus group agreed. Its real easy for someone to take a very small c lip of what you said and turn it into something else and have it sound very different. So one of the things that I think is important fo r people to understand is how to deal with the media and how to set yourself up for success so you dont give one of those little sound bites that someone can take out of context. That goes into the leadership education and training as well.
97 While most people agree on the need for leadership training, one interviewee felt that getting the right people selected is probably more im portant than whether they have been trained or not. If you do a good job of it, you wont have to do a lot of training because you will be picking people who already exhibit good le adership and they know what their subject matter is and they can get in there and make a difference. If an organization adequately trains and prepares leaders at the grassroots level, this could be the case by the time they are elected to serve in a national leadership position. Mentoring I think the really succ essful organizati ons that we have mentor leadership. Interviewees discussed the importance of mentoring and grooming new leaders and many of the industry leaders gave credit to the men and women who had been their mentors. Focus group participants also discussed the idea of mentoring leaders. Some perceived a need for a formal networking tool so those who want to mentor and those who are out there for ment oring can kind of link up and propose what their goals and objectives are to best match mentors and mentees in the i ndustry. Others think an informal mentorship already exists that sends people through the pipeline. Because somebody that really wants to learn is going to seek out a teacher, thats just going to happen. You cant force it upon them; they have to want it. Some felt a combination thereof would be the most powerfu l in finding a balance between a formal and informal mentoring program. If you l ook at how different people learn and how people excel I think a combination of t hose programs is probably whats best. More than half of those interviewed had been chosen by their state to attend the Young Cattlemens Conference (Y CC) with NCBA. All but one of the cattle producers that had been involved at the national level were YCC alum ni. Everyone that had been
98 on the YCC tour commented on t he impact of the program in regards to their industry organization participation and leadership. F our cattlemen said it was one of the best things they had ever done in their life, with one remarking, I got more out of that trip than I did out of the 4 y ears of college education. One focus group participant discussed the ro le YCC could play mentoring leaders. One of the opportunities t hats being missed right now for mentorship is the Young Cattlemens Conference if youve ever been on that, thats basically a religious experience. W hen you come off that plane after the last part of the trip, I think you are primed and ready to go. And in many cases, when you go back to your state a ssociation, thats the end of it and then its up to you to do whatever you can do. I think it almost should be required on the part of the states t hat send someone the YCC when they get back, at least for a years time, t hat they are part of a non-voting party, a board, and it wouldnt be a bad idea to send them to at least one convention or help em get here. And then when they get here they should be mentored by people from their state, y ou know to show them the ropes, see what goes on, and be at meetings like th is. Because like I said, you miss that opportunity, and it is a great opportunity I mean youre fired up and ready to go, and thats the time when we have them hooked and we could use them, mentor them, caus e theyre ready for it. Challenges Three comments were made by intervie wees in regards to the producers decisions not to be involved in leadership because it was hereditary, not merit-based. They would tell you that its merit based but whenev er they go My daddy was chairman, president, my granddaddy was, then it s not merit based, its hereditary. They perceived leadership roles to be passed down through certain families in particular beef industry organizations. And I know we don t like to admit it but its the old timers that often run industry organizations, as one focus group participant put it. If we back up, in a lot of state associations well see a lot of fathers and sons who would be presidents. One producer ex pressed frustration with this kind of leadership because just because of money, they get to help make decisions for the breed? But the
99 decisions especially in leadership that they make affect the rest of us who are trying to make our living with those cows, for generations. Other challenges of leadership were also frequently identified by interviewees. These leadership challenges discussed in t he interviews are shown in Table 4-14. Table 4-14. Leadership challenges No matter what they do, they wont make everybody happy Limited resources, economic issues and budget cuts The time it takes to debate and work through organizational issues Conflicts between the volunteer leader ship and the paid leadership (staff) Corrupt bureaucratic leadership Getting membership actively engaged and involved High turnover rate and subsequent knowledge transfer and lack of familiarity Conflicts with other agricultural organizations Members who base decisions on emot ions rather than sound science Timing is everything Fatigue and exhaustion Tradition well its the way weve always done it Defending unpopular positions If you go to the board meetings, its an awful lot of grey hair in there A producer in the focus group believed the number one challenge t hat we face in animal agriculture is that growing rift bet ween the people that produce the food and the people that are buying the food. And I think its going to take industry leadership to put a face on our industry so that we can maintain trust from the consumer that we need so theyll continue to buy our produc t. Technology will help fac ilitate that, but its still gonna take people. Its still gonna take folks that are willing to get involved and gonna put a face on what they do everyday. One past leader of a national organization said, Its one of t hose jobs that you wouldnt ever take again but you wouldnt ta ke a million dollars not to have done it. Another past leader commented, I have a great theory that I try to live by. When I serve in the leadership position and I move as ide, I move aside. Because Im not going
100 to second guess what the other people have done. Theres not anything thats much more useless than a past president, if you w ant to know the truth Ive served my time. and if they need me to do somethi ng, Im here. Ill be glad to do it. The YPC leadership questionnaire asked a series of questions on volunteer leadership using a 5-point Likert type scale, aimed at better understanding producers perceptions of themselves as leaders and their individual intentions of volunteer leadership development. Tabl e 4-15 summarizes these responses. A large number of respondents view themselves as leaders (M=4. 32), but not necessarily as leaders in their local or state cattlemens associati on (M=3.51) or NCBA (M=3.12). Additionally, the standard deviations of the later two statements as compar ed to the first indicate that the means represent less variat ion in those that view themselves as leaders, whereas there was likely more polar variation in whether or not YPC members perceived themselves as leaders in their local, stat e or national cattlemens association. Table 4-15. Volunteer leadership Mean SD I see myself as a leader. 4.32 0.663 I see myself as a leader in my local or state cattlemen's associ ation. 3.51 1.072 I see myself as a leader in the National Cattlemens Beef Association. 3.12 1.078 I believe my leadership skills need improvement. 3.72 0.864 I would improve my leadership skills if given the opportunity. 4.23 0.606 I am actively working to improve my leadership skills. 4.10 0.798 NCBA members should be willing to serve as leaders in the beef industry. 4.14 0.815 Total Mean 3.88 0.842 Cronbachs Alpha .736 N=136
101 Many recognized a need to develop thei r leadership skills (M=3.72), while even more agreed that they would improve their leadership skills if given the opportunity (M=4.23). The majority also agreed that NCBA members should be willing to serve as leaders in the beef industry (M=4.10). With a mean of 4.10, there was also an average agreement that these producer s are already actively working on developing their leadership abilities. Objective 3 Objective 3: To identify the leadersh ip educ ation needs of NCBA members. Leadership education needs emerged in the interviews and focus group through those leadership skills producers believed were necessary to serve in industry leadership roles. A list of these skills, as well as those found to be significant in previous research, were combined to form the portion of the survey instrument that utilized an adapted Borich needs assessment m odel to determine the importance to and proficiency of cattlemen in these areas. Interviews The interview participants identified numer ous leaders hip skills they felt were important for agricultural leaders. These leadership skills are listed in Table 4-16. Table 4-16. Leadership education needs Public speaking skills Written communication abilities Media interview skills Debate skills Ability to run and manage meetings Listening skills Conversation skills Bringing unity and cohesiveness to groups of people Taking advice from others Knowledge of industry issues Staying up to date on news Confidence
102 Table 4-16. Continued Motivating people to get things done Ability to prepare for events and situations Appropriate behavior Governance training Setting direction for the organization and getting people to buy in Ability to deal with animal ri ghts activists and extremists Focus Group During the focus group included in this re search, much of the discussion revolved around the leadership education needs of beef producers, especially sinc e participants were all members of a committee devoted to meet the produc er education needs of the industry. A few discussed the need for leaders to have facilitation skills. There has to be real skill in getting the quiet ones to say what they need to say. A lot of really good ideas are somebody thats sitting there thinki ng while everybody else is talking I dont think we ever try to teac h that so that leaders can use the work of committees to get all out of it that you can. You have to be real care ful not to let the most vocal one drive the agenda when the best idea and the most challenging thoughts are normally in the minds of that quiet per son. Another cattleman added that it was a people skills issue and understanding peopl e that are on your team, even if youre not the designated leader. Using communication to get people to provide their input is important because the group collectively is a lot smarter than any one individual of the group. Some of the best ideas might come from the times spent having supper or having a refreshment at conventions or meetings. We get an awful lo t out of small, informal groups and a lot of input that is very valuab le and then bring back to the group. Additionally, as a leader the number one most important job is people regardless of if were on a ranch, its rea lly all about people. And those are the kind of
103 skills that are absolutely critical and theyre not always real easy to teach. They can be demonstrated and they can be learned by wa tching others but it s hard to put a curriculum around them. We have to speak credibly to sort out the passion from the objective. We can still have passion but we cant let that passi on taint our ability to speak credibly. Another participant expressed a need to learn how to communicate, both verbally and in written form for the purposes of advocacy. I just completed the Mast ers of Beef Advocacy course. And we need thousands more MBAs, we need thousands more advocates fo r our industry its important that we have as many voices as possible. Weve got a lot of work to do to tell them our side and let people know that there is another side other than what t heyre hearing from the big dogs thats trying to get us out of business. And so maybe on some of these issues that youre asking leaders to be able to go to the plate on, they need the talking points whenever the microphone gets stuck in your face, what are you going to say? You got all these ideas but theyre not in those little snippets, in the right form. So those bullet points are really key to par t of this leadership training. One of the big voids that we have in the cattle industry and in agriculture in general is the ability to be proactive. Its real easy to be reactive its very hard to be creative and be proactive and try to antic ipate the needs and help create awareness before theres a crisis. So I think that one of the key leader ship skills that were missing is the ability to be perceptive and be proactive There are going to be fewer and fewer of us in this business fulltime we have to address that reality, that theres
104 consolidation within our industry and ho w we react to, how we proactively become leaders. One of the important tools that we need as the beef industry is somebody to coordinate the leadership and the people that ma y potentially be intere sted. And thats where I see NCBA able to identify fol ks that are leaders and want to be leaders and put them in the part of the industry that they can give the best, do the most. As the industry changes, we need to figure out where we can fit those who lead and those who follow us to see more involvement. One of the needs that we could work on is teaching us how to mentor these young people that are coming up, the upcom ing generation, help mentor them into these leadership positions. They tend to grow from a grassroots effort. I would see some of the mentoring starti ng there instead of starting at the national level because for the practical ability we try to identify people that are new to the industry and get them involved, get them pr epared and thats how we keep t he industry growing. Theres a difference between developing l eaders and a mentorship program there are a lot of people that have knowledge and expertise and experience that would be valuable in a mentor progr am but nobodys ever told them, hey look you have this value and you can share that. And so I thin k that a little bit more formalized mentor program would be helpful to develop le adership in our younger producers. I dont think a lot of the grassroots might underst and there are numerous ways to try leadership, from writing letters to a Congressman on a comput er never leaving the ranch to coming and being on a committee. Another woman felt it was her responsibility sitting on a committee to gather this type of information and getting new
105 ideas so she could go out and share new informa tion or at least expo se them to it. This information on the variety of ways to participate and lead coul d be distributed with the Internet capabilities and the technology things like Twitter or blogs a lot of our producers are using more Internet for their source of information. Throughout the discussion of leadership needs with the focus group, several participants specifically brought up leadership education needs of young people in the industry. One person discussed the need to teach communication skills for really getting kids that are going into this field to speak and communicate and then to also put their thoughts in written form. And to me, after they l earn how to communicate they need to learn about our total industry and that were all working together. Even though we may be competitors, we have to work toge ther to make any of us profitable. The focus group discussed how to dissemi nate leadership education. The state is really where the work needs to be done, because the nati onal level can guide but its at the state level where leader s are developed because youre really trying to learn, not necessarily about the industry itself but how to represent the industr y. There are many places to learn some of the skill sets needed for leaders, but for guidance, I still think the best place is the state organizations bec ause its in their best interest as well to develop these people into state level leaders and if they go on to the national, great, but even if they stay at the state level its still a good thing. One issue with locally devel oped leadership is that as industry organizations, We tend to be sometimes pretty parochi al and pretty closed knit. Ive been in a lot of especially local associati ons and state associations and if youre not from the right family, if you hav ent had the right pedigree, if you havent done the right things, you really dont have the opportunities as an outsider to move in and move up through that c hain. Part of this because in the past, those were the people that underst ood the issues. But in the present,
106 in the transient industry today I thin k we also have to somehow reach out and try to help those people trying to get involved at the local and the state levels achieve some credibility and we need to reach out a little bit and expand our grassroots. Questionnaire Based on leadership education needs identified in the interviews and focus group, combined with leadership skill s identified in a survey in strument for agricultural producers designed by Carter (1999), a list of leadership education constructs was created. After being reviewed by a panel of experts and pilot tested, this list was reduced to the 32 constructs included in th e leadership developm ent portion of the questionnaire. This part of the survey was developed using an adapted Borich needs assessment model to measur e respondents perception of the importance of each leadership skill for NCBA members, as well as their assessment of their personal proficiency or ability in each skill. Producers ranked the importance and their proficiency for each construct on a scale of one to seven, with one indicated as low and seven indicated as high. This type of analysis reveals the actual need for further education or programming effo rts (Waters & Haskell, 1989). The ability to advocate for the beef indus try was ranked highest at a mean of 6.77 with clearly the lowest standard deviation at 0.750. Thirteen ot her constructs had a mean of 6.0 or higher, with using appropria te behavior in professional and social settings, effective communication skills (in speaking, writing and interviews), and the ability to stay current on agricultural iss ues emerging as the second, third and fourth most important skills, respectively. The lowest ranked skills, which also had the greatest standard deviation of any of the constructs, were the ability to use social media (M=4.84) and differentiating between vol unteer leadership and staff roles and
107 Table 4-17. Importance of leadership skills for YPC members Mean SD Advocate for the beef industry. 6.77 0.750 Use appropriate behavior in professional and social settings. 6.33 1.020 Use effective communication skills in speaking, writing and interviews. 6.32 1.163 Demonstrate ability to stay current on agricultural issues. 6.30 1.008 Work to achieve the mission and vision of an organization. 6.22 1.051 Set and achieve goals. 6.21 1.188 Demonstrate ability to work well with others. 6.14 1.027 Practice progressiveness (not do things the way they have always been done). 6.11 1.333 Demonstrate active listening skills. 6.09 1.178 Communicate the goals and objectives of NCBA. 6.06 1.105 Demonstrate ability to stay current on news and events. 6.05 1.163 Demonstrate ability to use the Internet and email. 6.03 1.312 Solve problems. 6.03 1.023 Demonstrate ability to meet and converse with new people. 6.00 1.123 Develop and utilize a network in the beef industry. 5.93 1.197 Maintain a professional appearance. 5.92 1.217 Demonstrate ability to resolve conflict. 5.84 1.058 Recognize personal strengths and weaknesses. 5.77 1.172 Participate in political lobbying efforts for beef industry issues. 5.76 1.493 Demonstrate ability to handle stress and pressure. 5.73 1.360 Develop a strategic plan. 5.73 1.240 Conduct an orderly meeting. 5.70 1.327 Maintain an attitude of volunteerism. 5.57 1.283 Recognize personal leadership styles and characteristics. 5.54 1.335 Demonstrate ability to delegate. 5.50 1.406 Foster an attitude of service. 5.50 1.322 Read and interpret industry research. 5.47 1.422 Identify how committees are utilized in NCBA. 5.35 1.443 Develop a meeting agenda. 5.09 1.470 Arrange to spend time away from work and home. 4.98 1.437 Differentiate between volunteer leadership and staff roles and responsibilities at NCBA. 4.93 1.605 Demonstrate ability to use social media (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogs, ect.). 4.84 1.847 Total Mean 5.81 Cronbachs Alpha .944 N=123
108 responsibilities at NCBA (M=4.93). The Cr onbachs Alpha for this portion of the questionnaire was 0.944, which indicates a high level of reliability for the instrument. Table 4-17 contains the mean and standar d deviation for all 32 constructs. Along with rating the import ance for NCBA members to possess of each of these leadership abilities, respondents were also asked to report their own proficiency level. Respondents were most proficient in their abi lity to use the Internet and email (M=6.52), which also had the lowest standard deviation. Th is result is not surprising for this young group of producers that are very well educated. Mean ratings were also greater than six for respondents proficiency in advocating for the beef industry and using appropriate behavior in professional and social settings, which were the two most important abilities. The majority of leadership abilities ( 21 of them) had a mean proficiency rating between 5.0 and 6.0. Three constructs had a mean less than 4.0, including differentiating between volunteer leadership and staff roles and responsibilities at NCBA, which also had one of the lowest ratings in importance. The two lowest skills in proficiency were political lobbying effo rts for the beef industry (M=3.75) and understanding the committee struct ure of NCBA (M=3.55). This instrument was high in reliability with a Cronbachs Alpha of 0. 922, as reported in Table 4-18. Table 4-19 shows the mean importance for NCBA mem bers and proficiency of YPC respondents for each leadership skill measured in the questionnaire. The ranking order was determined by the difference between the mean importanc e and proficiency, with a greater gap indicating a greater need for leadership education in that area, as the importance of that sk ill is greater than members self-perceived ability to demonstrate that skill. With a mean difference of 2.01, the ability to participate in political lobbying
109 Table 4-18. Proficiency of leadership skills for YPC members Mean SD Demonstrate ability to use the Internet and email. 6.52 0.815 Advocate for the beef industry. 6.11 1.113 Use appropriate behavior in professional and social settings. 6.06 0.994 Maintain a professional appearance. 5.92 1.211 Demonstrate ability to work well with others. 5.89 1.023 Demonstrate active listening skills. 5.58 1.064 Set and achieve goals. 5.57 1.007 Practice progressiveness (not do things the way they have always been done). 5.56 1.336 Recognize personal strengths and weaknesses. 5.36 1.087 Demonstrate ability to use social media (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogs, ect.). 5.34 1.903 Solve problems. 5.33 1.105 Conduct an orderly meeting. 5.31 1.266 Demonstrate ability to meet and converse with new people. 5.31 1.413 Demonstrate ability to stay current on agricultural issues. 5.28 1.175 Work to achieve the mission and vision of an organization. 5.23 1.194 Demonstrate ability to handle stress and pressure. 5.23 1.180 Foster an attitude of service. 5.20 1.219 Recognize personal leadership styles and characteristics. 5.18 1.181 Demonstrate ability to stay current on news and events. 5.18 1.219 Develop a meeting agenda. 5.16 1.356 Read and interpret industry research. 5.16 1.457 Use effective communication skills in speaking, writing and interviews. 5.14 1.205 Maintain an attitude of volunteerism. 5.13 1.372 Demonstrate ability to resolve conflict. 5.02 1.141 Arrange to spend time away from work and home. 4.85 1.515 Develop and utilize a network in the beef industry. 4.82 1.360 Develop a strategic plan. 4.77 1.278 Demonstrate ability to delegate. 4.76 1.403 Communicate the goals and objectives of NCBA. 4.22 1.490 Differentiate between volunteer leadership and staff roles and responsibilities at NCBA. 3.80 1.785 Participate in political lobbying efforts for beef industry issues. 3.75 1.878 Identify how committees are utilized in NCBA. 3.55 1.701 Total Mean 5.17 Cronbachs Alpha .922 N=119
110 efforts for the beef industry tops the list. In an effort to get mem bers to participate in lobbying efforts, NCBA publishes Cattlemens Capitol Concerns each week with the latest news from Washington, D.C., hosts a Legislative Conference every fall, sends calls to action to members when legislators are about to make crucial votes, and uses an online Capitol Advantage progr am that helps producers draft and send letters to their legislators on particular issues. However, there remains a substantial gap between the importance and proficiency of younger memb ers in lobbying efforts and NCBA might consider ways to engage members in lobbying ac tivities at a more local, grassroots level. Three of the next four constructs rela te to members understanding of how NCBA works. Knowing the goals and objectives of NCBA, how the committee structure works, and the difference between volunteer and st aff roles all have significant mean differences. This indicates a need for gover nance training, a theme that emerged from both the interviews and focus group as well. Other leadership abilities with a mean differ ence greater than 1.0 include effective communication skills in speaking, writing and interviews, networking in the beef industry, and staying current on agricultural i ssues. Each of these are interrelated as they indicate a need for communications and issues management training. The need for communication skills specifically emerge d from the interviews and focus group as an extremely important component of leadership education in t he agriculture industry. Networking was often discussed, not as a skill that needed to be taught, but as a benefit of being involved and participatin g in industry organizations.
111 Table 4-19. Comparison of leadership skills importance and proficiencies Mean Importance Mean Proficiency Mean Difference Participate in political lobbying efforts for beef industry issues. 5.76 3.75 2.01* Communicate the goals and objectives of NCBA. 6.06 4.22 1.84* Identify how committees are utilized in NCBA. 5.35 3.55 1.80* Use effective communication skills in speaking, writing and interviews. 6.32 5.14 1.18* Differentiate between volunteer leadership and staff roles and responsibilities at NCBA. 4.93 3.80 1.13* Develop and utilize a network in the beef industry. 5.93 4.82 1.11* Demonstrate ability to stay current on agricultural issues. 6.30 5.28 1.02* Work to achieve the mission and vision of an organization. 6.22 5.23 0.99* Develop a strategic plan. 5.73 4.77 0.96* Demonstrate ability to stay current on news and events. 6.05 5.18 0.87* Demonstrate ability to resolve conflict. 5.84 5.02 0.82* Demonstrate ability to delegate. 5.50 4.76 0.74* Solve problems. 6.03 5.33 0.70* Demonstrate ability to meet and converse with new people. 6.00 5.31 0.69* Advocate for the beef industry. 6.77 6.11 0.66* Set and achieve goals. 6.21 5.57 0.64* Practice progressiveness (not do things the way they have always been done). 6.11 5.56 0.55* Demonstrate active listening skills. 6.09 5.58 0.51* Demonstrate ability to handle stress and pressure. 5.73 5.23 0.50* Maintain an attitude of volunteerism. 5.57 5.13 0.44* Recognize personal strengths and weaknesses. 5.77 5.36 0.41* Conduct an orderly meeting. 5.70 5.31 0.39*
112 Table 4-19. Continued Mean Importance Mean Proficiency Mean Difference Recognize personal leadership styles and characteristics. 5.54 5.18 0.36* Read and interpret industry research. 5.47 5.16 0.31* Foster an attitude of service. 5.50 5.20 0.30* Use appropriate behavior in professional and social settings. 6.33 6.06 0.27* Demonstrate ability to work well with others. 6.14 5.89 0.25* Arrange to spend time away from work and home. 4.98 4.85 0.13 Maintain a professional appearance. 5.92 5.92 0 Develop a meeting agenda. 5.09 5.16 -0.07 Demonstrate ability to use the Internet and email. 6.03 6.52 -0.49* Demonstrate ability to use social media (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogs, ect.). 4.84 5.34 -0.50* Total Mean 5.81 5.17 0.64 Cronbachs Alpha .947 Difference is significant at the .05 level (p < .05) Three constructs actually had a negat ive mean difference, where members proficiency is greater than their perceived need for and importance of having that ability as an NCBA member. These include developi ng a meeting agenda, using Internet and email, and using social media. Meeting agendas and social media were not deemed as important as many of the ot her constructs according to respondents, while the overall group was highly competent in using Inte rnet and email, leading to the negative differences. Maintaining a professi onal appearance also had no gap between importance and proficiency. With a Cronbach s Alpha of 0.947, this instrument was considered highly reliable.
113 A paired samples t-test was used to determi ne if the means for the importance and proficiency of each construct were statistically significantly different. All but three of the constructs were significant at 95% confiden ce level with a p-value less than .05, as shown in Table 4-19. Maintain a prof essional appearance, develop a meeting agenda, and arrange to spend time away from work and home were the only leadership education needs without signifi cantly different means. Summary This chapt er reviewed the results of the data collected through the interviews, focus group and survey instrument. The results were organized by the objectives of this research. Each phase of data collection bu ilt upon the previous p hase(s) as results were used to determine the next steps to take and the right questions to ask. The next chapter will summarize the results of this re search and discuss the im plications of these findings as conclusions are drawn from the data.
114 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Beef indust ry organizations, like nearly all agricultural organizations, are comprised of and led by agriculturalists who give up their time and resources to better their industry through involvement in these or ganizations. They are unique in that the organization serves the in terests of those producer members who serve the organization by paying dues, participating, vo lunteering and leading. This research provided more insight into the people surr ounding agricultural organizations, both inside and out, and their voices, opinions, percepti ons and needs can be used to strengthen organizations by better recruiting, training and retain ing members and volunteer leaders, which in turn strengthens the agric ultural industry through producer unity and effective legislative and issues management work. A summary of this study and the conclu sions drawn from this research are included in this chapter. This includes an over view of the study with brief descriptions of the objectives, methodology and findings. Also provided are the research conclusions, implications for the beef i ndustry and agricultural organiza tions and recommendations for further research in this field. Summary of the Study Problem Statement It is a struggle to recruit leaders to l eave suc cessful businesses for volunteer service (M. John, personal communication, Ap ril 29, 2008). Pote ntial leaders have responsibilities and commitments to their agricultural operat ions and professions that make it a challenge for them to devote time and resources to serve in leadership roles. Only in identifying the factors that influence the decisions that producers make to take
115 on the responsibilities of leadership can we answer the question of how to recruit emerging leaders and address their concerns about leadership. Additionally, leadership education and development progr ams within NCBA will only be e ffective to the extent that they address the ac tual leadership education needs of NCBA members. Agricultural organizations such as NCBA have the potential to make a greater impact in serving the beef industry and beef producers by more effectively recruiting, training and retaining volunteer leadership. Purpose and Objectives The purpos e of this research was to assess beef producers perceptions of, interest in, and commitment to serving in leadership roles within the beef industry. The objectives of this research were to (1) identify the fact ors that influence producer members decisions to participate and lead in beef industry organizations; (2) determine perceptions of active NCB A members about volunteer leadership responsibilities and commitments; (3) and ident ify the leadership education needs of NCBA members. Methodology This study included three components that contributed different information to achieve the overall objectives of this re search. The first segment was qualitative research done as a basic descriptive study utiliz ing basic interpretive methods. The data was collected through sixteen interviews with cattle producers to identify themes and patterns of beef industry organization part icipation and leadership. This type of research design allowed for an in-depth anal ysis of the participat ion and leadership attitudes and patterns of cattle producers. The purposive sample was diverse and included producers from a variety of perspectives, industry s egments and backgrounds.
116 The second part of this research was qualitative and added credibility to the first part by confirming and validating the interview results through a focus group. The focus group was an hour-long discussion of the findi ngs of the interviews and producers feedback based on those results. The cattl e producers selected for the focus group were those currently serving on the Joint I ndustry Producer Education Committee. This committee was comprised of both NCBA me mbers and CBB members that were all considered current volunteer lead ers in the beef industry. The third part of the study was a quantit ative design conducted as descriptive survey research with data gathered through su rveys from a sample of NCBA members, which included all YPC members. The leader ship questionnaire used for this phase of the research was developed from the findings of the interviews and focus group. This quantitative research included a correla tional research design and analyzed the relationship between participation and vol unteer leadership in beef industry organizations and recruitment, involvement, and demographic charac teristics. The survey instrument also included a scale adapted from the Borich needs assessment to determine the leadership educati on needs of NCBA members. Findings Using Weft QDA softw are for the qual itative data and SPSS software for the quantitative data, more than 96,000 words ac ross 210 pages of transcriptions and more than 17,000 individual survey question res ponses were poured over, scrutinized, analyzed and revealed the following results. T hese results are organized by objective. Objective 1 Objective 1: To identify the factors that influence produc er members decisions to participate and lead in beef industry organizations Numerous factors were identified in
117 the data as elements that influence cattl emens participation and leadership in organizations. The factors revolved around membership and leadership recruitment, organizational involvement and leadership, the Young Cattlemens Conference and humility. Asking clearly emerged in the interviews and focus group as the dominant way this industry recruits and engages people. Results of the questionnaire did not support this finding as an indicator of past involvement, but survey respondents did indicate they were likely to be involved in the future if asked. Since the questionnaire was administered to a younger population than the interviews and focus group, this could indicate that the younger members had not ye t become involved in the organization or had taken the initiative to become involved and did not feel the need to wait until they were asked. Additionally, many survey respondents had shared what cattle organizations are doing with others in the industry. People have always got excuses for not jo ining or participating in organizations. Many interview participants agreed there are those who just dont care about anything except themselves and dont see what is going on or what could happen. You know, and those in reality wouldnt be good members anyway, probably. There were several who questioned whether or not we needed to continue to chase our tail a little bit trying to get everybody, especially t hose with smaller operations and more of a hobby interest in the industry. We thin k everybody should be [a member]. Just because everybodys got cows, they dont nece ssarily have to think the same way we do.
118 National agricultural organizations not only need to involve and engage members, they need to make the same efforts with a ffiliated organizations and their members. One interviewee thought member involvemen t should be much more proactive on the part of the organization and rema rked that this is not a pa ssive deal. Give them an assignment. Those producers that were a part of the focus group were highly motivated to be and stay involved as volunteer leaders in the beef industry. While passions were prevalent, there were numerous motivation sources identified. These included giving back to the industry and protecting it fo r future generations, representing other producers and being a voice for agriculture, education and development opportunities, networking and building friendships. The Young Cattlemens Conference emer ged from both the focus groups and interviews as one of the most important pr ograms currently developing beef industry leaders within NCBA and state aff iliates. One cattleman in the focus group called it a religious experience as producers were so fired up and hooked on association participation by the time they completed the tr ip. Many interviewees considered it to be one of the best experiences of their lif e and more valuable than a 4-year college education. The theme of humility emer ged from the interviews and focus group, unexpectedly but not surprisingly. Participants both exuded humility through their comments and expressed the humble natur e of most cattle produc ers. The implications related to this humility of producers include a lack of recrui tment because many producers will not ask
119 their neighbors for something (membership) and a lack of leadership because people do not pursue leadership roles unl ess they are asked. Their base personality says that I keep my own council. Im from a rich tradition of agriculture and a ranching family and we dont go around trying to sell people stuff. I was told as a kid that Ill do fine if I work hard and keep my mouth shut. And so the very things you respect about those people is a tradition that just kills us in membership. Another interviewee added, In our industry, producers are usually fairly humble. You know, its not considered a positive trait in a pro ducer that youre arrogant and brag and talk about how many cows you have and what you do. I think exactly the opposite is true you dont talk about those accomplishments. Its a tradition, or a condition of our indus try specifically where, I think the recruitment process is probably what happens more than somebody deciding, man Id really like to have one of those leadership roles and then you set out to do it. Objective 2 Objective 2: To determine percept ions of active NCBA members about volunteer leadership responsibilities and commitments. The data surrounding this objective was focused on the perceptions cattlemen have about volunteer leadership. Data revealed values of volunteerism, numerous costs and benefits of being involved with and leading in organizations, and beliefs about leadership dev elopment, particularly in the areas of training, mentoring and the challenges that indus try leaders must face. Volunteerism was deemed significant by interviewees because it does make a difference and help guide the organization. Vol unteers want to know that their work is meaningful and they make a difference. Survey respondents agreed that volunteering as a leader in beef industry organizations is a way to give back to the industry. Volunteer leadership also develops the individual, because as one focus group participant described,
120 We expand our horizons. We look over the back fence. We see whats going on in other parts of t he industry, other parts of the country, other parts of the world. We learn from that and we can adapt those things when we go home. Whether its for ourselves or the people that we represent in these volunteer positions. While volunteers grow through their experiences, they should not have expectations of perfection in their volunteer roles. Its y our passion but its not your profession. There were a variety of costs and benef its of leadership expressed in the interviews and focus group. These were na rrowed down to a condensed list that was ranked by the survey respondents. While time commitments were the most frequently discussed cost by the participants in intervie ws and focus group, family time was ranked as the second biggest cost, followed by unpaid time from work and time away from business. The biggest cost determined by the survey respondents was the financial costs to travel and attend conventions and meetings This is especially logical in light of the fact that they were a group of y ounger producers that may not have the same disposable income or flexib ility with younger children that older producers might enjoy. The top-ranked benefit of volunteer l eadership by survey respondents was improving the industry, which also aligns with the number of interviewees and focus group members who served because they w anted to give something back to the industry and make it better for future gener ations. If industry improvement means maintaining or improving the industrys heal th, then the standard according to Purcell (2002) is that cattle producers can make a profit, resources are protected, and the future of the industry is sustainable. Ne tworking, education and friendships were also highly ranked benefits, and thes e benefits are important not only for getting people to lead and participate, but also to first get th em in the door, to a ttend some of these industry meetings and events.
121 Many interviewees and focus group parti cipants acknowledged that the need for leadership development within the industry is greater today t han it ever has been before. It needs to be a high priority for t he industry, and as one participant said, Our organization has continued to have leader ship and leadership development as important but not as critical. Members perceived a need for leadership training to help develop industry leaders. One past leader that was interviewed said, If I ran across somebody that told me they dont need any training, Im probably going to figure out a way that they are not in a leadership role dont know whether t hats right or not but I just, I dont believe anybody could say, I dont need training. Its just a continual process in my opinion. But fortunately, thats a rare situation, and Ive just found theres been a lot of receptivity to it. Many cattlemen agreed you could a lways have more training. One producer called NCBAs efforts sporadi c attempts at training. Several participants of both interviews and the focus group see a need for mentoring programs to help dev elop leaders, especially from the younger generation of producers. One cattleman in the focus group believed YCC is a perfect opportunity that is being missed to continue mentoring partici pants after their experience on the tour. Several challenges of leadership were addressed in the interviews, including the tradition-steeped organizations in the industry t hat run on leadership t hat is not merit based, its hereditary. Objective 3 Objective 3: To identify the leadersh ip educ ation needs of NCBA members. Leadership education needs emerged in the in terviews and focus group through those leadership skills producers believed were necessary to serve in industry leadership
122 roles. These skills were combined to form the portion of the survey instrument that utilized a Borich-type needs assessment to det ermine the importance and proficiency of cattlemen in these areas. Focus group participants discussed a need for facilitation skills, especially as leaders having the ability to get everyone at the table to expr ess their ideas. There is also a need for people skills, to be able to understand those you work with and how to best communicate with them. However, many did not believe all of these skills were teachable except through experience and observation. We have to speak credibly. Another par ticipant expressed a need to learn how to communicate, both verbally and in writt en form for the purposes of advocacy. The need for media training and providing leader s with key messages and talking points was very important to many participants. Al ong with the need for communication skills, one of the big voids that we have in the cattle industry and in agriculture in general is the ability to be proactive. Its real easy to be reactive its very hard to be creative and be proactive and try to anticipate the needs before there s a crisis. One of the important tools that we need as the beef industry is somebody to coordinate the leadership and the people that ma y potentially be interested. This was suggested so that people might be placed into positions and responsi bilities that match their abilities in order to serve the industry mo st effectively. Others felt this type of coordination could also lead to a more formal mentoring program to bring up the next generation of industry leaders. There are numerous ways to try leadership, from writing letters to a Congressman on a computer never leaving the ranch to coming and being on a committee. Focus
123 group participants believed there were many opportunities for l eadership that people simply were not aware of and felt those currently leading and the organizations needed to do a better job of using technology to let people know how they could be more involved and serve the industry fr om their home communities. Through the survey instrument, respondents ranked the importance of 32 leadership abilities as NCBA members and thei r proficiency in each. The ability to advocate for the beef industry was ranked hi ghest, while using appropriate behavior in professional and social settings, effective co mmunication skills (in speaking, writing and interviews), and the ability to stay current on agricultural issues emerged as the second, third and fourth most important skills, resp ectively. With the exception of using appropriate behavior, all of the other more important ranked skill s were previously discussed. The lowest ranked skills were the ability to use social media and differentiating between volunteer leadership and staff roles and responsibilities at NCBA. The later conflicted with the focus gr oup participants that felt a flow chart with clearly outlined staff roles and re sponsibilities connected to w hat projects people work on and how to contact them would be succe ssful in making members feel more comfortable to get involved and ask questions. Respondents were most proficient in their ability to use the Internet and email. This result is not surprising for a young group of producers that are very well educated. Mean ratings were also high for respondents proficiency in advocating for the beef industry and using appropriate behavior in prof essional and social settings, which were the two most important abilities. The thr ee lowest constructs included differentiating between volunteer leadership and staff roles and responsibilities at NCBA, which also
124 had one of the lowest ratings in importance. The two lowest skills in proficiency were political lobbying efforts for the beef industry and understanding the committee structure of NCBA. The later aligns with the focus groups request for a document outlining the roles and responsibilities of each NCBA committee. The importance and proficiency rating for each construct were compared and the abilities were ranked by the difference between the mean import ance and proficiency, with a greater difference indicating a greater need for leadership educ ation in that area, as the importance of that sk ill is greater than members self-perceived ability to demonstrate that skill. The abilit y to participate in political lobbying efforts for the beef industry tops the list. Several interviewees mentioned that the lobbying efforts of the organization were the number one reason they paid membership dues. Three of the next four constructs relate to members understanding of how NCBA works. Knowing the goals and objectives of NCBA, how t he committee structure works, and the difference between volunteer and staff roles all have significant gaps. This indicates a need for governance training, a theme that em erged from both the interviews and focus group as well. Other leadership abilities with a mean difference greater than 1.0 include effective communication skills in speaking, writing and interviews, networking in the beef industry, and staying current on agricultural i ssues. Each of these are interrelated as they indicate a need for communications and issues management training. Conclusions Most agricultural leaders are motivated by a heart of service. They lead because they care about their industry and livelihood and not a position or title, or because they have been asked and not necessarily because they believe they would be good at it. And once they have been placed in a position of leadership, they do the best they can
125 to fulfill their responsibilities using the exper iences they have, not always having access to all the tools and skills they might need. The agricultural industry does a great job of teaching leadership skills to young people through 4-H, FFA and breed associations. Yet comparatively, there are fewer opportunities for adults in agriculture to gain leadership knowledge and skills, even while serving in leadership roles. This is where the skills approach can be very effective in helping to develop leaders in production ag riculture, by providing the training and experiences necessary to gain the skill set needed to lead in this industry. And these leadership education efforts have to be implemented at t he grassroots level if the industry is going to develop leaders beyond national figureheads of organizations and commodity groups. One of the interview participants in th is research commented, Leadership has always been important, but it must become crit ical. As the commercial claims, Beef. Its Whats For Dinner. So the beef industry must stake a claim on Leadership. Its Whats For the Future. The future of th is industry and its ability to remain viable and sustainable for the families t hat make their living across all segments of this industry truly are at stake in the di scussion of a critical need for beef industry leadership right now. This industry faces too many daily chal lenges that threaten its survival to risk not having effective leaders in place while inve sting in and training the next generation of leaders. The generational gap between those beef pr oducers that participated in the interviews and focus group and those that completed the questionnaire should be noted. The interviewees ranged in age from 26 to 79 years with only two participants
126 younger than 30, while the average age of the survey respondents was 28 years. This certainly has implications fo r the perceptions that were expressed through the data collected. One interviewee felt that people should pay their dues before being elected to leadership positions on the national level, implying many years of experience in both the industry and the organization. This concept of organizational tenure tends to create a more transactional leadership style, which is also more characteristic of the older generation. These differences might affect how individuals lead or view themselves as leaders, respond to other organizational lead ers or participate within the organization. The data collected through the survey inst rument also comes from a generation that grew up with computers, the Internet, email and social media. Technology has quickly changed how organizations recruit a nd retain members. Organizational interaction is real-time and may not always r equire attendance in order to participate. The perceptions gathered from this group of young producers may have implications for how organizations will evolve and operate in the future as they increase member interaction in virtual and non-traditional environments. Turnover of leadership in agriculture is relatively quick; most leaders still have to give full-time attention to their farms and families when they take on the additional responsibilities and commitments of leadersh ip. The only way to provide balance, particularly to volunteer leaders who are not being compensated for their time, is through team efforts. For example, NCBA is trying to reduce t he number of days the president spends on the road, which interviewees indicated could fall between 200 days over the course of their year of service. This will be accomplished by balancing the workload
127 more evenly among all the officers, and ut ilizing the other officers and committee chairpersons to travel for speaking engagem ents in addition to the president. There have been past NCBA presidents that have gone bank rupt in the years following their presidency due to the time spent away from their cattle operation (M. John, personal communication, April 29, 2008). As one cattlemen said during his interview, You would think in an organization like NCBA that you would want the most successful, the best thinkers, the brightest minds, the people that have a rich tradition and a rich history, and that truly represent the best in the industry. Well, most of thos e people have a tremendous amount of responsibility and they cant afford to be gone 200 days a year. Thats one of our biggest problems in recruiting and establishing competent volunteer leaders. Another interviewee said, I dont think it s fair for the 30,000 or 230,000 producers out there to expect one of their own just to donate a ll of his time to the organization. While states often expect the president to make a vi sit during the year, this cattlemen felt that you have to just take a holisti c approach at it, you have to say, alright our goal is going to be to get the best industry representatives we can get. And so if doing that, they cant be gone more than 75 days a year, then were going to set that as a goal and this is how we reach it, and you dont go to ev ery state affiliates m eeting. You dont go to every potential hearing in DC. This distribution of responsibilities and speaking engagements would focus more on a leadership team than an individual. Team leadership theory fits well because agriculturalists tend to be humble people who care more about what gets done and less about who gets the credit. In The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, John Maxwell (2001) discusses the Law of the Bench. Great teams have great depth, with quality starters and quality people on the bench. Great organizations have this same characteristic, with high quality leaders curre ntly serving the organization, and high
128 quality leaders on the bench, being prepped and prepared for their turn to start and serve. This creates a smooth succession of leaders within an organization, which has been a growing concern among agricultural or ganizations. One past NCBA president discussed at length the team ef forts she had been involved with, so its a team effort and nothing, its really true, nothing great is ever accomplished alone. Implications While this study was narrowed to focu s on the beef industry and collected data primarily through the largest nat ional beef industry organizati on, there are implications of this study that may be benef icial to other grassroots agr icultural organizations that struggle with member re cruitment and retention and leader development. There are many benefits of participati ng and leading in agricultural industry organizations. One natural resource organization found the most important benefits of volunteering were doing something usef ul, gaining a sense of achievement, and meeting new people while networking (Pass ewitz, 1991). This study found many people choose to serv e in organizations to give something back to the industry that provides a way of life they love, while others hope to sustain and improve the industry and their way of life fo r future generations. Some participate for the benefit of setting an ex ample for their children of what it means to serve and be an active part of your industry. Participation and leadersh ip in industry organizations fosters networking opportunities, and people often make contacts and industry connections that make their own business more profitable in the future. In addition to networking, producers form friendships and relationships with the people they work with on industry issues, and find satisfaction in being around like-minded people. Attending meetings, conventions and
129 conferences can become a personal or family vacation and some folks enjoy the travel opportunities. There is an educational component with participating; the more you get involved, the more learning opportunities you have to understand the big pictur e of the industry and how each segment within the industry wor ks. Participants and leaders expand their horizons, gaining a better perspective of what is going on in other parts of the industry, other parts of the country and other parts of the world. The more prosperous your industry is, the more prosperous you are going to be as a producer in that industry. Participati ng in an organization that is protecting the profitability of your industry can affect your bottom line in the long run. I want the industry to do well so then I can do be tter. Most producers get involved with their industry organization to give something back to the industry that they love, yet find that they get back more than they gi ve while participating and leading in these organizations. Along with the benefits of leadership and participation come the barriers. A common barrier stems from disagreement on issues. The /20 rule says we spend 80% of our time fighting 20% of the i ssues that we do not agree on within an organization. Organizations would be much more productive if members would effectively focus and work on the issues t hey did agree upon, and agree to disagree on the other issues, knowing that the majo rity rules and there is never unanimous agreement on any contentious issue. Participation and leadership in industry organizations can entail direct costs as well as opportunity costs. The most common barrier to participation that agricultural organizations struggle with most is the time co mmitment it requires. Taking time away
130 from your ranch, your busi ness, and your family can be stressful and straining. Members may have to give up personal resources and finances to travel to meetings and perhaps take unpaid leave from work. Leadership may cost ones personal opinion. Leaders must forfei t their personal views on many topics and issues to express the opinion and policy of the organization after its members have made a decision. T he two costs of volunteering that Passewitz (1991) found to be significant were the lack of free time and night meetings. Organizations must use benefits of parti cipation and leadership to outweigh the costs to a) recruit new mem bers and b) recruit more acti ve participants and leaders. Costs and benefits associated with participation in voluntary organizations can be measured, are directly re lated to participation, and can be managed by volunteer organization leaders (Chi nman and Wandersman, 1999). The strength of a national organization is only as strong as it is on the county level. There is nowhere near as many rea lly strong county organizations as there once was a lot of that is because there is no glue to hold it together. The glue this cattleman discussed was the local Extens ion agent, who had historically been responsible for organizing meetings and creating agendas for county commodity groups. Today, many counties might share an Extension agent and some states have regional specialists, thus creating an absenc e of the glue t hat once formed the foundation for county organizations. Grassroots organizations are unique because policy of t he national organization had its beginnings at the local level. One interviewed producer said, When you get into a debate on an issue, you can feel that sincerity [of members]. You get good policy by
131 having people engaged and well-informed and ge tting the issues out on the table and getting them discussed. Another interviewee said, Its critical to get folks involved at a young age. I think as an organization you have to demonstrate the value of what youre doing. I think you have to provide a picture of the opportunity that people can have and the impact that they can have. I think as an organi zation, you have to show them that their participation makes a difference. If people dont feel like they have a voice in your organization, you know its very hard to grow and prosper because they dont feel like their partici pation matters. A nd so getting folks involved in the organization. Ge tting them to come to your events, participate. Thats critica lly important to the health of your membership. Its no different than our industry. Its cultivating the next generation. The ability to participate and lead in an agr icultural organization might be directly related to the ability to prosper in an agricul tural career. One interviewee expressed his concern about the financial barriers to entry into production agriculture. Young people that want to be in production often begin building their operations while working a fulltime job in town. And at the end of t he day they come home to their families and farm chores and after spending weekends worki ng the ranch, may not have much time available for industry organizations. This might be a vicious trend that continues to grow in agriculture with detrimental effects on grassroots organizations. Recommendations The 2007 Census of Agriculture found the average age of an American farmer increased to 57 years, while the number of farmers under the age of 25 has decreased 30% since 2002 (NASS, 2009). Agricultural organizations are reasonably concerned about the increasing average ag e of their producer mem bers and there has never been a greater need to begin aggressiv ely re cruiting more and younger producers to participate and lead in the organizations that serve as a voice to protect their businesses and livelihoods.
132 Organizations that are looking to recrui t members and leaders need to place more emphasis on purposefully identifying t hose potential members and/or leaders and asking them to join, be involved or serve the organization in specific capacities. In doing so, the value of such participation must be very clear for people to be willing to give up the time that they coul d devote to other things. The Young Cattlemens Conference is conducted by NCBA and has been very effective in identifying and developing in dustry leaders. Many questions could be explored related to YCC. Should it rema in a small, elite ev ent or be expanded to include more people and develop more leaders? YCC is for cattle producers age 25 to 50, but the average age is 35 to 40. Could t he industry develop a similar or alternative program that is just as effective but reaching an even younger audience? Does YCC need to include more leadership development instead of focusing only on industry awareness and expansion of understanding? The idea that emerged from the focus group of maintain ing and reinforcing what cattleman gain through a post-YCC mentoring pr ogram could make a vast difference in whether or not and how long it takes t hem to completely engage and commit to leadership roles after that exper ience. Requiring state or sponsoring affiliates to invite these producers into a leadership role and holding them accountable to that commitment could help sustain the growth and development that takes place over the 10-day tour. A YCC type program for younger members could be extremely beneficial to addressing the need to attract and keep y oung people in the i ndustry. The 18-25 year old age range would be a prime target for such a program because they are old
133 enough to come independently and young enough that this experience could drastically influence their career and life choices in a positive way. As evidenced by the emphasis on humility in the data of this research, arrogance is a turn-off in this industry, and should be considered when selecting leaders and hiring staff for beef industry organizations. Keeping in mind that there are differences between confidence, pride and arrogance, humble people typically do not respond well to others with inflated egos. If we could just get them to a conventi on. . If you can get producers in the door, which in the beef industry happens most effectively through the Young Cattlemens Conference or getting members to a state or national cattlemens convention, you can get them to see the bigger picture and the need to get involved. This is demonstrated through Birkenholzs (1999) use of a two-dimensional sphere to explain the universe of knowledge, where the ar ea inside of the circle represents what is known and the surface area repr esents what is recognized as unknown. The ratio of volume to surface area shows the relationship in acquiring knowledge. As an individual learns more and the volume of the circle increases, the individual also recognizes how much is unknown, and the surface area of the circle increases at an increasing rate as compared to volume. Producers with more limited industry knowledge do not realize the amount of information and opportunities that are available and unknown to them (Birkenholz, 1999). As producers learn mo re (volume) and comprehend how much more there is to learn (surface area), t hey can be much more motivated to learn and participate in ways that ar e now recognized.
134 Most people only see the costs of parti cipating because no one has ever asked them to serve in leadership roles that then give them the opportunity to discover the benefits. They often have to be asked or personally recruited. Once people get involved, organizations have stronger leadership and organizational commitment from volunteers than employees. Volunteer leaders tend to be more psychologically involved and committed to their organization as compared to members from a trade union, and also rate higher in transformational leader ship qualities than their union counterparts (Catano, Pond, & Kelloway, 2001). Many producers have a passion for what they do, and the organization needs to strike an emotional cord to tap into that passion. A study of Farm Bureau members found the strongest determinant of servi ng on county boards to be how individuals evaluate volunteering. Therefore, organizations shoul d appeal to individuals on a personal level, highlighting the value to their lives, personal achievement, and use of skills and talents that accompanies servi ng on county boards (Carter & Rudd, 2005). Organizations need to make an ef fort to find the best fit for leadership and service based on the unique talents and strengths an i ndividual brings to the organization. There is a need for leadership training and development programs to continue and expand in order the meet t he need for organizational leadership within the agricultural industry. We can learn from the effective programs that are already in place, in addition to listening to the leadership education needs that produc er members identify in the skills and knowledge they feel are necessary to fulfill their leadership commitments and responsibilities. If a grassroot s organization is to truly ma ke leadership development a
135 critical priority, leadership training must be delivered all the way down to the grassroots level of the organization. A mentoring program could be an effective tool fo r recruiting leaders. Social Learning Theory implies that learning happens through observation, and after observation and reflection, people will imitate or modify their own behavior (Birkenholz, 1999). This can happen by training people to take on specific roles in a business or organization, or mentoring people towa rd a change in their behavior. In governance education, it would be very help ful if there was a flow chart of where staff fits into projects I couldnt ever figure out who went with what and where they were. This focus group participant al so said, From a producer standpoint would make it easy for me to pick up the telephon e and call somebody if I had a question, if I knew I was going to call the right person and I had their phone numbers. Two others from the committee thought i t would be helpful if you developed a one page document with a paragraph description of all of these committees. These types of materials would be easy to create and could be distri buted through the state affiliates or made available on the website, and might dr amatically help people understand how organizations are structured and designed to function. Meetings and conventions have to be fun. If you want people to show up, they have to want to come. If you want t hem come back, they must have a positive experience the firs t time. If you have a good time, theres a good chance youre going to make some opportunities, just interacting, socializing wit h people is part of it but weve always taken our kids. I mean from the time I got invo lved in the cattlemens deal, our kids went with us everyw here! Organizations must ma ke it easy and affordable for
136 families to attend meetings and conventions if they want to attract younger members with young families. To motivate member s to make an additional commitment to leadership beyond general participat ion, they have to want to be a part of the process and make it a priority above al l the other things they could be doing with the time they spend in meetings, travel or elsewhere for the organization. An organization needs effective ways to rec ognize volunteer lead ers. Volunteers are predominately motivated by affiliation needs, followed by achievement and power needs and typically most appreciate personal forms of recognition (Fritz, Karmazin, Barbuto, and Burrow, 2003). Personalized re cognition and praise should be given to those who have earned it and can contribute to both the recruitment and retention of volunteers. A strategic organizational plan should be de veloped to motivate more people to be involved, which includes understanding indi vidual sources of motivation. Barbuto and Scholl (1998) developed the Motivation Sour ces Inventory (MSI) to measure five sources of motivation: intrinsic process motivation, instrumental motivation, self-concept external motivation, self-concept internal mo tivation, and goal internal motivation. The prevailing source of motivation for rural farm workers is self -concept internal motivation, which implies that agricultural workers are internally self-directed and their behavior is based off their beliefs of what is required to be their ideal self. They are naturally motivated to live up to a standard set by themselves (Barbuto, Trou t, and Brown, 2004). While this may be the dominate motivation s ource in agriculture, the strategic plan should include enticements that reach every motivation source, such as fun, monetary incentives, public recognition, worthy causes, and personal growth.
137 Finally, in all these recruitment effort s, the organization needs to attract the younger generation to sustain the quality leaders on the bench, the future lifeblood of the organization. Considerations should be made for the young producers that are a part of Generation Y, and t heir needs for power, immedi acy, customization, and concurrency (Murphy, 2008). There is an abundance of new technologies and social networking tools than can and are being used to recruit this generation into leadership and participation within agricultu ral organizations as well. Addressing the Costs of Leadership Successful organizations must sustain themselves by addressing the costs associated with serving in volunteer positions within organizations, particularly the issue of the time commitment required. Tw o interview participants suggested developing more leaders to share and spr ead the responsibilities of leadership, so that industry leadership does not continue to be such a large burden on a few people. This requires organizations to break traditions and habits and get away from the way things have always been, and this type of change does not come easily in a longstanding organization. You start developing leaders, many many mo re leaders out in the field that are capable of doing those things and actually getti ng more experience so that they will be better leaders as they move up, one interview ee said. I think theres a way to solve the problem, its just buckin the tradition. Agriculture is an industry that is steeped in tradition. Yet change and progress often require us to let go of tradition. One cattlewoman described a time she was leading a meeting and asked, Why would you want to do this ? It really doesnt make sense to me to what youre advocating here. Why do you want to? Well its the way
138 weve always done it, came the response. I dont get up and start my day by saying, were gonna do this the same because I cant do it any other way. A volunteer leader that spends 300 days on the road is going to get tired. Exhaustion and fatigue can set in even with the best of time management and adequate sleep. One interviewee told a story of a woman she had met who had been on the road all year and said, I have eaten the last green bean and smiled until I decide I want to eat a green bean and I want to smile. Ive had it God if I dont eat another green bean for a long time Ive had enough. That kind of says it all, you know. These issues must be addressed so that leaders are not only well prepared, but also physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally capable of being effective. Leadership Education In regards to producer education, one in terviewee asked, Should we gear ou r program to the real aggressive producer thats using all the technology out there or should we be, you know for the guy thats got 10 head, just does it as a hobby? The same question holds true for leadership developm ent within agriculture. Do we direct our efforts toward the small part-time producers because there are more of them, or do we focus on the larger producer s with more of a vested inte rest in the industry? Who has more time to devote to leadership development? Who has a greater need for leadership education? Can we provide trai ning to them all t he same? These are questions that must be answered as organi zations move forward with leadership curriculum and program development because the target audience must be narrowed down and clearly defined in order to be reached effectively.
139 Organizational Staff One interviewee had r ecently been through the process of helping select the CEO of NCBA. He discussed the need for staff me mbers that are not only competent to do their jobs but also have a solid understandi ng of and appreciation for agriculture. We had some really high-powered managerial peopl e that applied that just didnt know a cow from left field. That kind of, in my view limits their abilities to stand in the hallway and talk to cowboys. Purcell (2002) identified a need for el ected leadership of beef industry organizations to hire competent professional staff. The last page of the leadership questionnaire gave respondents an opportunity to make any additional comments about volunteer leadership in the beef industry. F our of the eleven resp ondents that took the opportunity to write something expressed di ssatisfaction with NCBA, with two of those specifically directed towa rd organizational staff. Many of the volunteers I speak to at conventions and meetin gs feel that the paid staff for NCBA often act as though they are better than the membership and know more about the i ndustry. They seem to feel the membership couldn't understand the comp lex issues. As a producer it often seems that we are treated as the l east important part of the organization, however without producers the organiza tion would have no reason to exist. I know many members would like to s ee what all the staff do and what their jobs entail, especially during times of economic difficulties where dues are being raised. As the political climate has shown grassroots is "where it's at" and NCBA needs to get back to their roots, producers. The good staff people out ther e are the ones that know they can influence [members] a little bit but at the end of the day, the board needs to make a decision and then staff needs to implement. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and conflicts can arise between volunteer l eaders and paid staff. In a grassroots organization, the role of paid staff is to carry out the polic ies and directions of the organization set and
140 voted upon by members, and staff might br ing feedback to producer members as they make policy decisions. One survey respondent added this additional comment: It is extremely important to stress t hat the volunteer le adership, via the committees, are what runs NCBA. The employees exist to fulfill that end and service the needs of the volunteer members. Often it seems that the employees are out of touch with the dues paying membership. Please remember that the membership pays y our salary and gives direction to the organization. Another interviewee had an experience vo lunteering with an organization where we have board of directors and we have committees but they dont really use us theyve had executive directors that have kind of run t he show. She went on to say the role of committees tended to be more rubber stamp this, and heres what were gonna do, what do you think about it, tweak this, tweak that, okay good. Rubber stamp it, we got our support, were gold. Many times staff are entrusted with the responsibility of making decisions for the organization and its members on a daily basis. You can lead a horse to water, but you cant make it drink. Agricu ltural organizations could potent ially react the same way to an opportunity to be provided data and information in the pursuit of developing or increasing effectiveness of leadership programs within the organization. An organization might make a verbal co mmitment to leadership development, but it is much easier to talk the talk and whil e doting on the importance of leadership, yet it requires real commitment to put time and money where your mouth is and walk the walk, making the sacrifices required to ac tually make leadership development within the organization and among volunteer s a true priority. With the buzzword of leadership becoming increasingly popular, especially with in agriculture, an expressed commitment to leadership development must be followed through with deliberate, purposeful action.
141 F. Roberts, CEO of NCBA, described leader ship development in the organization saying, The passion and commitment around this specific topic is real. And I cannot underscore that enough (personal communication, July 17, 2009). Time will tell if he leads the organization to fo llow through on his promise. Before an agricultural organization makes an agreement or comm itment to take part in a research project, needs assessment or program evaluation, an understanding should be reached by both parties of specific ally what that entails and what will be expected of and provided by each group or i ndividual involved. Some researchers might go to the extent of obtai ning a written agreement or fo rmal contract, especially if the organization has agreed to fund part of all of the project, or to gain security or access to information or data that has been promised for the purposes of the study. Industry Alliances A few focus group participants suggested a need to try to form alliances with other like-minded people and m aybe have some meetings together so we can kind of all get on the same wavelength and carry the same message. These could be other agricultural organizations or professional asso ciations that consistently interact with those in the industry. Probably we dont do a good enough job all the time with collaboration. One participant warned that sometimes a lot of these colla borations is a twoedged sword. We need to know their pos ition and where we have some common ground so that we dont ju st for the sake of trying to collaborate, dont end up shooting ourselves in the foot. Another used a personal stor y as an example. I agree with what youre saying in terms of collaborat ion but you know I used to give pet food to my local humane society to feed the dogs with. After awhile I realized they were
142 starving to death thats an example of one that didnt work out. Were going to have to go into them with a discerning nature. Further Research Further research should be conducted to further explor e and understand patterns of participation and leadership in agricultura l organizations, especially the perceptions and motivations of volunteers. Research si milar to this study could be conducted in other agricultural industries through other commodity groups or trade associations. Quantitative data could also be gathered through survey res earch to further analyze producers time constraints and commitm ent barriers to serving in industry organizations. The results could then be compar ed to this research to find similarities and differences in the leadership and participat ion patterns of agriculturalists. As we compare this type of information across fiel ds, we might see where issues, challenges and needs align, and then best determine how t he agricultural industry can take a holistic, unified approach to leadership development. The final phase of this research could be repeated with a mail survey sent to a random sample of all NCBA members to collect data that is more generalizeable to the entire membership population. This sample would be certain to reach those members who may not use or have access to the Inter net. This would also require cooperation and follow-through from the part nering organization used to generate a random sample of members and distribute the mailed survey in strument. This process was not used in this study due to a deficient access to info rmation within the cooperating organization. When the researcher can gain full cooperati on of organizational leader s such as the top management team to carry out the survey sampling frames are less likely to be problematic (Simse k & Viega, 2001).
143 Experimental methods could be used to determine the best ways for disseminating leadership education to farmers and ranchers involved in grassroots agricultural organizations. This type of study might require massive am ounts of time, resources and participants, but the results could be ex tremely applicable for all agricultural organizations working to develop leaders among their members. Further research could be done to determine if there is a relationship between FFA and 4-H participation as youth and partici pation and leadership in agriculture organizations as adults. If the prior influences the later, what are the impacts of that involvement? Are former FFA and 4-H members more likely to choose to participate in certain agriculture organizations over other s in the future? What skill sets or advantages do former members carry into future leadership roles, if any? Agricultural organizations might be more willing to sponsor and support youth organizations if there was a proven link between youth involvement and future volunteer service. In addition to understanding internal motivati ons that drive leaders, research could be done to assess the role of the environmen t and familial influence on current leaders. Were the parents, grandpar ents, aunts and uncles of current leaders also leaders, either within the same organizations or in their own fields? While limited research has been conducted to study volunteer leadership in grassroots agricultural organizati ons, the literature reveals some studies that contribute to the knowledge base and methodology for conduc ting such research. There are many opportunities for much more res earch in this field to help further fill in the holes and bridge the gaps in our knowledge surrounding agricultural organizations and the participation and leadership of fa rmers and ranchers within them.
144 Future of the Beef Industry More than half of those cattl e producers interviewed dis cussed a need to entice a new, young generation of folks back to agricul ture. They shared concerns about the number of producer par ents that have been encour aging their kids to get an education, find an easier career path and a good job in to wn. Most agreed that we need to keep our best and brightest here, instead of letti ng them go into professions outside of agriculture. What story are we telling t hem when we start talking about a dying breed and a dying this? Bullshit. This need exists within agricultural organi zations as well, and was confirmed by the survey instrument, that there is a need to get more young people involved with cattlemens associations at all levels, with a mean of 4.76 out of 5 that strongly agree. Talking about young people and the generational gap, one cattlemen said, They are going to be the leaders of this outfit very su ddenly, I hope. If we are going to have an outfit, they are going to have to be. A few of those interviewed talked about their desire to pass the farm or ranch on to future generations. Some of these were wo rking on land that had already been in the family for generations; others hoped to pass on an operation they had built themselves from scratch. Ultimately, thats kind of the place for my kids, they have obviously made a choice to make a living here and I want to have all of their kids have the same opportunity. Women have always been involved in agriculture. But they havent always been involved in leadership roles. And thats t he difference, because theyve always been out there working side by side with the men. This interview ee also described the growing trend of land grant universities around the country with a female population creeping
145 above 50% in their colleges of agriculture, le ading women to become more involved in agricultural organizations and take on more industry leadership roles. Even the number of female farm operators has increased in recent years, a trend that is likely to continue (Farm Facts, 2008). Three of the cattle producers intervie wed for this research talked about the growing communication gap between agricultu ral producers and the people they feed, while a fourth highlighted the critical need to create ambassadors for the business. One focus group participant said, Theres a huge disconnect between the production of beef as a safe, wholesome nutritious produc t and our consumers were faced with a lot of adversaries with the industry today and will be for the next several years. Interviewees expressed fear and concern about the anti-animal agriculture groups with loud voices that stem from large budgets. "The thing that amazes me is you got the Humane Society of the United Stat es that their primary goal is to put us out of business. They spend $200 million a year doing it and we cant even get half of the potential people that it would damage to belong to t he association thats doing something about it. And those trying to put us out of business? I dont know whether they will live on tofu for the rest of their lives or just salads. I havent figur ed that out yet. Another producer expressed his frustration that the humble nature of thos e people who have a passion to work on the land and have dirt in their veins thos e same people who work so diligently and so passionately to care for the we ll-being of this land and the livestock that are in it, and yet how, how unfair ly and misinformed the greater society is toward those same people who work so hard to do such a good job to feed such a huge volume of people and then the amount of pressure that they get from just misinformation. While some of this misinformation comes from animal rights activists and extreme vegans, much of it comes through mainstream media. Another ca ttleman stated that
146 the PETA folks, the Humane Society [of the United States], they dont understand the passion that most people that own livestock have for them if y ou have a cow that cost $1500, you are going to take pretty good care of her. As an interviewee pointed out, one of the solutions to this problem is creating ambassadors for the business. He di scussed the junior programs of a breed association and the number of kids involved, asking Is there a large percentage of them that stay involved in production agriculture? No. Obviously wed like for that to be a higher percentage but you know, you create some lifelong am bassadors for your business. And I think with some of the consumer acti vism, weve got to do a better job of creating ambassadors. People that have some understanding of what the people are like in our industr y. If they trust the people, then some of these other issues, theyll trust that they do t he right thing in production practices and animal husbandry. The National Beef Ambassador Program (N BAP) is one such program that has a rich history of creating ambassa dors for this industry. Each state affiliate chooses a state beef ambassador that t hen competes at the national competition, coordinated by the American National CattleWomen (ANCW). The winners of the national competition then begin a year of service to the industry, traveling across the country to promote beef to consumers at state fair s, farm shows, womens expos, business trade shows, and other events. While some of these state and national ambassadors have grown up in the industry, many come from non-agricultu re backgrounds, compete for the scholarship opportunities, then return to non-agriculture ca reer paths as beef ambassadors for life. In recent years this program has had fundi ng cut from the Cattlemens Beef Board budget for beef checkoff dollars, yet it is prog rams like this that are so valuable for creating ambassadors for our business (C. Abrahamzon, personal communication, March 11, 2010). One focus group me mber expressed his feeling that
147 As far as succession planning as people move along, as an organization you should look at, closely, the pr ograms we have in place that are developing leaders. And Im not here to question the wisdom of those that are responsible to make sure they get the budgets balanced but a program I thought was a pretty good pr ogram for developing young leaders was the Beef Ambassador program which the funding has been cut for. Thats seems like the perfect kind of a program, and I understand there may have been certain financial reasons why y ou did that but at the same time theres a program thats developing young leaders, 80% of which in the last 4 or 5 years are still involved with the beef industry in some kind of leadership way. So, Im not questioni ng their wisdom but I do think they made a mistake, from a leadership perspective, development perspective they certainly did. In addition to the NBAP, NCBAs MBA pr ogram has also served to develop industry advocates among producers on a broader scale since it was launched last year. One cattleman compar ed the benefits of going through the MBA program to the BQA (Beef Quality Assurance) program: Theres a lot of information that I already knew, but there was some pieces in ther e that were really golden nuggets. The producer education committee served as the focus group for this re search and in the past the primary focus has been on BQA I think that the role of this committees gonna change to more of an advocacy education role. You know were gonna have to learn to educate the producers to be good advocat es of what were doing, be aware of issues and how to speak to those issues. Coordination of ideas is going to be nece ssary. For us to effectively get our message out there, it needs to resonate clos ely. The more people hear the message, as long as the message is kind of the same, the more its going to mean something to them. This focus group participant also saw beef industry organizations as being coordinators to try and provide those key messages to the leadership so that they can go out and all be preaching the same message. Thats going to be very challenging work, not just for this committee but for the whole organization.
148 Summary Every organization has a unique set of challenges. At times, we find commonalit ies in our problems as we work to find solutions. Grassroots agricultural organizations share some of the same chall enges, including the struggle to recruit, train and retain competent volunt eer leaders to serve the agr icultural industry and the organizations that work on its behalf. Efforts to identify and develop volunteer leaders in agricultural organizations will be enhanced by a better understanding of the people these organizations seek to involve. The future of agriculture, particularly ani mal agriculture and the beef cattle industry is dependent upon the people who will boldly step forward and use the voice they have to share the message they have in the places they can reach. These people are, and will continue to be and become the leaders of this industry. We can better serve our industry and these leaders by preparing them for the job they have ahead of them using every bit of knowledge and every resource at our disposal. The purpose of this research was to assess beef producers perceptions of, interest in, and commitment to se rving in leadership roles within the beef industry. This research was designed to add to the kno wledge and understanding of volunteer leaders in the beef industry in order to better equi p the leaders the industr y of today and more effectively develop and prepare industry leaders for tomorrow. The objectives of this research were to identify the factors that influence cattle producers decisions to participate and lead in beef industry organizations, determine perceptions of active beef producers about volunt eer leadership responsibilities and commitments and identify the leadership educ ation needs of NCBA members. Through
149 the research design, methods implemented, and data collected and analyzed, this study achieved all three of its original objectives. The richest data in this research came from the qualitative portions, as research methods were conducted as originally planned and the large number of unstructured interviews allowed for depth while the focus group validated and triangulated the interview results. Holistically this research adds a slice to what is known and continues to be discovered in the field of agricultural leadership. Sitting in a ranchers office finishing an interview, the rancher picks up a picture his son had drawn of himself as a cowboy, ranchi ng with his dad. He says, Its for these guys that we need to have a long range strategic plan. A plan that includes leadership development for farmers and ranchers who vo lunteer to serve this industry through organizational work. He continues, And Im not sure if you can tell it, but see whats on the other side? Its his homework.
150 APPENDIX A BEEF INDUSTRY VOLUNTEER LEADERSHIP INTERVIE W QUESTIONNAIRE How long have you been involved in the cattle industry? When did you first become involved in the cattle industry? Why did you stay involved in the industry? To what beef industry organizati ons are you a dues-paying member? How long have you been a member of the aforementioned organizations? What activities have you participated in as a member of these organizations? What leadership roles have you held in these organizations? By what process were you elected/chos en/volunteered for thos e leadership roles? What motivated you to make the commitm ent to serve in the leadership roles? What do you feel you gained fr om that leadership experience? What did you have to give up in or der to fulfill your commitment and responsibilities to that leadership role? Did you feel you had the skills necessary to perform to the best of your ability in the leadership role? What resources would have made this experience easier for you? What resources would have made this experience more fulfilling for you? What reasons have led you not to join/participate/lead in cattlemens organizations? Why do you believe other cattlemen arent members of NCBA or their state/local cattlemens association? What do you perceive is needed to persuade these cattlemen to become members? Why do you believe other cattlemen who ar e association members dont volunteer for leadership roles? What would motivate more cattlemen to volunteer for leadership positions?
151 APPENDIX B PARTICIPANT INFORMED CONSENT Participant In formed Consent Volunteer Leadership in the U.S. Beef Industry Dear Cattle Producer: The Department of Agricultural Education and Communicati on at the University of Florida is engaged in a project to explore beef producers perc eptions of, interest in, and commitment to serving in leadership role s within beef industry organizations. We would like to ask you to participate in th is study through an interview. With your permission, we will ask questions about your bel iefs, attitudes, motivations, perceptions of and commitment to partici pation and leadership in beef industry organizations, as well as your past and present involvement wit h these organizations. You do not have to answer any question during the interview that you do not wish to answer. Results will only be reported in the form of group data; no names will be linked to responses. The interview will take approximately 1 hour. There are no anticipated risks, compensation or other direct benefits to you as a participant in this interview. Your va luable feedback could help in designing and implementing leadership progr amming and materials for cattlemen and cattlewomen in the future. You are free to withdraw y our consent to participate and may discontinue your participation in the study at any time without consequence. If you have any questions about this research protocol, please contact me at (352) 3920502 ext. 238. Questions or concerns about your rights as a research participant rights may be directed to the UFIRB office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611; phone (352) 392-0433. Please sign this copy of the letter. A se cond copy is provided for your records. Thank you, Crystal Mathews I have read the procedure described for the Asse ssment of Volunteer Leadership in the U.S. Beef Industry. I vol untarily agree to participate in this study and I have received a copy of this description. _________________________ ______ Signature of Participant Date
152 APPENDIX C PRODUCER EDUCATION FOCUS GROUP MODERATORS GUIDE Moderator reads: Howdy! Some of you I know, and fo r those of you I dont, my name is Crystal Mathews and I am a PhD student in agric ultural leadership at the Univ ersity of Florida. I was blessed to receive a W.D. Fa rr Scholarship at this meeting last summer, and have been utilizing that scholarship to do my doctoral research, studying the leadership needs of the beef indu stry. In May I had the chanc e to drive from Wisconsin to West Texas, making a dozen stops along the way to interview cattle producers with different backgrounds and experiences. Those interviews have formed a foundation for the questions you will be asked today. I am so excited to include the discussion we have today in my research, and appreciate the chance to hear your perspectives as members of the Producer Education Committee. Because this discussion will be included as part of my res earch, I have an IRB form for each of you. The purpose of todays discussion is to discover your opinions and perceptions about volunteer leadership in our industry. The inte rviews Ive already done, this focus group, and a survey that will be conducted this fall will help develop a better understanding of the leadership needs of this industry and how we can best meet those needs. Before we begin, let me share some thi ngs that will make our discussion easier and more productive. There are no right or wrong answers, but rather differing points of view. Please feel free to share y our point of view even if it differs from what others have said. The goal is not consensus; we want to hear everyones perspective. The discussion will be audio and video recorded becaus e we dont want to miss any of your comments. Well be on a first-name basis, but in my re search and reports th ere will not be any names attached to comments. You c an be assured of confidentiality. My role here is to ask questions and listen. I wont be participating in the conversation, but I want you to feel free to talk with one another. Ill be asking about 5 questions, and Ill be moving the discussion from one question to the next. Sometimes there is a tendency for some people to talk a lot and some people not to say much It is important for us to hear from each of you today bec ause you have different experiences, ideas, and opinions. Our session will last 50 minutes. I would app reciate if you would silence your cell phones during this discussion. If you do have to step out momentarily to take an important call, thats OK, just please try to exit quietly and return as quickly as you can. Alright, since you all know each ot her already, lets get started.
153 APPENDIX D PRODUCER EDUCATION FOCUS GROUP QUESTIONS 1. As a member of this co mmittee, you are a volunteer le ader in the cattle industry. What motivates you to serve as a volunteer leader? 2. What are the leadership educati on needs of the beef industry today? 3. The following ideas came out of the interviews conducted earlier this year. a. Do you perceive a need for governance training? b. How could a mentoring program help develop volunteer leaders? 4. Thinking about industry leadership, what changes do you see coming for the beef industry? What changes do you see coming for this committee? 5. Have we missed anything or are there any additional thoughts?
154 APPENDIX E LEADERSHIP QUESTIONNAIRE
166 APPENDIX F FIRST EMAIL TO YPC MEMBERS February 2, 2010 DearNCBA Member, In order for the National Cattlemens Beef Association to continue our efforts to provide the best education opportunities possible for our membersand better preparecurrent andfuture volunteer leaders for the beef industry, we are askingfor your input through anonline questionnaire. Crystal Mathews, aW.D. Farr Scholar, Missouri cattle producer and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Florida, isconducting this survey, which will provide valuable information to NCBA andthe beef industry. Thepurpose of her study isto determine the leadership education needsof thoseinvolved inthe cattle indust ry. Thequestionnaire will only take approximately15minutes and will beavailable until February 7th. Your answers are anonymous andconfidential. You can click this link or usethisweb address to access the survey: www.surveymonkey.com/s/NCBA Thank you in advancefor your time andparticipation. Your response isimportant to our industryand greatly appreciated. Steve Foglesong, President Astoria, Illinois
167 APPENDIX G SECOND EMAIL TO YPC MEMBERS February 5, 2010 If you have already providedyour feedback through the survey of NCBA volunteer leadership needs, thankyou for your input! If you have not yet taken this surveyto help better develop beef industry leaders, you still have 2 days. The leadership questionnaire will take just 15minutes, is completely confidential andavailablenow at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/NCBA Thank you for your 15 minute investment in the future of the beef industry! Crystal Crystal Dawn Mathews | PhD Candidate | Agricultural Education and Communication | University of Florida 310 Rolfs Hall | PO Box 110540| Gainesville, FL 32611-0540 | : 352-392-050 | :firstname.lastname@example.org
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173 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Crystal Dawn Mathews was raised as one of five children on a fami ly farm in Southwest Missouri and grew up feeding cows, showing pigs, and working the hayfields. She is the daughter of Matt and Denice Mathews of Carthage, Missouri. After graduating as High School Salutatorian and Class President in 2001, she served as a Missouri State FFA Officer and attended the University of Missouri where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education in 2005. While at Mizzou, Crystal completed her student-teaching experi ence at an inner-city Chicago Public High School, spent five months working for the USDA Livestock and Seed Program in Washington, D.C., and interned with MFA, Inc. Livestock Operations. She was a Mizzou Homecoming Queen Finalist and selected for the Inaugural Mizzou 39 Class. She also served as the National Beef Ambassador, Missouri Farm Bureau Ambassador, Missouri Beef Queen, and has done mission work in Cambodia. Crystal conducted research measuring va lue-added characteristi cs in feeder cattle while earning a Master of Science in Agricu ltural Economics from Texas A&M University in 2007. A three-time Top 10 Finalist and interview and swimsuit winner at Miss Missouri, Crystal was the recipient of a Mi ss America Community Service Scholarship. She received a W.D. Farr Scholarship from the National Cattlemens Foundation in 2008 and serves on the NCBA Youth Advisory C ouncil. Crystal taught public speaking courses for nearly 600 students at the University of Florida, where she received her Ph.D. in Agricultural Leadership in 2010. She is a certified etiquette consultant, leadership conference facilitator for the National FFA Organization, and travels across the country speaking and present ing leadership programs. Cr ystals dream is to raise kids and cattle near her family in Southwest Missouri.