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Factors Motivating Florida Farm Bureau Federation Members to Participate in the Policy Development and Implementation Process

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041649/00001

Material Information

Title: Factors Motivating Florida Farm Bureau Federation Members to Participate in the Policy Development and Implementation Process
Physical Description: 1 online resource (113 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Landrum, Katelyn
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: bureau, development, farm, federation, florida, member, motivation, participation, policy
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This study examined the factors that motivate Florida Farm Bureau Federation members to participate in the policy development and implementation process. In addition, this study sought to understand the perceptions and concerns of active FFBF members regarding major agricultural issues in the state of Florida such as immigration and energy crops. The theoretical framework used in this study included Vroom'?s Expectancy Theory, examining the expectancy, instrumentality, and valency of an individual?s decision making. The research design was a census study of intangibles. The population frame consisted of the active members of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation (n=21,000). At the duration of the study, 1757 active members had responded giving the survey an 8.4% response rate, reaching saturation of the population (Dillman et al., 2009). The study found that Florida Farm Bureau members are only mildly aware of the policy development and implementation process at Florida Farm Bureau. Members are willing to contact elected officials on issues that are important to them, though electronic correspondence is not an effective or desired method. In regards to the perceptions and concerns of FFBF members on immigration and energy crop issues, the study found that members are not willing to shift farming operations to an energy crop and do not identify a need for foreign labor. However, those willing to shift production were more aware of the policy process at Florida Farm Bureau and perceive to have a greater impact on the process
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Katelyn Landrum.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Stedman, Nicole LaMee Perez.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0041649:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041649/00001

Material Information

Title: Factors Motivating Florida Farm Bureau Federation Members to Participate in the Policy Development and Implementation Process
Physical Description: 1 online resource (113 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Landrum, Katelyn
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: bureau, development, farm, federation, florida, member, motivation, participation, policy
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This study examined the factors that motivate Florida Farm Bureau Federation members to participate in the policy development and implementation process. In addition, this study sought to understand the perceptions and concerns of active FFBF members regarding major agricultural issues in the state of Florida such as immigration and energy crops. The theoretical framework used in this study included Vroom'?s Expectancy Theory, examining the expectancy, instrumentality, and valency of an individual?s decision making. The research design was a census study of intangibles. The population frame consisted of the active members of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation (n=21,000). At the duration of the study, 1757 active members had responded giving the survey an 8.4% response rate, reaching saturation of the population (Dillman et al., 2009). The study found that Florida Farm Bureau members are only mildly aware of the policy development and implementation process at Florida Farm Bureau. Members are willing to contact elected officials on issues that are important to them, though electronic correspondence is not an effective or desired method. In regards to the perceptions and concerns of FFBF members on immigration and energy crop issues, the study found that members are not willing to shift farming operations to an energy crop and do not identify a need for foreign labor. However, those willing to shift production were more aware of the policy process at Florida Farm Bureau and perceive to have a greater impact on the process
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Katelyn Landrum.
Thesis: Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Stedman, Nicole LaMee Perez.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0041649:00001


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1 FACTORS MOTIVATING F LORIDA FARM BUREAU F EDERATION MEMBERS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE P OLICY DEVELOPMENT AN D IMPLEMENTATION PRO CESS By KATELYN CROW LANDRUM A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010

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2 2010 Katelyn Crow Landrum

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3 To Sara Ann Crow and Janice Marie Roberts, the women who taught me what it means to be a lady

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The help and support I received in the development and presentation of this thesis was invaluable. A great number of individuals, each with their own strengths and contributions, aided in the completion of my masters program. First, I thank my parents, Mark and Janora Crow, and my sisters Abigail and Brittney for their continual prayers and encouragement. They were ever ready to help ease my stress in any way imaginable and often inconvenienced themselves to make my life easier, especially in the final weeks of thesis writing. Also, I thank my added family, Linda and Larry Landrum, for always being interested in the happenings of my researc h and providing a realistic perspective when I became overwhelmed. I thank my extended family, especially my cousin Morgan Baker, who served as an escape from the intensity of school by always keeping me grounded and laughing. Next, I thank my grandmothers to whom this work is dedicated, for teaching me how to persevere desp ite setbacks and brief failures, while always remaining lady. Additionally, I thank four of the greatest young women that I have ever known for sharing the thesis experience with me. In two years, Amanda, Crystal, Rachel and Sallie Ann provided me with greater friendship and sisterhood than I have known my entire life. These ladies challenged me intellectually, encouraged my faith, comforted my heart, and always provided a listening ear or glass of wine, whichever was needed more. I will be forever indebted to them for the innumerable memories we created and the impact they had on my life. Next, thanks go to the tireless help and support of my thesis committee. First, I thank Dr. Nicole S tedman who served as my committee chair for her endless support and patience during the research and writing process. Dr. Stedmans ability to serve as a friend when the expectations of thesis writing became overwhelming and a mentor

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5 when I needed insight, explanation and understanding made completing my masters possible. I thank Dr. Hannah Carter for serving on my graduate committee and adopting me as her pseudo advisee, as well as providing her counseling services free of charge. Dr. Carter was extremely pivotal in helping me narrow my focus and setting realistic goals. I thank Dr. Allen Wysocki whose experience in food and resource economics provided great insight during the writing process, helping me create a more dynamic piece. His dry, Wisconsin humor always lightened my mood. Also, I thank Dr. Lynn Leverty whose expertise is public policy served as the catalyst for my thesis research. Her experience in the field of policy broadened my awareness and challenged me to a deeper understanding of the disci pline, strengthening my thesis. I thank Dr. Edward Osborne for his infinite encouragement and attention my research and graduate experience. His ability to make every student feel uniquely special and vital to the success of the department made my graduate experience memorable and worthwhile. Next, I thank my McCarty B officemates Lauri Baker, Rachel Divine, Quisto Settle, Kate Shoulders, Sallie Ann Sims, Micah Scanga, and Christopher Stripling for providing a stimulating and amusing work environment that provided some of my favorite graduate school memories. Individuals like Andrea Andrews, Melissa Metcalfe, Tre Easterly, Adrienne Gentry, Allison Britton, Melissa Mazurkewicz and many others provided friendship, laughs and support that will forever be remem bered and valued. Finally, I thank my husband Kyle. I thank him for his light heartedness, humor, support, perseverance, encouragement and loyalty. Sharing the graduate experience with him was a challenging event that strengthened our relationship and showed me a great deal concerning his indescribable work ethic, pursuit of his goals and unwavering

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6 dedication to our relationship despite the distractions and stress of graduate school. I am fortunate to be married to a man who encourages my strengths and helps me build up my weaknesses. His logical and resourceful thinking frequently provided clarity on complex issues, specifically SPSS, and always kept me from complete meltdowns. As graduation approaches, I look forward to building a life with a man whose love, dedication, and loyalty helped me become the masters student, wife, friend, sister, daughter, student, graduate assistant, and advisee that I am today.

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7 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. 4 LIST OF TABLES .......................................................................................................... 10 LIST OF FIGURES ........................................................................................................ 12 ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................... 13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................... 15 Farm Bureau ........................................................................................................... 16 Statement of the Problem ....................................................................................... 20 Purpose .................................................................................................................. 20 Objectives ............................................................................................................... 20 Significance of the Study ........................................................................................ 21 Definition of Terms .................................................................................................. 22 Limitations ............................................................................................................... 23 Basic Assumptions ................................................................................................. 24 Chapter Summary ................................................................................................... 24 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ............................................................................ 26 Overview ................................................................................................................. 26 Theoretical Framework ........................................................................................... 26 Expectancy Theory of Motivation ..................................................................... 26 Motivation ......................................................................................................... 31 Social Capital ................................................................................................... 33 Sources of Social Capital ................................................................................. 34 Empowerment .................................................................................................. 37 Related Studies ...................................................................................................... 39 The Decline of Civic Engagement .................................................................... 39 Models of Participation ..................................................................................... 41 Problems with Current Partic ipation ................................................................. 44 Conceptual Model ................................................................................................... 46 Chapter Summary ................................................................................................... 48 3 RESEARCH METHO DS ......................................................................................... 50 Introduction ............................................................................................................. 50 Research Design .................................................................................................... 51 Population and Sample ........................................................................................... 51 Instrumentation ....................................................................................................... 53

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8 Data Collection ....................................................................................................... 58 Data Analysis .......................................................................................................... 59 Chapter Summary ................................................................................................... 60 4 RESULTS ............................................................................................................... 62 Demographics ......................................................................................................... 63 Member type .................................................................................................... 64 County .............................................................................................................. 64 Farm Bureau District ........................................................................................ 66 Level of Contribution ........................................................................................ 67 Type of Employment ........................................................................................ 68 Prevalence of E mail ........................................................................................ 68 Industry Aff iliation ............................................................................................. 69 Objective 1 .............................................................................................................. 70 Objective 2 .............................................................................................................. 70 Objective 3 .............................................................................................................. 71 Objective 4 .............................................................................................................. 73 Objective 5 .............................................................................................................. 76 Objective 6 .............................................................................................................. 77 Objective 7 .............................................................................................................. 79 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RE CCOMENDATIONS ....................................................... 86 Introduction ............................................................................................................. 86 Purpose and Objectives ................................................................................... 86 Methodology ..................................................................................................... 87 Summary of Findings .............................................................................................. 87 Demographics .................................................................................................. 87 Member Type ................................................................................................... 87 County .............................................................................................................. 88 Farm Bureau District ........................................................................................ 88 Level of Contribution ........................................................................................ 88 Type of Employment ........................................................................................ 89 Prevalence of E mail ........................................................................................ 89 Industry Affiliation ............................................................................................. 89 Objective 1 ....................................................................................................... 89 Objective 2 ....................................................................................................... 90 Objective 3 ....................................................................................................... 90 Objective 4 ....................................................................................................... 91 Objective 5 ....................................................................................................... 92 Objective 6 ....................................................................................................... 92 Objective 7 ....................................................................................................... 93 Conclusions ............................................................................................................ 96 Discussions and Implications .................................................................................. 97 National Research Agenda ................................................................................... 103 Recommendations ................................................................................................ 103

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9 Recommendations for Practice ...................................................................... 104 Recommendations for Future Research ......................................................... 104 Summary .............................................................................................................. 105 APPENDIX A FLORIDA FARM BUREAU FEDERAL POLICY SURVEY COVER LETTER ........ 106 B 2008 FLORIDA FARM BUREAU FEDERAL POLICY SURVEY FRONT ............. 107 C 2008 FLORIDA FARM BUREAU FEDERAL POLICY SURVEY BACK ............... 108 LIST OF REFERENCES ............................................................................................. 109 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................... 113

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10 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 Frequencies and percentages of member type .................................................. 64 4 2 Frequencies and percentages of counties .......................................................... 65 4 3 Frequencies and percentages of farm bureau districts ....................................... 67 4 4 Frequencies and percentages of level of contribution ........................................ 68 4 5 Frequencies and percentages of participant employment .................................. 68 4 6 Frequencies and percentages of prevalence of e mail ....................................... 68 4 7 Frequencies and percentages of industry affiliation ............................................ 69 4 8 Farm bureau members awareness of the FFBF policy development process ... 70 4 9 FFBFs members personal ability to impact policy development efforts ............ 71 4 10 One way analysis of variance between FFBFs policy development efforts and contributors .................................................................................................. 72 4 11 One way analysis of variance between FFBFs policy development efforts and farm bureau district ...................................................................................... 72 4 12 Ooneway analysis of variance between FFBFs policy development efforts and member type ................................................................................................ 72 4 13 One way analysis of variance between FFBFs policy development efforts and participant employment ................................................................................ 73 4 14 One way analysis of variance between FFBFs policy development efforts and county .......................................................................................................... 73 4 15 One way analysis of variance bet ween FFBF members impact on policy development and contributor .............................................................................. 74 4 16 One way analysis of variance between FFBF members impact o n policy development and farm bureau district ................................................................ 74 4 17 One way analysis of variance between FFBF members impact on policy development and member type .......................................................................... 75 4 18 One way analysis of variance between FFBF members impact on policy development and participant employment .......................................................... 75

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11 4 19 One way analysis of variance between FFBF members impact on policy development and county .................................................................................... 76 4 20 FFBF member perceptions concerning foreign workers and energy crops ........ 76 4 21 One way analysis of variance between participation in the policy process and receipt of the FBACT e mail alert ....................................................................... 77 4 22 One way analysis of variance between participation in the policy process and response to FBACT email alert ......................................................................... 78 4 23 One way analysis of variance between participation in the policy process and reliance on foreign workers ................................................................................ 78 4 24 One way analysis of variance between participation in the policy process and foreign worker shortage ...................................................................................... 79 4 25 One way analysis of variance between participation in the policy process and willingness to shift to an energy crop ............................................. 79 4 26 Millers correlation interpretation levels ............................................................... 80 4 27 Pearson product moment correlations coefficient between aptitude with electronic correspondence, dependence on foreign labor, and energy crop issues with participation in the policy process .................................................... 85

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12 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Aadapted from context model of Vrooms Expectancy Theory of Motivation ...... 29 2 2 Adapted from context model of conventional participation. ................................ 44 2 3 Adapted from context model of authentic participation. ...................................... 45 2 4 Conceptual model of the policy participation experience .................................... 49 3 1 Sample Question from study instrument ............................................................. 54

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13 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science FACTORS MOTIVATING F LORIDA FARM BUREAU F EDERATION MEMBERS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE P OLICY DEVELOPMENT AN D IMPLEMENTATION PRO CESS By Katelyn Crow Landrum May 2010 Chair: Nicole Stedman Major: Agricultural Education and Communication This study examined the factors that motivate Florida Farm Bureau Federation members to participate in the policy development and implementation process. In addition, this study sought to understand the perceptions and concerns of active FFBF members regar ding major agricultural issues in the state of Florida such as immigration and energy crops. The theoretical framework used in this study included Vrooms Expectancy Theory, examining the expectancy, instrumentality, and valency of an individuals decision making. The research design was a census study of intangibles. The population frame consisted of the active members of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation ( n= 21,000). At the duration of the study, 1757 active members had responded giving the survey an 8.4 % response rate, reaching saturation of the population (Dillman et al., 2009). The study found that Florida Farm Bureau members are only mildly aware of the policy development and implementation process at Florida Farm Bureau. Members are willing to contact elected officials on issues that are important to them, though electronic correspondence is not an effective or desired method. In regards to the perceptions and concerns of FFBF members on immigration and energy crop issues, the study found

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14 that members are not willing to shift farming operations to an energy crop and do not identify a need for foreign labor. However, those willing to shi ft production were more aware of the policy process at Florida Farm Bureau and perceive to have a greater impact on the process.

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15 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Since John Deweys Democracy and Education (1916) a high level of education has been considered to be a strong indicator of civic engagement (Egerton, 2002). Enrollment in four year institutions has risen over 23% since 1995 (U.S. Department of Education, 2008), but civic engagement continues to decline (Putnam, 1995). In addition to the rise in education, a lax in voter registration requirements and ending of racial barriers to voti ng have had little to no effect on voter turnout (Patterson, 2003). In fact, since 1960, the number of registered voters who actually voted has declined steadily (Patterson, 2003) from 63% to 51 % in 2000. This decline threatens the legitimacy of the nation s governance, which requires active accountability (King et al., 2008, p. 320 ) from its citizens in the form of political activism to remain viable (Strauss and Corbin, 1990). Until recently, active citizenry has been a concern among Americans since the development of the nation. The very foundation of the United States stemmed from citizens need to play a part in the decisionmaking process. Without public participation, decisionmaking is ineffective (King et al., 1998 ). But, according to Putnam ( 1995, p. 65) Americans have become disengaged psychologically from politics and government. This poses a problem for organizations that rely heavily on the inputs and participation of its members in the development and implementation of policy (King et al., 1998). Grassroots organizations have long relied on the participation of key members for inputs and feedback in the policy development and implementation process. Like other grassroots organizations, the Florida Farm Bureau Federation (FFBF) has looked to the members of its organization for participation, which is the foundation of Farm

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16 Bureau. The Grange, The Farmers Alliance, The Agricultural Wheel, The Ancient Order of Gleaners and The Equity are agricultural organizations that began calling on its members for participation in the late 1800s years before the first polices were developed by the Farm Bureau organization (America n Farm Bureau Federation, 2009) T hese organizations illustrated the necessity of member involvement in the agricultural industry even before the idea of active citizenry gained momentum. Farm Bureau The foundation for Farm Bureau began during the 19th century, though official establishment did not occ ur until after the turn of the 20th century. The Morrill Act of 1862 establis hed landgrant universities with the mission of teaching, research, and extension, which answered farmers needs for gathering and disseminating current science and information. Furthering the extension arm of the landgrant mission, the Hatch Act of 1887 developed agricultural experiment stations, which took information to farmers through off campus opportunities. But it was not until the boll weevil devastation of the Souths cotton industry in the 1920s that the need for extension became evident (AFBF, 2 009). In response to the disaster, Dr. Seaman Knapp traveled throughout the state of Texas educating farmers on methods of dealing with and eradicating the boll weevil, becoming what is considered the first county agent (ABFB, 2009, Sanders, 1966). Duri ng a partnership between New Yorks Broome County Extension Service, the USDA, the Binghamton Chamber of Commer ce, and the Lackawanna Railroad; John Barron, a Broome County Agent, became the first farm bureau representative (AFBF, 2009). The partnership was housed within the Binghamton Chamber of Commerce until 1914, when the Broome County Farm Bureau separated and began operating

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17 independently. Similar independent agricultural organizations were established in Missouri, North Dakota, Vermont, Minnesota, Iowa, West Virginia and Illinois (AFBF 2009). The passage of the Smith Lever Act of 1914, which provided funds for educational efforts, only encouraged the further expansion of extension services (AFBF 2009). The concept of county farm bureaus continued with the Smith Lever Act until it was formally adopted in 1916 at a joint meeting of county agents (AFBF 2009). The primary goals of these county farm bureaus began as social and educational functions. As farmers needs for representation and influence gr ew on a local and state level, many farm bureaus began working together to form state farm bureaus (AFBF 2009). In 1915, Missouri became the first statewide farm bureau (AFBF 2009). When the need for a national, unified voice became apparent to protect agriculture on a national level farmers from 30 different states met in Chicago in 1919 to establish the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C. were created once the organization was formall y ratified in 1920, wit h the then AFBF President saying, Whats good for farmers is good for America (AFBF, 2009). This statement signifies the widespread appreciation and power held by the agricultural industry during that time. The goal of the American Farm Bureau Federation was to provide a platform from which farmers could speak for themselves on policy issues, rather than administrators which is reflected in the organizations current motto as The Voice for Agriculture (AFBF 2009). The organization continued its mission of active participation through the development of policy. In response to the growing agricultural problems throughout the nation, farmers outlined specific policies that would combat current crises and prevent

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18 future ones from occurring under AFBF President James Howard. By creating agricultural blocs in Congress in the early 1920s AFBF was able to pass agricultural legislation developed and advocated by farmers. Legislation continued to pass, including increasing the monetary supply for the federal farm loan system to aid those devastated by boll weevil and other agricultural disasters, as well as a $100 million dollar grant for highway construction in rural areas. After Farm Bureaus success in Congress in the early 1920s, The New York Times deemed th e organization the most forceful group of influence in national politics today (AFBF, 2009). The plummet of the citrus industry after the Great Depression left Florida citrus growers in need of a voice and vision to repair Floridas citrus industry. Cit rus growers called for a state organization that represented the specific interests of Florida farmers on Capitol Hill ( FFBF, 2009). As a result, the FFBF was created in 1941 at a meeting of farmers in Orlando, Florida, similar to the beginnings of American Farm Bureau. Goals for the organization were outlined with the specific task of representing farmers in legislature (FFBF, 2009). On November 15, 1941, the first FFBF convention was held where the charter was approved and first president elected. Within one year the state federation reached 1,180 members and 17 county Farm Bureaus had been established (FFBF, 2009). FFBF understood that for its work to be effective it needed to have a link to policy influence (Harper, 1997, p. 773). The governments inadequacy to overcome inequality and environmental degradation (Miller, 1994, p. 5 ) has resulted in the continuous growth of grassroots and nongovernmental organizations across all industries (Miller 1994). Just as civic engagement can be used to regain trust in the government (Putnam, 1998),

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19 participation in grassroots policy development has been shown to strengthen civil society and good government (Miller, 1994, p. 2 ). These organizations give marginalized groups the necessary channels for policy influence and development, which are essential to a healthy society (Miller 1994). The need for organizations in the agricultural industry, like AFBF remains ever present as governmental and societal demands of the agricultural industry continue t o change (Hermansen, Noe, & Halberg, n.d.). On national, state and local levels, Farm Bureau has continued its mission of developing policy through member participation and inputs, but as the issues facing agriculture have become increasingly complex and diverse, the need for a collaborative and assorted group of policy developers has become more vital. As a result, with participation in grassroots organizations declining (Putnam, 1995), the need to understand what motivates members to participate in the p olicy process has become increasingly important. The decline of civic engagement over the last few decades in America and worldwide (Putnam, 1995) has become a growing concern. Research has shown that a lack of civic engagement, where political efficacy is formed (Leighly, 1991), can result in an eventual distrust of government institutions (Bowler & Karp, 2004). The perpetuating and revolving nature of participation in political activities combined with the need for trust in government (Putnam 1995), ca lls for an understanding of the factors which can counter this growing mistrust, thus overcoming political inactivity. Currently, the majority of motivation and decisionmaking studies looking at participation motivation have been focused on participation in general areas of the organization, both agricultural and non-

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20 agricultural They have not identified specific factors that may influence participation in one sect of an organization versus another, factors such as opinions on industry hot topics or com petencies with communication mediums. Also, a number of studies report the benefit of empowerment as a result of participation in volunteer political activities, which can be harnessed to create buy in among members (Zimmerman & Rappaport, 1988). Such part icipation also increases political knowledge and encourages further participation (Leighly, 1991). Statement of the Problem The decline of active citizenry and participation in grassroots organizations (Putnam, 1995), along with a lack o f knowledge about the variables which motivate FFBF members to participate in the policy development and implementation process establishes the need for this research. Purpose The purpose of this research is to ascertain the specific factors which motivate certain members of the FFBF to participate in the policy development and implementation process. Additionally, empowerment derived from participation in the policy process will be analyzed for its influence on member participation and potential to create sustainability in member participation. A secondary purpose of this study will be to understand the perceptions and concerns of active FFBF members regarding major agricultural issues in the state of Florida such as immigration and energy crops, based on the desire of the FFBF organization to understand perceptions of its members. Objectives This research will address the following objectives:

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21 1. Determine the perceptions of FFBF members as they relate to FFBFs organizational policy development efforts. 2. Determine the percept ions of FFBF members as they relate to their personal ability to make an impact on Farm Bureaus policy development efforts. 3. Determine differences, which exist among FFBF members related to Florida Farm Bureaus policy development efforts. 4. Determine differ ences, which exist among FFBF members related to personal impact on Florida Farm Bureau policy development efforts. 5. Determine the perceptions and concerns of FFBF active members on immigration and energy crop issues. 6. D etermine the differences, which exist among FFBF m embers related to needs for foreign labor energy crop issues, electronic correspondence and participation in the policy process 7. D etermine the relationship between aptitude with electronic correspondence, dependence on foreign workers, and energy crop issues with parti cipation in the policy process. Significance of the Study As Floridas agricultural population becomes increasingly diverse, the need for a sundry of voices and opinions in the policy development and implementation process is essential to ensure that all sectors of the industry are represented on local, state and federal levels. Findings from this study will provide the information necessary to ascertain the specifics factors that motivate members in the FFBF to participate in the policy process and serve a guide to learn from and target those specific motivators to encourage a balanced and diverse policy process. Understanding the factors that motivate action can also be used to regain trust in governmental and nongovernmental organizations which Putnam (1998) says is necessary for meaningful and lasting civic e ngagement. Furthermore, because of the self realization aspects of political activities, participation will be revolving and sustained (Leighly, 1991).

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22 Additionally, understanding the motivating factors behind policy participation at FFBF can be extended to other grassroots agricultural organizations in Florida. Lastly, findings from this study will generate suggestions for similar organizations, as well as provide Florida Farm Bureau w ith feedback of current issues in the industry, members perceptions t owards those issues, and what steps can be taken to deal with those issues. Florida Farm Bureau seeks to understand the relationship among these variables, which will direct the importance of social capital contributions in organizations, making understanding these motivations vital (Portes, 1998). This information will provide FFBF with the tools necessary to create sustainable participation in activities with the goal of increasing participation in the policy process among formally nonparticipative mem bers Definition of Terms 1. Civic Engagement An individuals participation in voluntary organizations where action is taken through political decisions for the goal of improving American life and holding the government accountable (Sander & Putnam, 2006). 2. A ctive Citizenry Membership and activity participation in civil society, where associations and networks between family and government is voluntary (de Weerd, Gemmeke, Rigter, & van Rij, 2005). 3. Florida Farm Bureau Federation FFBF is a grassroots, non go vernmental organization with the mission to increase the net income of farmers and ranchers, and to improve the quality of rural life (FFBF, 2009) and be the most effective, influential and respected Farm Bureau in the nation, to truly be recognized as Florida's Voice of Agriculture (FFBF, 2009). 4. Active members Persons engaged in the production of agricultural products for sale, including lessees and tenants of the land used for the production of such products, and/or leasers and landlords who receiv e as rent, either in kind or in cash, all or part of the crop raised on the leased or rented premises ( FFBF, 2009). 5. Agricultural Policy Legislation that specifically affects the food, beverage and fiber industries.

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23 6. Electronic correspondence Communica tion via e mail, electronic alert systems, and online polling. 7. Empowerment Process by which individuals gain mastery or control over their own lives and democratic participation in the life of their community (Zimmerman & Rappaport, 1988) 8. Social Capi tal networks, norms, and trust, that facilitate action and cooperation for mutual benefit that encourage civic engagement (Putnam, 1995). 9. Aptitude Members ability to open, read, and respond to FFBF email alert systems, as well as the ability to open, formulate, and send an electronic message to a Congressional member on a specific issue after receiving an email alert 10. Immigration Active members use of foreign workers in agricultural production and the ability to attain reliable workers annually 11. Energy Crop A renewable crop that is harvested for use as a biofuel and produces energy that in turn can be sold back to the grid for a profit to the farmer (Basford, 2008) 12. Policy Process The development and implementation of agricultural policy, as initiated by the Ag Policy Division in the FFBF but carried out by memb ers. Limitations A key aspect to the validity of this study is its ability to generalize to larger grassroots populations. As with any study, there are a few key limitations that may affect this studys generalizability. First is the use of sampling in that a convenience sample was used Limitations occur in the ability to extend the studys finding to other grassroots organizations based on the unique structural and philosophical fram eworks of FFBF. In addition, generalizability limitations occur because it can be suggested that the active members being sampled are already prone to be more participative than nonactive members. Because active membership can be achieved through buying i nsurance and other nonagricultural related benefits, a limitation occurs when participants not concerned with agriculture are included in the study because of the inability to differentiate between these individuals when sampling occurs. A not

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24 applicable option will be provided on the questionnaire to identify these individuals and remove them from the sample. Basic Assumptions For the study to be valid and reliable, several assumptions are taken into account. First, it is assumed that all contact and m ember information received from FFBF is correct and valid at the time of the study. The assumption that subjects will respond to the questionnaire truthfully without the effect of self reporting biases is made as well. It is also assumed that participants will have a clear understanding of the terms used in the questionnaire through the use of operational definitions. This study also assumes that participants have an interest in agricultural issues based on his/her involvement with FFBF, opposed to other reasons for attaining active membership. For the study to be valid, the assumption is made that Florida Farm Bureau members will have an opinion on the topics discussed in the questionnaire and want to complete the instrument. The assumption that the informa tion is timely and relative is also being made. Chapter Summary Even though strong indicators of political activism, such as education and availability of participation opportunities, are on the rise (U.S. Department of Education, 2008), participation in political activities has continued to decline since 1960 (Patters on, 2003). Grassroots organizations are experiencing the effects of this decline most readily because of their reliance on member participation to define and set policy (Putnam, 1995). The foundation of the FFBF mirrors this philosophy of member participat ion, being formed by concerned farmers across the United States seeking a unified platform to influence and make policy that directly relates to and affects the personal farmer

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25 (AFBF, 2009). Understanding the factors that motivate FFBF members to participate in the policy development and implementation process is a vital to the organization as it seeks to fulfill its mission. This research will provide a better understanding of the nature and behavior of grassroots members participation, specifically in th e policy process, adding to the current body of knowledge and having the ability to extend the information to similar organizations in an effort to recruit and sustain an active member population.

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26 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Overview The purpose of this study was to ascertain the specific factors, which motivate FFBF members to participate in the policy development and implementation process. To accomplish this, the roles of motivation, empowerment, and the expectancy theory were investigated. In addition, other variables such as demographic information, industry affiliation, aptitude with electronic correspondence, and opinions and relationships to specific industry issues were explored. In addition to the th eories of expectancy, motivation, empowerment, and social capital is also included as a supplement to these other theories. A review of the relevant findings pertaining to the political participation in volunteer and grassroots organizations follows. Lastl y, a conceptual model is included that illustrates the link between the theories mentioned above, the sundry of factors being studied, and participation in the policy development and implementation process. By understanding the factors, which motivate me mbers of Florida Farm Bureau to participate in the policy process, a better knowledge of how to increase participation was expected. The effects of empowerment, aptitude with electronic correspondence and opinions on industry specific issues were indicated by the literature to have an effect on such participation. Theoretical Framework Expectancy Theory of Motivation The concept of expectancy revolves around the mental processes one goes through when making a choice or decision (Montana & Charnov, 2008). In 1964, Victor

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27 H. Vroom introduced the Expectancy Theory of Motivation (Droar, n.d.) with the idea that individuals make choices based upon the alternative, with the purpose of maximizing the positive and avoiding perceived negatives (Montana & Charnov 2 008 ). Looking at personality, skill, knowledge, experience, and abilities as influences of an individuals motivation to make a particular decision, Vrooms expectancy theory suggests that the relationship between a peoples behavior and their goals is not as elementary as scientists originally thought (Montana & Charnov 2008). Vrooms theory differs from other theories involving motivation in that it separates effort, performance, and outcomes (Droar, n.d.). For effort to be a result of motivation, perf ormance and outcomes must be linked (Droar n.d.). Choices are made based upon which option has the greatest motivating force (MF) involving three different variables (Fitz enz, 2001), expectancy (E), instrumentality (I), and valance (V) (Droar n.d.). Bel ow is an illustration of the relationship (Fitz enz 2001). MF = expectancy X instrumentality X valence Fitz enz (2001) suggested that if any of these elements carries a probability or value equaling zero, the entire equation will equal zero, resulting i n no motivation to accomplish the desired task (Fitz enz 2001). The linkage of these variables is viewed through probability. Expectancy probability (E) is seen as a relationship between effort and performance (Droar, n.d.). This relationship is described as the effort performance expectancy (E>P), which is the belief that increased effort will lead to increased performance (Droar, n.d.). This relationship involves the past experiences, self confidence and perceived difficulty of the performance goal (Fi tz enz, 2001). The relationship can be affected by several

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28 factors found commonplace in an organization, such as having the necessary resources to accomplish the task, having the necessary skills, and having the needed support to accomplish the task (Droar, n.d.) The performance outcome expectancy (P>O) describes the Instrumentality Probability (I) relationship, which is based on the idea that if one meets the expected performance goals, he or she will receive a greater reward (Fitz enz, 2001). The effort performance expectancy is the assessment of the probability that ones efforts will lead to the required performance (Montana & Charnov, 2008). This relationship is typically affected by the level of understanding of the relationship between performance a nd outcomes, level of trust in the individuals who decide the outcomes, and the transparency of the outcome decision process (Droar, n.d.). Valence is the third variable of the construct. According to Vroom, valence is the strength, preference, or value an individual places on a specific outcome (Vroom, 2005). The concept can be broken down into two parts, positive and negative valence (Vroom, 2005) For valence to be considered positive the outcome must be strongly preferred, whereas an outcome that is to be avoided is considered to be negatively valent (Vroom, 2005, p. 239). Valencies have roots in relatively stable motives, or needs, the strength of which vary both within and across persons (Vroom, 2005, p. 239). The positivity or negativity of a valence can be inherent in the outcome itself or in the perceived instrumentality (I) for the attainment of other outcomes (Vroom, 2005, p. 239). To tie the model together, valent outcomes have no effect on behavior unless accompanied by the expectancy (E) that the action will have some likelihood on attaining the positive

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29 valent and avoiding the negative valent (Vroom, 2005) Figure 2 1 is an additional illustration of Vrooms Expectancy Theory of Motivation as derived by Droar (n.d.). Figure 2 1 Aadapted from context model of Vrooms E xp ectancy Theory of M otivation (Droar, n.d.) The validity of the expectancy theory lies in its causal relationship between expectancy, attitudes, and motivation (Lawler & Suttle, 1973). This causal relationship has proven to be an indicator of job performance. The most significant predictor of performance proved to be the expectancy performance probability and the performance outcome probability, indicating that individuals can distinguish between expectancies involving intrinsically and extrinsically rewarding outcomes (Lawler & Suttle, 1973, p. 500). The development of Vrooms expectancy theory of motivation was centered on the need for a greater understanding of employee performance and motivation (Montana & Charnov, 2008). While the theory was created for its application to work performance and management scenarios, it is applicable to other domains, though little has been done to expand its uses (Vroom, 2005, Droar n.d). There are areas of the theory that are largely unanswered and untested (Lawler & Suttle, 1973). These Effort Performance Outcome VALENCE INSTRUMENTALITY EXPECTANC Y

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30 untested areas include the political, academic, nonprofit and nongovernmental sectors (Lawler & Suttle, 1973), where participation is often voluntary, making the need for understanding motivations ever present. One area of use where the model is gaining application is in the treatment of drug and alcohol diseases (Jones, Corbin & Fromme, 2001). The need for research in this area stems from the variability in which individuals consume alcohol in terms of quantity, style and drinking times. Motivation of individuals is the primary concern of treatment practitioners. This especially pertains to understanding of the definition of motivation, factors affecting motivation, and potential ways to modify motivation (Jones et al. 2001) The term has been used to describe a patients failure with treatment, citing a lack of motivation, while at the same time it has been us ed to praise a patients success (Jones et al 2001.) This has resulted in the view that motivation is inexorably implicated in both to the extent that enhancing patient motivation, itself, might be a legitimate treatment goal (Jones et al., 2001, p. 5 8). Use of the expectancy theory has also been applied in the development of leaders versus managers in organizations. By creating highly motivational work environments through the application of expectancy theory, individuals have the ability to transc end their traditional roles of supervisor, manager, or follower and realize their potentials as leaders (Isaac, Zerbe & Pitt, 2001). Increasing global markets and international competitiveness makes leadership a necessity for every employee at all levels of the organization (Isaac et al. 2001). The call for this theory in organizations revolves around the concept that the workforce is composed of leaders, rather than employees (Issac et al., 2001, p. 213). Utilizing the expectancy theory in the workforc e

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31 instills a sense of purpose or mission amongst the workers (Issac et al., 2001, p. 213). Using the expectancy theory to create leaders allows for leaders to participate with employees versus simply administering tasks and orders (Isaac et al. 2001). T he use of the expectancy theory to create motivation (Montana & Charnov, 2008) builds individuals who incorporate both leadership and managerial roles into their personal repertoires (Isaac et al., 2001, p. 214). Motivation The application of motivation has been frequently applied to industry and organizational settings (Maslow, 1965). The earliest schools of thought on motivation believed that an individuals willingness to perform a task occurred at the extremes of pleasure and pain (Shah & S hah, n.d.). In order to sustain that motivation certain basic human needs must be met (Maslow, 1965). Those needs, in ascending order, are the need for physiological satisfaction, the need to be and feel safe, the need for love and belongingness, the need to establish positive self esteem, and lastly the need for self actualization, which creates motivation (Barling, 1977). Not until one level of needs has been accomplished can an individual seek the next level (Maslow 1965), culminating with reaching self actualization, which only increases as it is fulfilled, and therefore, never fully achieved (Maslow, 1965; Barling 1977). Motivation in the workplace relies on the individuals ability to accomplish his or her needs at the workplace or through the actual work itself. This places a responsibility on the workplace to seek to enhance the psychological health of the individual employee (Barling, 1977, p. 3). Researchers have also pointed out that an employees self actualization could actually be a result of the supervisors perception of the employees abilities (OReily, 1973). This finding places a major responsibility on

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32 managers and supervisor to be self actualized so to not under or over utilize an individual based upon personal opinions (Barling 19 77). Also, these types of managers and employees tend to be more efficient and realistic (Barling 1977), enhancing productivity both qualitatively and quantitatively (Maslow, 1971). Motivational research has also been conducted in the field of volunteer ism and nonprofits. The relationship between volunteer motivations and organizational needs is met with the volunteer experience, which includes satisfying the volunteers needs, including motivation (Culp & Schwartz, 1999). Three drivers of motivation hav e been identified as the need for achievement, affiliation, and power (McClelland, 1987). According to Maehr and Braskamp (1986), these categories are important factors in the determination of performance and success in the volunteer organization. Maehr an d Braskamps study found that its subjects were motivated initially by affiliation and continued service to the organization through additional affiliation motives. Achievement proved to be the weakest factor motivating participation (Culp & Schwartz 1999). Because volunteers need an incentive to join, a look at the factors that sustain motivation after the initial step of joining has been taken, which Pearce (1993) suggests are distinctly different. For a task to be intrinsically motivating the individual must experience meaningfulness in the task, feel responsibility for work outcomes, and obtain knowledge of the tasks results (Hackman & Lawler, 1971). Research indicates that experiencing meaningfulness in a task is the most important and reliable factor in retaining motivation and participation in volunteer activities (Millette & Gagne, 2008). Putnam found that performance in government and other social institutions is largely influenced by citizen engagement in community affairs or what he calls soci al capital

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33 (1993). The theory of social capital is grounded in relationships between individuals, which builds trust as deeper relationships are formed. This social trust has been found to be strongly correlated with civic engagement (Putnam 1993), and th us encourages additional participation in political activities (Leighly, 1991). Social Capital Social capital has long been associated with the development of community and politics, specifically policy (Kahne, Chi & Middaugh, 2006). Research defines soci al capital as the social organization such as networks, norms and social trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit (Putnam, 1993, p. 35). Social capital has been shown to improve an individuals capacity for social and politic al and economic understanding, as well as knowledge of the structure of democratic government (Kahne et al ., 2006 ). The decline of political participation and civic engagement in America makes understanding social capitals potential uses and influences al l the more relevant (Putnam 1993 ). The key to understanding social capital and its potential is viewing it as a resource with function value (Kahne, Chi & Middaugh, 2006, p. 389) that enables interested parties to meet needs and pursue their interests Unlike physical or human capital, which both are measured by outcomes, social capital is embedded in the structure of relations between actors in a given setting (Kahne et al., 2006, p. 389). No one individual can obtain social capital on his or her ow n, and it cannot exist outside a network of social relations (Kahne et al. 2006). Social capital includes three forms that serve as a means to promote civic and political engagement among otherwise inactive citizens. Coleman (1988) defined those forms as community norms, trust, and access to networks and information. Community

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34 norms refer to the incentives, rewards, and passes individuals receive for certain behaviors or actions (Kahne, Chi, Middaugh, 2006). These norms are generally enforced by the group (Portes, 1998). Social capital also exists in the degree to which citizens trust that others in the community will perform the duties and tasks expected of them (Kahne et al. 2006). In both of these forms, reciprocity expectations and the establishment o f group norms exist to develop social capital within a group (Portes 1998). Having access to information and resources, Portes argues, is actually a consequence of the possession of social capital. Individuals receiving these resources view them as gifts (1998) Therefore, it is important to distinguish between resources and the ability to obtain them by virtue of membership in different social structure (Bourdie, 1979; Portes 1998). Simply equating social capital with the resources acquired through it c an lead to the creation of tautological statements. Also important is the sequestering of the social organization that provides the context for these events to occur (Portes 1998). All three of these forms of social capital exist for the pursuit of a particular goal. In fact, research indicates that communities with high levels of social capital are more likely than communities with low levels of social capital to accomplish specific goals (Coleman, 1988; Fukuyama, 1995). The way in which these forms ar e administered has shown to also play a role in the effective functioning of community organizations (Knack, 2002) with an indication that varying the forms increases efficiency (Putnam, 1993). Sources of Social Capital The character of social capital is largely reliant on other forms of capital. While economic capital deals with a citizens monetary resources, and human capital represents what is in his or her mind, social capital lies in the structure of those

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35 relationships (Portes, 1998). To fully poss ess social capital one must be interconnected with others, and through others that individual finds his or her advantage (Portes 1998). Coleman (1988) describes this relationship as effective norms that inhibit crime make it possible to walk freely outsi de at night in a city and enable old persons to leave their houses without fear for their safety. Simplified, this concept holds that citizens with high levels of social capital will also extend their economic and human capital to the community because of their inherent nature derived from social capital (Portes 1998). Another source of social capital stems from buildup of reciprocity obligations from others. This social exchange is said to differ from traditional economic transactions in two ways. The first is the expectance of the tender from the first obligation to be different than that of the latter, which research has shown to be often intangible, such as allegiance to a person, stance and organization. The second difference is the time of repaymen t is often unspecified and it if is, the exchange is defined as a market exchange rather than one mediated by social capital (Blau, 1964; Coleman, 1994; Homans, 1961; Schiff, 1992; & Simmel, 1964). The underpinnings of Marxs analysis of emerging class st ructures provide another source of social capital. As citizens are placed into common situations, they learn to identify with each other and support each others initiatives (Portes, 1998). Marx argues that this solidarity is not a result of enforced child hood norms but a product of common fate (Marx, [1894] 1967, Marx & Engels, [1848] 1947). This commonality explains the altruistic actions of these individuals in community, but not universal situations. Other members of the community can then utilize the c haracter and dispositions of such individuals as sources of social capital. Portes refers to this

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36 mechanism as bounded solidarity, saying that identification with ones own group, sect, or community can be a powerful motivational force (p. 8). Zeal is of ten used to describe extreme forms of this behavior (Coleman, 1990). Lastly, researchers have noted group rituals as a sourc e of social capital (Portes, 199 8). Founded in Durkheims ([1893] 1984) theory of social integration, the case is made that instead of focusing on the tit for tat nature of community norms, the focus is on the placement of citizens in a common social setting (Portes 1998 ). Research has shown that this creates two consequences. The first is the potential for the donors payment to not come directly from the recipient but instead from the collective community (Portes 1998 ). Second is the possibility for the collective community to act as a witness that whatever debts are incurred will be repaid (Portes 1998). These two acts serve t o enforce trust and in social capital, facilitate access to resources for recipients, while generating approval for and accelerating transactions for donors because of the assurance against malfeasance (Portes 1998 ). Trust exists in these situations not as a manifestation of the interaction but because the obligations are enforceable through the power of the community (Portes 1998). Because of the inherent nature of the development and sources of social capital, there is potential for negative consequences. These negative consequences can occur in all three forms of social capital. Community norms can result in excessive claims on certain members, restrictions on individual freedoms because of expectations of conformity to group norms; and downward leveling norms of non mainstream groups that ostracize individual success and keep members of downtrodden groups from seeking to join mainstream society (Kahn, Chi & Middaugh, 2006). Social trust within a

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37 community is vital to the development of social capital, but an excess can overshadow needed skepticism from citizens and other accountability structures concerning democratic societies. Researchers have found that access to information and networks through membership in one community may inherently bar acces s to another (Kahne et al. 2006). To understand that social capital is an aggregate concept that has its basis in individual behavior, attitudes, and predispositions (Brehm & Rahn, 1997, p. 1000) is to know that its successes and outcomes largely depend on the individuals within that system. The development of social capital through motivation thus empowers individuals to participate in organizations (Weaver, 1996). Empowerment Empowerment is a construct that establishes a relationship between individual strengths and competencies, natural systems, and proactive behaviors in social policy and social change (Zimmerman & Rappaport, 1988). The necessity for empowerment can be generalized by the following statement: Beliefs in limits create limited people (Weaver, 1996). The constructs of self and political efficacy, competence, control, and a desire for control fall under the umbrella construct of empowerment (Zimmerman & Rappaport 1988). Research has suggested that becoming involved in decisions that affect community life is a way to enhance empowerment (Zimmerman & Rappaport 1988). Furthermore, research has shown that participation in political activities with other individuals is a creative and enlightening experience (Leighly, 1991) that is not based solely on the policy results, but on participation, which leads to self realization enhancing political efficacy. As political and self efficacy increase, participation in policy processes has also been shown to increase, providing sustainability (Leighly 1991).

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38 The policy process has also been shown to produce psychological empowerment (Zimmerman & Rappaport, 1988). Activities aimed at influencing political decision making (policy development processes), involvement with others, increased responsibility, and organizational problem solving enhance the development of an individuals sense of empowerment (Zimmerman & Rappaport 1988 ). Actual participation must occur for the generation of psychological empowerment, which encourages further participation, (Zimmerman & Rappaport 1988) suggesting that the difference between active FFBF members that participate in the policy process and those that do not is a lack of empowerment that acts as a catalyst to participate. Research has suggested that participation develops empowerment based on the experience citizens gain by organizing people, identifying resources, and developing strategies for achieving goals (Zimmerman & Rappaport, 1988, p. 727) This increases perceived control, which is a construct of empowerment. Demographic factors, such as gender, industry affiliation, marital status, economic status, and stance on industry specific issues, have also been shown to have a role in the level of participation, indicating those from more urbanized and educated regions as having a greater sense of self efficacy and willingness to participate in political activities (Leighly, 1991). An experience in which one has the sense of empowerment has also shown to include self confidence, social and political understanding, and the ability to play an assertive role in controlling resources and decisions in ones community (Zimmerman & Rappaport 1988). Due to the shift from government to governance in order to deal with the problems of society, non governmental groups have found new ways to engage

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39 citizens in political activity which seek to deepen the abilities of ordinary citizens to effectively participate in the shaping of programs and policies relevant to their own lives (Fischer, 2006, p. 23). Three principles enable this condition for involvement, which include (a) the need to address a particular practical problem, (b) the empowerment of ordinary citizens and (c) the deliberate effort to solve the problem under consideration (Fung & Wright, 2001, 2003). These activities give citizens a political identity (March & Olsen, 1995, p. 6) by creating space in which citizens and officials act and politics occur, and which shape the identiti es and institution of civil society (March & Olsen, 1995, p. 6). Research follows that participation in community organizations helps citizens feel more competent about social and political issues and decreases feelings of alienation (Levens, 1968; Zurcher, 1970). Related Studies The discussion will now turn to the characteristics of the specific problem in question: the decline of civic engagement in the United States. In relation to this problem, this section presents a discussion of the various types of political involvement with specific focus on policy motivated participation with the interactions of expectancy, motivation, and empowerment. The Decline of Civic Engagement Participation in civic engagement refers to citizens connectedness not only with politics but with their community (Putnam, 1995). Despite the inventive opportunities for citizen engagement that organizations have created, the number of people involved in civic and political activities has declined over the past three decades (Theiss Morse & Hibbing, 2005; Putnam, 1995). Participation in political and civic engagement develops trust in the government, encourages further participation, increases knowledge about

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40 society and societal issues, and makes citizens more tolerant of and connected to fellow citizens (Theiss Morse & Hibbing 2005 ). Studies show that in 1970 approximately one half of 18 29 year olds voted in presidential elections. That number decreased to one third by 2000 and to one fifth by 2005, respectively (Galston, 2004). A decrease in collective participation, such as attending a speech or rally, has also fallen sharply (Rosenstone & Hansen, 1993; Putnam, 1996). A study by UCLAs Higher Educat ion Research Institute measured indicators of political engagement from 1960 to 2004 involving a quarter of a million matriculating college freshmen each year (Garlson, 2004). The study showed that since 1960, all indicators of political engagement have fallen by appr oximately one half, and only 34% of freshman feel that staying up to date with politics is important, which is down from 60% in 1966 (UCLA, 2004). The study also found that only 24% of freshman feel the discussion of politics is important (UCLA 2004), which Leighly (1991) suggests is vital to the stimulus of political conceptualization by creating efficacy and buy in of the political process. Education has proven to have the strongest correlation with civic engagement in all forms (Putnam, 1998). Putnam (1998) found that the four years of education received between 14 and 18 years have ten times more impact on trust in the government and membership in civic and political organizations than the first four years of collegiate education. However, even though the percent age of individuals receiving more than 12 years of education increased from 28% in 1973 to 50 % of Americans in 1998, civic engagement has continued to decline (Putman, 1998 ). Based on this information, Putnam concluded that the rise in education levels from 1973 to 1998

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41 should have increased social capital and civic engagement by 15 20% even with the assumption that education levels remained linear (1998). Putnam (1998) suggested that the major reason for this phenomenon is that t he correlation between education and participation may be spurious, citing that the reasons one generation participates in civic and political activities are not strong enough to encourage the next generation to take part. Another possible reason citizens are less involved is that the portion of those feeling always rushed has increased by 50% from the mid 1960s to the mid 1990s (Robinson & Godbey, 1995). This has resulted in the tendency to drop out of community organizations in an effort to feel like on e has more disposable time (Putnam, 1995). Residential mobility and suburbanization are other suggestions as to a lack of involvement citing groupthink and norms in cities as a possible factor (Putnam, 1995). The changing roles of women is also suggested t o have decreased social capital, as women were originally the greatest holders of the concept through membership and participation in various groups and organizations such as PTA, church, and charity (Putnam, 1998). Additional possibilities include the dis ruption of marriage and family ties, changes in the structure of the American economy, the Sixties (specifically the revolt against authority), the growth of the welfare state and the technological revolution which has allowed citizens to feel connected in less personal or active manners (Putnam, 1995; Putnam, 1998). Models of Participation Human activity as it relates to political participation falls into three democratic theories (Teorell, 2006). The first is the attempt by citizens to influence the gov ernment, either by affecting the choice of government personnel or by affecting the choices made by government personnel (Teorell, 2006, p. 789). Fischer (2006) refers to this

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42 type of participation as instrumental. Both modes of instrumental participation seek to accomplish goals that cannot be solved through private efforts (Fischer, 2006; Teorell 2006). Under this theory of democracy, participation is seen as an instrumental act through which citizens attempt to make the political system respond to th eir will (Teorell, 2006, p. 789). Citizens often seek to accomplish this by influencing elections and the passing of laws to solve the problems of their society that couldnt be solved through the use of private organizations. This form of political parti cipation serves as a means by which governing officials are informed of the preferences and needs of the public and are induced to respond to those preferences and needs (Verba, 1996, p. 1). Researchers believe this type of participation to still be indi rect action vis vis or with regard to the policy outcomes (Teorell 2006 ). Therefore, citizens, in fact, do not direct the outcomes but may have influences on the preference and perceived needs of society based on the governments desire for a specific outcome (Teorell 2006). Direct participation in decision making is another theory of democracy (Teorell, 2006). This usually manifests in the form of policy making. The aim of this type of participation is to connect individuals participation to pol icy outcomes (Platt, 2008). This type of political activity is a vital part of the democratic policy process (Verba, Scholzman & Brady, 1995). Research has shown that individuals participate in a strategic manner. The decision to participate is based upon the degree of effectiveness and efficiency of the action; when the ratio of benefits to costs is higher (Platt, 2008, p. 393). Each opportunity to affect policy is set in the constraints of the cost/benefit ratio. These constraints create open and close d opportunities for involvement (Platt 2008). An open opportunity is one characterized by the least amount of constraints on the

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43 activity, a higher benefit to cost ratio (Platt 2008). Conversely, a closed opportunity has greater constraints on the indivi duals participation decisions (Platt 2008). The need for this specific type of involvement stems from failure of the government to adequately meet the demands of society. Grassroots and non governmental organizations have sprung up to serve as mediums a nd catalysts for this type of political involvement (Miller, 1994). Typically representing marginalized communities, these organizations help give voice to those who have been historically marginalized and provide them with a crucial vehicle for exercising rights and holding government accountable (Miller, 1994, p. 4). Through the representation of marginalized individuals, participation becomes developmental (Fischer, 2006). This refers to the effects this style of participation has the expansion of an i ndividuals education, thoughts, feelings and commitment, or social action pertaining toward a particular issue. A result of this development is the increase of tolerance and knowledge on diversity issues, as well as the gain of political skills to that help him or her efficaciously contribute to social change (Fischer, 2006, p. 22). The third theory of democracy is the concept of participation as a political discussion (Teorell, 2006). The concept of discussion embodies the action of political activit y, which researchers suggest is collective (Teorell 2006 ). Early research concerning this theory has referred to it as deliberative participation, which Teorell claims is misleading. Some researchers feel that deliberation is the process of decision ma king through argument, while others define it as the formation of opinion (Elster, 1998; Chambers, 1996). The use of discussion avoids the blurry line in the aspect of the term discussion, as it forces conversation to occur with other parties as

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44 one cannot adequately converse with his or herself (Teorell 2006 ). The use of discussion is an attempt to influence those who have a say in government (Teorell, 2006, p. 791). Research has found that citizens view participation as the necessary opportunity t o be a part of something bigger than oneself (King, Feltey, & Susel, 1998). Results from the same study indicated that the desire for participation was reciprocated from an administrative perspective, stressing the centrality of citizen i nput in the polic y process (King et al. 1998). Problems with Current Participation Just as King, et al. (1998) found that individuals at all levels in the policy participation process view participation as necessary and desirable (p. 319), each person viewed the way in which participation is framed as making the participation unsuccess ful. Public participation has been framed in a manner that puts the issues at F igure 2 2. Adapted from context model of c onventional p articipation (King et al., 1998). the farthest level from the citizen, which King et al. suggest is a reason many chose not to participate. Currently, public participation consists of four components: (1) the issue or situation; (2) the administrative structures, sy stems and processes within participation Issue Administrative Systems Administrators Citizens

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45 takes place; (3) the administrators; and (4) the citizens (King et al., 1998, p. 319). The frame is illustrated in Figure 2 2. This context maintains the centrality of the administrator who is presented publically as a representative or participatory figure (White and Swain, 1993). The citizen then becomes the client a nd is not in a position to question the administrator (King et al., 1998). This falsely dualistic relationship (King et al., 1998, p. 320) separates the administrator from the demands, needs and values (deLeon, 1992, p. 126) of those in need of service From this framework, King et al. (1998) argue that citizen participation is more symbolic than real. To overcome this ideological framework of participation, King et al. (1998) argue authentic participation is deep and continuous involvement in admini strative processes with the potential for all involved to have an effect on the situation (p. 320). This type of participation has been characterized by on going active involvement, not a one shot Figure 2 3. Adapted from context model of a uthentic p a rticipation (King et al., 1998). deal, not just pulling the leverit needs to go out and reach out to every part of your community, however defined (King et al., 1998, p. 320). The frame of authentic Issue Citzen Administrators Administrative Systems

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46 participation is organized as follows: (1) issue, (2) t he citizens, (3) administrators, and (4) administrative systems and processes. This frame is illustrated in Figure 2 3. While the revised framework places the citizen closest to the issues it is still bridged by the administrator. This allows for citizens to be directly related to the issue, while allowing for the influence of the administrators expertise and position (King et al., 1998). This framework of authentic participation involves citizens in the making of decisions instead of just judging (King et al., 1998, p. 321). The goal of this framework is to provide discourse where all participants have an equal footing and where one group is not privileged over the other (Habermas, 1975). Conceptual Model As indicated by the literature, motivation, empowerment, and demographics play a role in the development of political participation. The conceptual model (Figure 2 4) shows the flow of ideas throughout the study. The present study examined the factors that motivate Florida Farm Bureau members to par ticipate in the policy process. Specifically, this study looked at the roles of motivation, empowerment, and demographics as they indicate expectancy to participate. Figure 2 4 consists of the following elements: 1. Participation in the policy process Perso nal participation in the development or implementation of political policy, specifically agricultural policy, at a grassroots level. 2. Motivation The willingness of an individual to perform a certain task, which can only occur after certain needs are met within the individual (Shah & Shah, n.d.; Maslow, 1964 [1894]). 3. Need are met Maslows (1964[1894]) theory that humans obtain a hierarchy of basic needs consisting of physiological satisfaction, the need to be and feel safe, the need for love and belong ingness, the need to establish positive self esteem, and lastly the need for self actualization, which creates motivation. Only after the need for self actualization is met, can motivation be formed. (Barling, 1977).

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47 4. Affiliation The concept that affiliat ion within an organization creates a sense of belonging and togetherness that has proven to be one of the strongest indicators for motivation within that organization (Culp & Schwartz, 1999). 5. Power A revolving motivational factor that occurs as organizational members gain access to networks and resources, as well as reciprocity obligations and favors (Kahne, Chi, & Middaugh, 2006). 6. Issue proximity A subjects view on specific agricultural issues that may influence his or her interest and therefore, wil lingness to participate in specific policy issues. 7. Empowerment Empowerment is a construct that establishes a relationship between individual strengths and competencies, natural systems, and proactive behaviors in social policy and social change (Zimmerm an & Rappaport, 1988). 8. Attitude The feelings and perceptions held by the subject toward agriculture, FFBF, the policy and political process, or the specific agricultural issue that may influence his or her participation in a negative manner. Leighly (1991) suggests that these factors are strong indicators of political interest. 9. Aptitude with technological co mmunications The skills and abilities of Florida Farm Bureau members to receive and gain information through electronic sources. 10. Employment Status The extent to which a FFBF member will become involved in the volunteer process. Participation can range f rom policy input to formal meetings with congressional members on specific issues. 11. Demographics The unique factors pertaining to an individual that may have an influence on participation. Verba and Nie (1972) suggest that demographic factors are strong i ndicators of civic attitudes that encourage or discourage participation in the political process. 12. Age A factor that indicates generation, which Putnam (1995) suggests may be a variable affecting ones participation in the policy process. 13. Gender A vari able that has shown be an influence in civic engagement as gender roles change over time (Putnam, 1995). 14. Membership status The status of a FFBF member that serves as an indicator of the type of affiliation the member has with the organization. 15. Industry affiliation A variable that may indicate opinions or beliefs on certain agricultural issues, therefore influencing participation in specific policy processes.

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48 Chapter Summary The theories of motivation, social capital and empowerment offer insight into t he potential reasons that may influence an individual to participation or not participation in the policy process. These theories have offered a foundation on which this study was built and provide a lens to better understand member participation in politi cal and policy processes. Research findings from the literature also indicated the important roles social capital plays in the political participation process, including its potential benefits and gaps of knowledge. The grounded decline of civic engagement accompanied with the models of participation, and the current problems with participation further strengthen the foundation on which this study was researched and based, creating a holistic view. In summary, a visual representation of how the theory of expectancy, motivation, and empowerment interact with the factors motivating members to participate in the study is shown in Figure 2 4.

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49 F igure 2 4. Conceptual model of the policy participation experience ( Adapted from Mathews, 2009)

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50 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODS Introduction This study was designed to ascertain the specific variables, which motivate active members in the FFBF (FFBF, 2009) to participate in the policy development and implementation process. The researcher sought to determine if a r elationship existed between certain factors and whether or not an active member of the FFBF participated in policy development and/or implementation activities. The following objectives were investigated in order to achieve the purpose of this study: 1. Deter mine the perceptions of Florida Farm Bureau members as they relate to Farm Bureaus organizational policy development efforts. 2. Determine the perceptions of Florida Farm Bureau members as they relate to their personal ability to make an impact on Farm Bureaus policy development efforts. 3. Determine differences, which exist among Florida Farm Bureau members related to Florida Farm Bureaus policy development efforts. 4. Determine differences, which exist among Florida Farm Bureau members related to personal impact on Florida Farm Bureau policy development efforts. 5. Determine the perceptions and concerns of Florida Farm Bureau active members on immigration and energy crop issues. 6. D etermine the differences which exist among Florida Farm Bureau Members related to needs for foreign labor energy crop issues, electronic correspondence and participation in the policy process 7. D etermine the relationship between aptitude with electronic correspondence, dependence on foreign worke rs, and energy crop issues with parti cipation in the policy process. The focus of this chapter is to explain the descriptive survey design used to accomplish this research. Additionally, the researcher identifies and describes the population. Instrumentati on and factors affecting reliability and validity are also addressed in detail. The aforementioned sections are brought together in an

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51 explanation of the procedures used in this study. Finally, the chapter concludes with a discussion concerning the various data analysis techniques used to analyze the findings. Research Design This study used a quantitative research perspective for its methods. This research type was chosen for mass production ease and absence of bias. The use of descriptive survey methodology was employed following empirical survey design. According to Ary, Jacobs, Razavieh, and Sorenson (2006), descriptive survey research is defined as the utilization of questionnaires or other instruments to gather data which can be used to make a summar y about characteristics or measure intangibles and tangibles of a subject group. The concept of intangibles refers to the perceptions, opinions, and interests of the sample population, which may be difficult to define (Ary et al., 2006). The survey also employed a census of tangibles, which Ary et al. described as well defined and unambiguous variables such as demographic information (2006, p. 402). The use of a questionnaire method is applicable because the questions asked of the population are focuse d around views toward the policy development and implementation process, as well as willingness to participate in FFBF activities, and opinions on specific agricultural issues. The researcher used a mailed questionnaire to collect data in an effort to understand the factors motivating participation in the policy process among active FFBF members. Population and Sample The population for this study included the active members of the FFBF defined by FFBF as :

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52 Persons engaged in the production of agricultural products for sale, including lessees and tenants of the land used for the production of such products, and/or leasers and landlords who receive as rent, either in kind or in cash, all or part of the crop raised on the leased or rented premises. ( FFBF, 20 09) The majority of active members of the FFBF are general production farmers. Insurance and membership benefits draw a small number of nonfarmer landowners, which the researcher considered for this study by indicating the type a member is, as classif ied by FFBF. For the most part, active members are generally male and range in age. There is a gap in the information as to whether the members are self sustaining from the farming operation or bi vocational. The researcher obtained a list of active mem bers (N = 21,000) from the FFBF membership database. This active and nonactive member database served as the population frame for the study, including the 140,000 members registered with the FFBF in 2009. Active members of the FFBF represent the multi sectional nature of Floridas agricultural industry, providing a broader perspective from which the data was collected. The FFBF active and nonactive membership database was chosen as the population frame for this study because of FFBFs role as the largest agricultural organization in the state of Florida at the time of the study (FFBF, 2009). A census sampling technique was attempted but proved to be a convenience sample upon data collection. B ecause not all subjects chosen responded to the questionnaire, non response had to be considered. Ary, Jacobs, Razavieh, and Sorenson (2006) noted nonresponse can bias survey data, especially when it is nonrandom and if it is in some way correlated with the variables measured in the study (p. 438). The problem with nonresponse is that sometimes nonresponders are drastically different from responders (Ary et al. 2006). The issue of nonresponse was of particular importance in this study

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53 because the sample group was not randomly selected, but a rather a census of t he entire sample population was conducted. To combat nonresponse, a comparison of early respondents and late respondents was made. According to Miller (1983), early and late respondents are similar. The two groups were statistically compared to determine any differences. A t test on the results was run to identify any possible differences between the two groups. With no found differences, the two groups were considered similar and the findings were generalizable to the entire sample (Miller). Instrumentat ion The researcher found no existing instrument measuring variables that motivate individuals to participate in the agricultural policy process. Therefore, the researcher utilized a secondary source questionnaire developed by the Agriculture Policy Division at the FFBF (Appendix B C ). The University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the FFBF collaborated on this study and gave permission to utilize the surve y results The FFBF funded the study in an effort to gain specific tangible and intangible information. Special consideration was given to the design, terminology, packaging and format of the questionnaire, which Ary, Jacobs, Razavieh, and Sorenson (2006) suggested play a significant role in the willingness of a participant to complete an instrument. The questionnaire began by explaining informed consent of the participants and instructions on how to properly mark the instrument. The first section of the instrument required participants to assess his or her current knowledge of the policy process in the FFBF. These were four questions in a Likert type scale format. Figure 31 illustrates a sample question for the first section of the instrument:

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54 The next section of the questionnaire required participants to express their opinion on certain agricultural topics, such as immigration and the use of energy crops. These five questions were present ed in multiple choice and short answer format. The specific topics participants were asked to give an opinion on were influenced by the FFBFs desire for direct member opinions on current agricultural issues in an effort to set the policy agenda for the upcoming year and look for possible relationships between issue affiliations and policy process participat ion. Thirdly, through a series of four questions participants were asked to verify their current involvement with the FFBF policy implementation process and indicate their future willingness to participate. Within the same section, participants were asked to indicate whether they had ever used electronic correspondence for policy implementation. Questions pertaining to electronic correspondence were included at the request of the FFBF in an effort to evaluate the usability of the Federations email alert system. These questions included multiplechoice, short answer, and Likert type questions. Lastly, to obtain certain demographic information, participants were required to indicate the sections of the Florida agricultural industry in which they were engaged. The list of agricultural production industry sectors was recognized and defined by the FFBF and FDACS at the time of the study ( FFBF, 2009). The list included 30 industry sectors, giving the participant the ability to mark all that applied. How dependent is your operation on the employment of foreign born workers ? Not Dependent Not Very Dependent Somewhat Dependent Very Dependent 1 2 3 4 Figure 31 Sample Question from study instrument

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55 Considerations for validity and reliability were taken into account by the researcher to ensure the instrument measured the construct appropriately. Validity refers not only to the whether an instrument measures what was intended for measure but also to th e interpretation and meaning of the scores derived from the instrument (Ary et al., 2006, p. 243). Campbell and Stanley (1963), as cited by Ary, et al., ( 2006) identified four types of validity, which exist within research design. These types of validity are internal validity, statistical conclusion validity, construct validity, and external validity. Each of these types of validity must be accounted for in order for the instrument to be considered valid. Internal validity refers to whether the changes observed in the dependent variable were in fact caused by the independent variables rather than extraneous factors (Ary et al., 2006). Eight variables have been identified as potential challenges to internal validity, which threaten the strength of the res earch design. History, maturation, testing, instrumentation, statistical regression, selection, experimental mortality, and interactions among all these factors have been identified as potential threats and if left uncontrolled, may have an effect on a stu dys findings. Because the studys instrument was developed by a panel of experts within FFBF the major threat to internal validity was instrumentation. Instrumentation was controlled by administering a standardized questionnaire which was finalized and re mained unchanged throughout the course of the study after being reviewed by a panel of experts and industry professionals. Performing a census of active FFBF members prevented the researcher from having to consider history, maturation, testing, and mortali ty because the instrument was administered at a single time, rather than over a long period of time.

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56 Statistical conclusion validity refers to the validity of the inferences about the covariation between treatment and outcome (Ary et al., 2006, p. 291) Threats to this type of validity are due to the inappropriate application of statistics when analyzing data. Shadish, Cook, and Campbell (2002) included the following list as potential threats to statistical validity: low statistical power, violation of assumptions of statistical tests, unreliability of measures, range restrictions, extraneous variance, and inaccurate effect size estimates. The researcher controlled for these threats by consulting empirical and widely referenced literature with similar st udies to mimic the data analysis used, Statistical Methods for Social Sciences (Agresti, 2009), as well as a general knowledge of statistical tests and their appropriate uses. In order to measure psychological constructs such as intelligence, motivation, self concept, learning, personality, anxiety and so on, indicators, which measure those constructs, must be used (Ary, Jacobs, Razavieh, & Sorenson, 2006). Therefore, the construct must be valid. Specifically, construct validity encompasses the studys subjects, settings, and treatment (Ary et al.) For a study to be constructually valid, the inferences made in the study must coincide with th e instances represent (p. 313). C onstruct error was avoided by choosing a population directly involved with agricultural policy processes and with the study supported by the largest, most comprehensive general agricultural organization in the state of Fl orida (Florida Farm Bureau, 2009). The mode/setting of the methodology was chosen based on the participants familiarity with the medium. Lastly, the treatment was considered valid based on approval by a panel of experts and industry professionals.

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57 Exter nal validity is the ability to generalize to greater publics and add to the greater body of knowledge. Selectiontreatment interaction, setting treatment interaction, pretest treatment interaction, subject effects, experimenter effects and novelty effects are all threats to external validity (Ary, Jacobs, Razavieh, & Sorenson, 2006). The researcher accounted for threats to external validity by thoroughly explaining the setting and population to which the study was applied. Statistical testing was performed on the data to account for subject and novelty effects. Experimenter effect was not an issue in this study as there was no interaction between subject and researcher other than through mail. Lastly, suggestions for the application of the findings were only made to organizations with similar structures. Dillman, Smyth, and Christian (2009) identified four errors which, if left uncontrolled, could affect the integrity of the study. The first of the errors is coverage error, which results when not all members of the population have a nonzero chance of being included in the survey. Also, coverage error occurs when participants not included in the study are the same as those include (Dillman et al., 2009). The researcher combated coverage error by accessing the most up dated and comprehensive membership list the FFBF utilizes. The database was assumed to contain correct and accurate information, not include names of individuals not in the population, and not include multiple listings for the same person (Dillman et al., 2009). Sampling error is described by Dillman, Smyth, and Christian (2009) as the extent to which the precision of the survey estimates is limited because not every person in the population is sampled (p. 17). The researcher avoided this error by drawing a convenience sample of the entire active member population, though

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58 according to Dillman et al., sampling error occurs to some extent in all sample surveys. In addition, nonresponse error, as briefly discussed earlier in chapter three, results w hen individuals who fail to respond to a survey are different in some variable than those who participated. To combat nonresponse error, the research performed a comparison of early and late respondents. According to Dillman et al. (2009) minimizing nonr esponse error requires motivating the majority of people surveyed, with the goal of receiving questionnaires from participants of different sociodemographic groups or with other characteristics that may be important to the study ( 2009, p. 18). Using SPSS, no significant differences were found to exist between early and late respondents based on all demographics factors. Lastly, Dillman et al. (2009) described measurement error as a result of inaccurate responses due to poor wording of the questions, sur vey mode effects, or respondents behavior. Measurement error occurs because of the inability for the research to explain the meaning and design of the questionnaire to participants. In this study, the survey developers tested for measurement error by havi ng professionals at the FFBF review the piece Data Collection Once industry experts considered the instrument valid and reliable, names and addresses of the sample population through the Florida Farm Bureau membership database were gathered. After consi dering the known demographics of the sample populations and the desired delivery method of the FFBF, mail survey methodology was utilized Furthermore, according to Dillman et al. (2009), there is still a general consensus that responding via mail is more desirable than responding via the Internet. Availability to address lists, delivery of incentives and multiple follow ups, cost

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59 effectiveness, and ease of use where no sample frame exists justifies and make s relevant the use of mail and paper surveys (Dill man et al. 2009). Initial contact was made on May 12 15, 2008 to 21,000 active FFBF members when members were mailed the questionnaire. Personalized cover letters (Appendix A) were included, which Dillman et al. suggests helps to reduce nonresponse error (2009). Also, subjects were provided with a prestamped envelope to return the instrument rather than the use of business correspondence, which literature has shown to create a perception of value with the respondent (Dillman et al.). Subjects were g iven until July 31, 2008 to return the instrument. Questionnaires were filed at FFBF according to their date of return to distinguish early respondents from late respondents. To address nonresponse after data collection, a comparison of early respondents to late respondents was made as mentioned earlier in the chapter. At the conclusion of the data collection, 1757 (8.4%) of the active members responded, reaching saturation of the population sample at the 95% confidence interval (Dillman et al., 2009). Da ta Analysis To best analyze the data, the researcher utilized Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 16.0 for Windows. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data received. Because a convenience samples defined the respondents inferential statistics were used to make assumptions about the entire population sample. S tandard deviations ( ), means ( ), and frequencies ( f ) were used to measure potential interactions between the variables of interest in the study. Running standard deviations ( ), means ( ), and frequencies ( f ) sought to satisfy the first objective of this study, to determine the factors which motivate active members of the FFBF to

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60 participate in the policy development and implementation process. Additionally, to determine the perceptions of FFBF members as they relate to their personal ability to make an impact on FFBFs policy development efforts the second objective of the study, standard deviations ( ), means ( ), and frequencies ( f ) were used. A one way analys is of variance (ANOVA) was used t o d etermine the differences which exist among Farm Bureau members related to Farm Bureaus policy development efforts (objective three) as well as to determine differences which exist among FFBF members related to personal impact on FFBF policy development efforts (objective four). This test was run to measure the variability among the population based on different variables (Ary, Jacobs, Razavieh, & Sorenson, 2006). Further standard deviations ( ), means ( ), and frequenc ies ( f ) were used to d etermine the perceptions and concerns of FFBF active members on immigration and energy crop issues T he researcher relied again on a oneway analysis of variance (ANOVA) to determine the relationship between aptitude with electronic c orrespondence with Congressional members and participation in the policy process Lastly, Pearsons product moment correlation coefficient ( r) was used to determine the differences, which exist among Farm Bureau Members related to immigration, energy crop issues, electronic correspondence and electronic participation in the policy proce ss. Chapter Summary This chapter described the methods used to satisfy the research objectives of this study as described in chapter one. This chapter also discussed the population, described the instrument used to survey the population, detailed the procedure by which the data were collected, and reported the statistical tests used to analyze the collected

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61 data. The studys design was quantitative, using a descriptive survey methodology. The dependent variable in this study was participation in the policy process by active me mbers of the FFBF The observed independent variables were the effect of empowerment on the policy process, the specific factors affecting motivation for participation in the policy process, the perceptions and concerns of active members on immigration and energy crop issues, and the relationship between aptitude with electronic correspondence and participation in the policy process. Lastly, this chapter discussed the issues surrounding the validity and reliability of this study.

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62 CHAP T ER 4 RESULTS Ch apter one described the declining nature of civic engagement and the importance of active citizenry in proposing and setting policy for grassroots and nongovernmental organizations. Additionally, the initial chapter provided the background necessary for un derstanding the specific factors that motivate members of grassroots organizations to participate in the policy process. Chapter 1 identified the following objectives to aid in the guiding of this study: 1) determine the perceptions of Florida Farm Bureau members as they relate to the FFBFs organizational policy development efforts, 2) determine the perceptions of Florida Farm Bureau members as they relate to their personal ability to make an impact on the FFBFs policy development efforts, 3) determine di fferences which exist among Florida Farm Bureau members related to the FFBF s policy development efforts, 4) determine differences which exist among Florida Farm Bureau members related to their personal impact on the FFBFs policy development efforts, 5) d etermine the perceptions and concerns of Florida Farm Bureau active members on the reliance of foreign workers and energy crop issues, 6) d etermine the differences which exist among Florida Farm Bureau Members related to needs for foreign labor energy cro p issues, electronic correspondence and participation in the policy process and 7) determine the relationship between aptitude with electronic correspondence, dependence on foreign workers, and energy crop issues with parti cipation in the policy process. More so, C hapter 1 described the importance and purpose of this study. Finally, the chapter concluded by defining key terms, assumptions and limitations of the study.

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63 Chapter 2 presented an overview of the literature, addressing the theoretical and conceptual framewor ks of the study. Specifically, C hapter 2 discussed the roles of empowerment, motivation and social capital in motivating members to participate in the policy process. Chapter 2 did not reveal any previous studies which evaluated the factors motivating members of the FFBF to participate in the policy development and implementation process, thus furthering the need for this study. Chapter 3 described the methodology utilized in order to answer the research questions and objectives on which this study was founded. Furthermore, the chapter addressed the sample population, research design, instrument, data collection and data analysis procedures. The purpose of this quantitative study was to evaluate the factors motivating active Florida Farm Bureau members to participate in the policy process. This chapter presents the findings of the study beginning with a description of the population as well as the findings for each of the objectives. The population of this study consisted of 21,000 active FFBF members. At the conclusion of the data collection procedures outlined in chapter three, 1757 (8.36%) FFBF members responded, reaching saturation of the population sample according to Dillman et al. (2009). According to Dillman (2009), saturation occurs when an adequate number of the population frame has been r eached to provide an accurate representation of the whole. Demographics Active members of t he FFBF were analyzed based on the following demographics: member type, county, Florida Farm Bureau district, level of contribution, participant employment, prevalence of email, and industry affiliation.

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64 Member type Of the respondents, 45.8% ( n =804) w ere full time farmers, 51% ( n =896) were part time farmers, 2.8% ( n =50) were farm employees, and 0.3% ( n =5) were farm associates. No respondents reported being Mail List Only or Honorary members and 0.1% ( n =2) did not respond. Table 41 illustrates this inf ormation further. Table 4 1. F requencies and percentages of member type P Total Answered 1755 Full Time Farmer 804 45.8% 99.9% Part Time Farmer 896 51.0% Farm Employee 50 2.8% Farm Associate 5 0.3% Mail List Only 0 0 .0 % Honorary 0 0 .0 % County Based on the findings, no specific county was significantly more represented than another. Due to the amount of information provided, the four most represented counties and the four least re presented counties are included. The most represented counties boasted percentages such as 5.7% ( n =100) from Alachua County, 4.7% ( n =82) from Volusia County, 4.2% ( n =73) from Hillsborough County, as well as 4.2% ( n =73) from Marion County. The four least represented counties were as follows: 0.1% (n=1) from Gulf County, 0.1% (n=2) from Liberty County, 0.3% (n=6) from Collier, and 0.3% (n=5) from Pinellas County. Furthermore, counties with zero representation included: Charlotte, Citrus, Dixie, Franklin, Glades, Monroe, and St. Johns. For a breakdown of each county, see Table 4 2.

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65 Table 4 2. F requencies and percentages of counties P Total Answered 1755 Alachua 100 5.7% 99.9% Baker 19 1.1% Bay 15 0.9% Bradford 15 0.9% Brevard 25 1.4% Broward 28 1.6% Calhoun 9 0.5% Charlotte 0 0.0% Citrus 0 0.0% Clay 26 1.5% Collier 6 0.3% Columbia 43 2.5% Dade 52 3.0% Desoto 21 1.2% Dixie 0 0.0% Duval 25 1.4% Escambia 34 1.9% Flagler 4 0.2% Franklin 0 0.0% Gasden 18 1.0% Gilchrist 20 1.1% Glades 0 0.0% Gulf 1 0.1% Hamilton 20 1.1% Hardee 55 3.1% Hendry 26 1.5% Hernando 29 1.7% Highlands 42 2.4% Hillsborough 73 4.2% Holmes 26 1.5% Indian River 21 1.2% Jackson 30 1.7% Jefferson 27 1.5% Lafayette 24 1.4% Lake 37 2.1% Lee 20 1.1%

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66 Table 4 2. Continued Leon 15 0.9% Levy 25 1.4% Table 4 2. Continued Liberty 2 0.1% Madison 56 3.2% Manatee 31 1.8% Marion 73 4.2% Martin 14 0.8% Monroe 0 0.0% Nassau 30 1.7% Okalossa 16 0.9% Okeechobee 30 1.7% Orange 32 1.8% Osceola 17 1.0% Palm Beach 19 1.1% Pasco 34 1.9% Pinellas 5 0.3% Polk 64 3.6% Putnam 40 2.3% St. Johns 0 0.0% St. Lucie 16 0.9 % Santa Rosa 33 1.9 % Sarasota 12 0.7 % Seminole 17 1.0 % Sumter 48 2.7 % Suwannee 66 3.8 % Taylor 13 0.7 % Union 10 0.6 % Volusia 82 4.7 % Wakulla 4 0.2 % Walton 33 1.9 % Washington 15 0.9 % Western Palm Beach 12 0.7 % Farm Bureau District In regard to the respondents location, 12.1% ( n =213) resided in District 1 consisting of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Jackson, Washington,

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67 Bay, Calhoun, and Gulf counties; 13.8% ( n =242) were from District 2 consisting of Liberty, Gasden, Franklin, Wakulla, Leon, Jefferson, Taylor, Madison, Hamilton, Suwannee, and Lafeyette counties; 17.4% ( n =305) lived in District 3 consi sting of Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Clay, Duval, Putnam/St. Johns, Nassau, and Union counties; 12.9% ( n =226) were from District 4 consisting of Alachua, Dixie, Gilchrist, Flagler, Marion, Levy, Seminole, and Volusia counties. Additionally, 16.6% ( n =291) held property in District 5 consisting of Hernando, Citrus, Sumter, Lake, Pasco, Hillsborough, Polk, and Pinellas counties; 10.4% ( n =182) were from District 6 in the counties of Manatee, Hardee, Highlands, Sarasota, Desoto, Charlotte, and Lee; 8.8% ( n =154) w ere from District 7 consisting of Orange, Osceola, Brevard, Indian River, Okeechobee, St. Lucie and Martin counties. Lastly, 8.0 % ( n =141) resided in District 8 in the counties of Hendry, Glades, Palm Beach, Collier, Broward, Dade and Monroe. Table 43 offe rs an additional representation of this information. Table 4 3. F requencies and percentages of farm bureau districts P Total Answered 1755 District 1 213 12.1% 99.9% District 2 242 13.8% District 3 305 17.4% District 4 226 12.9% District 5 291 16.6% District 6 182 10.4% District 7 154 8.8% District 8 141 8.0% L evel of Contribution At the end of the questionnaire, respondents were given the option to donate to Florida Farm Bureaus Federal Political Action Campaign. As indicated by Table 44

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68 84.5% ( n =1485) of the respondents contributed zero, 8.5% ( n =150) contributed $25, 2.0% ( n =35) gave $50, 4.5% ( n =79) contributed $100, 0.2% ( n =3) gave $200, and 0.2% ( n =4) gave over $200 to the campaign. Table 4 4. F requencies and percentages of level of contribution P Total Answered $0 1485 84.5% 1755 $25 150 8.5% 99.9% $50 35 2.0% $100 79 4.5% $200 3 0.2% $201 and up 4 0.2% Type of Employment Additionally, 60.7% ( n =1066) of respondents reported being self employed in the agricultural industry. Respondents employed by another equaled 24.1% ( n =423), and 15.2% ( n =268) did not respond to the question. Table 45 describes the aforementioned information. Table 4 5. F requencies and percentages of participant employment P Total Answered 1489 Self Employed 1066 60.7% 84.7% Employed by another 423 24.1% Prevalence of E mail Based on the results, the researcher found that 36.3% (n =638) of respondents have an email account, while the majority of respondents, 63.6% ( n =1117) did not. Non respondents equaled 0.1% ( n =2). Table 46 illustrates this information. Table 4 6. F requencies and percentages of prevalence of e mail P Total Answered 1755 Has E mail Account 638 36.3% 99.9% No E mail Account 1117 63.6%

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69 Industry Affiliation Respondents were asked to indicate the sector of the agricultural industry with which they were affiliated; 99.9% ( n =1755) responded, while 0.1% ( n =2) did not indicate an industry affiliation. The top three sectors with which most res pondents indicated an affiliation with was beef cattle at 41.8% ( n =735), hay at 23.7% ( n =416) and forestry Table 4 7. F requencies and percentages of industry affiliation P Total Answered 1755 Apiary/Honey 55 3.2% 99.9% Aquaculture 37 2.1% Beef Cattle 735 41.8% Blueberries 78 4.4% Citrus 265 15.1% Cotton 31 1.8% Dairy 44 2.5% Horticulture 89 5.1% Equine 221 12.6% Forestry 385 21.9% Grains 65 3.7% Hay 416 23.7% Nuts 58 3.3% Organics 37 2.1% Other Fruits 54 3.1% Other Livestock 108 6.1% Peanuts 61 3.5% Potatoes 33 1.9% Poultry 68 3.9% Rice 5 0.3% Seafood 16 0.9% Turf grass 67 3.8% Strawberries 30 1.7% Sugarcane 30 1.7% Swine 30 1.7% Table 4 7. Continued Tobacco 5 0.3% Tomatoes 65 3.7% Vegetables 144 8.2% Watermelon 72 4.1% Other 196 11.2%

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70 representing 21.9% ( n =385) of the respondents. Meanwhile, the three sectors respondents were least involved with were tobacco at 0.3% ( n =5), rice also at 0.3% ( n =5) and seafood at 0.9% ( n =19). Table 47 provides a full list of industry affiliation information. Objective 1 Objective: Determine the perceptions of Florida Farm Bureau members as they relate to the FFBFs organizational policy development efforts. Table 4 8. Farm bureau members aw areness of the FFBF policy development process M SD Min Max Policy Awareness 2.29 0.96 1 4 Received E mail Alert 1.76 .42 1 2 Note : 1 = Not at all aware 1 = Yes 2 = Not very aware 2 = No 3 = Somewhat aware 4 = Very aware The variables selected for this objective included a respondents political awareness and whether or not they received a FBACT e mail alert. This objective determines the effectiveness of email as a communication medium and assesses respondents perceived impact on the FFBF policy development and implementation process. Respondents indicated being not very aware ( M =2.29, SD =0.96) of how FFBF develops policy. The data also indicated that respondents generally did not receive email alerts from Florida Farm Bureau ( M =1.76, SD =4.29). These scores are presented in Table 48. Objective 2 Objective: Determine the perceptions of Florida Farm Bureau members as those percept ions relate to respondents personal ability to make an impact on Florida Farm Bureaus policy development efforts.

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71 In order to determine Florida Farm Bureau Members perceptions as they relate to his/her ability to influence policy, three variables were evaluated. These variables included respondents willingness to contact elected officials, the impact they feel they have on the Florida Farm Bureau policy process, and whether or not participants responded to the FBACT email alert. Respondents indi cated being somewhat willing to contact elected officials on important issues ( M =3.02, SD =0.86). Also, respondents felt they had not much impact on the Florida Farm Bureau policy process ( M =2.39, SD =0.89). Lastly, the respondents tended to not respond to FB ACT e mail alerts ( M =1.83, SD =0.37). Table 49 further illustrates objective two. Table 4 9. FFBFs members personal ability to impact policy development efforts M SD Min Max Elected Officials 3.02 0.86 1 4 Policy Impact 2.39 0.89 1 4 Responded to E mail Alert 1.83 0.37 1 2 Note: 1 = Not at all willing 1 = No impact 1 = Yes 2 = Not very willing 2 = Not much impact 2 = No 3 = Somewhat willing 3 = Some impact 4 = Very willing 4 = A great deal of impact Objective 3 Objective: Determine differences, which exist among Florida Farm Bureau members, related to the FFBFs policy development efforts. A one way analysis of variance was used to determine the differences, which exist ed among Florida Farm Bureau mem ber demographics and Florida Farm Bureaus policy development efforts. Significant relationships existed with significance scores less than .05 at a 95% confidence interval. Such a relationship was found between respondents awareness of the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau and

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72 contribution levels ( F =12.685, p <.05). No significant relationship was found between receipt of FBACT email alerts and contribution levels ( F = .000, p>.05 ) Table 410 illustrates level of significance between the two variables. Table 4 10. O ne way analysis of variance between FFBFs policy development efforts and contributors df F Sig. Policy Awareness Between 1 12.685 .000 Within 1463 A significance level of .000 was found to exist between a respondents awareness of the policy process and the Florida Farm Bureau distri ct to which a respondent belonged ( F =17.820, p <.05). Receipt of the FBACT email alerts also proved to have a significant relationship with a respondents awareness of the policy awareness ( F =10.705, p <.05). These significance levels are reported in Table 411. A respondents member type also proved to be an indicator of their awareness of the policy development process ( F =3.654, p <.05) In addition, receipt of the FBACT eTable 4 12.O one way analysis of variance between FFBFs policy development efforts and member type df F Sig. Poli cy Awareness Between 8 3.654 .000 Within 1698 Received E mail Alert Between 8 3.152 .002 Within 1659 Table 4 11. O ne way analysis of variance between FFBFs policy development efforts and farm bureau district df F Sig. Policy Awareness Between 5 17.820 .000 Within 1702 Received E mail Alert Between 5 10.705 .000 Within 1663

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73 mail alert was proven to have a strong relationship with a respondents member type (full time or part time) ( F =3.152, p <.05) These figures are illustrated in Table 412. Given significance occurs at .05 or less for a 95% confidence internal, significant relationships for a respondents type of employment existed with his/her awareness of FFBFs policy development process ( F =13.364, p>.05), as well as if the respondent received the FBACT alert ( F =12.398, p>.05). These figures are show n in Table 413. Table 4 13. O ne way analysis of variance between FFBFs policy development efforts and participant employment df F Sig. Poli cy Awareness Between 3 13.364 .000 Within 1703 Received E mail Alert Between 3 12.398 .000 Within 1664 Lastly, the results showed significant relationships between where a respondent was from and their awareness of the Farm Bureau policy process ( F = 1.383, p <.05), as well as receipt of the FBACT email alert ( F =1.598, p <.05). This information is described in Table 414. Table 4 14. O ne way analysis of variance between FFBFs policy development efforts and county df F Sig. Poli cy Awareness Between 60 1.383 .029 Within 1646 Table 4 14. Continued Received E mail Alert Between 60 1.598 .003 Within 1607 Objective 4 Objective: Determine differences, which exist among Florida Farm Bureau members related to personal impact on FFBF policy development efforts.

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74 In order to assess the differences that exist among Florida Farm Bur eau members personal impact on Florida Farm Bureaus policy development efforts, a oneway a nalysis of variance was conducted This test identified relationships, if any, between Florida Farm Bureau members demographics and their impact on the policy process. After ANOVAs were calculated, the results indicated a significant relationship between a respondents willingness to contact their elected official and contribution levels ( F =7.909, p <.05). No significant relationships were found betw een contribution levels and a perceived impact on the policy development system ( F =2.619 p>.05), or response to the FBACT email alert ( F = 1.678 p>.05) This information is presented in Table 415. Table 4 15. O ne way analysis of variance between FFBF mem bers impact on policy development and contributor df F Sig. Elected Officials Between 1 7.909 .005 Within 1427 The Florida Farm Bureau district proved to have significant relationships with the perceived impact a respondent has on the Farm Bureau policy development process ( F =12.704, p <.05), the respondents willingness to contact elected officials ( F =5.788, p <.05) and finally, response to the FBACT email alert ( F =16.231, p <.05) See Table 416 for additional information. Table 4 16. O ne way analysis of variance between FFBF members impact on policy development and farm bureau district df F Sig. Poli cy Impact Between 5 12.704 .000 Within 1662 Elected Officials Between 5 5.788 .000 Within 1653 Responded to E mail Alert Between 5 16.231 .000 Within 1574

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75 Whether a respondent was classified as full time, part time, farm employee, farm associate, mail list only or honorary, significant relationships existed with whether or not participants responded to FBACT email alerts type ( F =4.006, p <.05), as indicated in Table 417. No significant relationships were found between member type and perceived impact on the policy process ( F =1.790, p>.05 ), or willingness to contact elected officials ( F =1.497, p>.05). Table 4 17. O ne way analysis of variance between FFBF me mbers impact on policy development and member type df F Sig. Responded to E mail Alert Between 8 4.006 .000 Within 1570 Whether or not a respondent was self employed proved to have significant relationships with a respondents perceived impact on the policy development process ( F =5.926, p<.05), as well as response to the FBACT email alert ( F =15.102, p <.05). No significant relationship existed between type of employment and willingness to contact elected officials ( F =0.744, p>.05). See Table 418 for further information. Table 4 18. O ne way analysis of variance between FFBF members impact on policy development and particip ant employment df F Sig. Poli cy Impact Between 3 5.926 .001 Within 1663 Responded to E mail Alert Between 3 15.102 .000 Within 1575 The county in which a respondent resided showed to only have a significant relationship with response to FBACT e mail alerts ( F =1.383, p<.05 ). No significant relationships existed between county of residence and a respondents perceived impact on the policy process ( F =1.031, p>.05 ), or willingness to contact elected officials ( F =1.019, p>.05). Table 419 pres ents this information further.

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76 Table 4 19. O ne way analysis of variance between FFBF members impact on policy development and county df F Sig. Responded to E mail Alert Between 60 1.383 .030 Within 1518 Objective 5 Objective: D etermine the perceptions and concerns of Florida Farm Bureau active members on their reliance for foreign workers and energy crop issues. In addition to measuring the perceptions Florida Farm Bureau members have toward the policy development process, respondents perc eptions concerning foreign workers and energy crops were measured. Respondents were asked to indicate their dependence on foreign workers and the results showed that respondents were not very dependent on immigrant workers ( M =1.73, SD =1.148). Furthermore, respondents were asked if they had experienced worker shortage in year previous to when the questionnaire was taken. High numbers of respondents reported not having worker shortages ( M =1.89, SD =0.323). Lastly, respondents were asked to indicate their wil lingness to shift production to an energy crop. The calculations show that respondents were not very willing to somewhat willing ( M =2.45, SD =1.040) to shift operation to an energy crop. See Table 420 for a presentation of this information. Table 4 20 FFBF member perceptions concerning foreign workers and energy c rops M SD Min Max Need for Foreign Workers 1.73 1.148 1 4 Willingness to Shift to Energy Crop 2.45 1.040 1 4 Worker Shortage 1.89 0.323 1 2 Note: 1 = Not at all dependent 1 = Not at all willing 1 = Yes 2 = Not very dependent 2 = Not very willing 2 = No 3 = Somewhat dependent 3 = Somewhat willing 4 = Very dependent 4 = Very willing

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77 Objective 6 Objective: D etermine the differences which exist among Florida Farm Bureau m embers related to needs for foreign labor energy crop issues, electronic correspondence and participation in the policy process When analyzing relationships between aptitude with electronic correspondence and foreign worker dependenc y with participation in the policy process, ANOVAs uncovered significant relationships between receipt of the FBACT email alerts and respondents awareness of the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau ( F = 188.340, p<.05), respondents perceived impact on the Farm Bureau policy process ( F =79.341 p<.05 ) and willingness to contact an elected official ( F = 72.821 p<.05). See Table 423 for a description of this information. Similarly, significant relationship were found between whether or not a respondent responded to the FBACT email alert and their awareness of the Florida Farm Bureau policy process ( F = 106.844, p<.05). Also, significance was found in the relationship between FBACT email alert response and the perceived impact a respondent felt he/she had the on Farm Bureau policy development process ( F = 49.327 p<.05), as well as their willingness to contact an elected official ( F = 49.765 p<.05). These relationships ar e illustrated in Table 424. Table 4 2 1 O ne way analysis of variance between participation in the policy process and receipt of the FBACT e mail alert df F Sig. Policy Awareness Between 1 188.340 .000 Within 1652 Policy Impact Between 1 79.341 .000 Within 1614 Elected Official Between 1 72.821 .000 Within 52.846

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78 Table 4 2 2 O ne way analysis of variance between participation in the policy process and response to FBACT email alert df F Sig. Policy Awareness Between 2 106.844 .000 Within 1564 Political Impact Between 2 49.327 .000 Within 1525 Elected Official Between 2 49.765 .000 Within 1529 ANOVAs were used to examine the relationship between participation in the policy process and reliance on foreign workers. Significant relationships were found between respondents reliance on foreign workers and their awareness of the policy process ( F = 17.138 p<.05), perceived impact on the Florida Farm Bureau policy development process ( F = 16.940, p<.05), and willingness to contact an elected official ( F = 6.447, p<.05). See Table 425 for an alternate representation of this information. Table 4 2 3 O ne way analysis of variance between participation in the policy process and reliance on foreign workers df F Sig. Policy Awareness Between 3 17.138 .000 Within 1651 Policy Impact Between 3 16.940 .000 Within 1612 Elected Official Between 3 6.447 .000 Within 1612 Significant relationships existed in a Florida farmers experience of worker shortages in the year previous to taking the questionnaire and their awareness of the FFBF policy process ( F =5.618, p<.05 ), as well as their perceived impact on the policy process at FFBF ( F =3.388, p<.05 ). Also, a mild relationship was seen between foreign worker shortage and willingness to contact elected officials ( F =2.895, p>.05 ).

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79 Table 4 2 4 O ne way analysis of variance between participation in the policy process and foreign worker shortage df F Sig. Policy Awareness Between 2 5.618 .004 Within 1595 Policy Impact Between 2 3.388 .034 Within 1560 Elected Official Between 2 2.895 .056 Within 1562 The willingness of respondents to shift farm production to an energy crop was tested against the various aspects of participation in the policy process. ANOVA calculations uncovered significant relationships with respondents willingness to shift to an energy crop and respondents awareness of the Florida Farm Bureau policy process ( F = 28.181 p<.05 ), perceived impact on the policy development process ( F = 33.686, p<.05), and lastly, their willingness to contact elected officials ( F = 44.004, p<.05 ). This information is presented further in Table 427. Table 4 2 5 O ne way analysis of variance between participation in the policy process and willingness to shift to an energy crop df F Sig. Policy Awareness Between 3 33.686 .000 Within 1525 Policy Impact Between 3 28.181 .000 Within 1490 Elected Official Between 3 44.004 .000 Within 1499 Objective 7 Objective: D etermine the relationship between aptitude with electronic correspondence, dependence on foreign workers, and energy crop issues with parti cipation in the policy process. Pearsons Product Moment Correlation Coefficient ( r ) was used to determine potential relationships between aptitude with electr onic correspondence, dependence

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80 on foreign workers, and energy crop issues with participation in the policy process. To better understand that data Miller (1998) suggests that values between 0 and 1 represent different interpretations in Table 428. Table 4 2 6 Millers correlation interpretation levels Level Coefficient Perfect r = 1.0 Very High r = 0 .99 0.70 Substantial r = 0 .69 0.50 Moderate r = 0.49 0.30 Low r =0.29 0.10 Negligible r = 0.09 0.01 Based on the calculations, no coefficients were found to be perfect. However, receipt of a FBACT email alert indicated a very high, positive correlation with response to FBACT e mail alert ( r =.757, p <.05, n =1669), with high numbers of received FBACT email alerts associated with high levels of FBA CT responses. This information is illustrated in Table 429. The next of Millers correlation interpretation levels included relationships with substantial coefficients, though none existed for the given data. Moderate relationships were found between a m embers awareness of the FFBF policy process and whether or not they had received an FBACT email alert ( r = .320, p <.05, n =1654), with high levels of policy development awareness associated with low levels of FBACT email alerts receipt. An active members awareness of the policy development process also indicated a moderate, negative relationship with response to an FBACT email alert ( r = .341, p <.05, n =1567), with high levels of policy development awareness associated with low response to FBACT email ale rts. Additionally, a moderate, positive relationship was found to exist between a respondents perceived impact on Florida Farm Bureaus policy process and their awareness of the policy development process ( r =.451, p <.05,

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81 n =1662), with high levels of perce ived impact associated with increased awareness of the policy development process. Lastly, a moderate, negative relationship was found to exist between the experience of worker shortages and the need to foreign labor ( r = .307, p <.05, n =1606), with higher i ncidents of worker shortage associated with lower dependence on foreign workers. For more information concerning this data, see Table 4 29. The interpretation level, according to Miller (1998) is low correlations. The first relationship indicated on the correlation matrix is the low, negative relationship between a respondents perceived impact on the policy development process and receipt of FBACT e mail alerts ( r = .216, p <.05, n =1616), with high levels of perceived impact on the policy process associate d with low receipt of FBACT email alerts. Perceived impact on the policy process also had a low, negative relationship with response to FBACT email alerts ( r = .244, p <.05, n =1528), with high levels of perceived impact on the policy development process as sociated with low response rates to FBACT email alerts. Next, the coefficients indicate a low, negative relationship between willingness to shift to an energy crop and receipt of FBACT email alerts ( r = .102, p <.05, n =1504), with a high willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop associated with low receipt of FBACT e mail alerts. The coefficients also indicated a low, negative relationship between willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop and response to FBACT e mail alert s ( r = .137, p <.05, n =1419), with a high willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop associated with low response rates to the FBACT email alerts. In contrast, a low, positive relationship was discovered between willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop and a respondents policy awareness ( r =.206,

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82 p <.05, n =1529), with a high willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop associated with high awareness of the policy development process. A low, positive relationship was also found between willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop and perceived impact on the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau ( r =.206, p <.05, n =1494), with a high willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop asso ciated with high levels of perceived impact on the policy development process. Table 429 provides an additional illustration of this information. Based on the correlation matrix, a low, negative relationship was found between a respondents reliance on f oreign workers and receipt of FBACT email alerts ( r = .173, p <.05, n =1624), with high needs for foreign labor associated with low receipt of FBACT e mail alerts. Similarly, a low, negative relationship existed between a respondents reliance on foreign wor kers and response of FBACT email alerts ( r = .183, p <.05, n =1539), with high needs for foreign labor associated with low responses to FBACT email alerts. The need for foreign labor showed a low, positive relationship with awareness of the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau ( r =.171, p <.05, n =1655), with high needs for foreign labor associated with high levels of awareness of the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau. The coefficients indicated another low, positive relationship between the need for foreign workers and perceived impact on the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau ( r =.172, p <.05, n =1616), with high needs for foreign labor associated with high levels of perceived impact on the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau. For more detail, see Table 429.

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83 A low, negative relationship existed between willingness to contact elected officials and receipt of an FBACT email alert ( r = .207, p <.05, n =1621), with high willingness to contact elected officials associated with low receipt of FBACT email alerts. The low, negative relationship was echoed in willingness to contact elected officials and response to a FBACT email alerts ( r = .247, p <.05, n =1532), with high willingness to contact elected officials ass ociated with low response to FBACT email alerts. The coefficients indicate a low, positive relationship between willingness to contact elected officials and awareness of the policy development process at the Florida Farm Bureau ( r =.289, p <.05, n =1645), wi th high willingness to contact elected officials associated with high awareness of the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau. Willingness to contact elected officials showed a low, positive relationship with perceived impact on the policy devel opment process at Florida Farm Bureau ( r =.256, p <.05, n =1609), with high willingness to contact elected officials associated with high levels of perceived impact on the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau. According to the correlation matrix, a low, positive relationship existed between willingness to contact an elected official and willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop ( r =.283, p <.05, n =1503), with high willingness to contact elected officials associated with high levels of willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop. Lastly, a low, positive relationship was found between willingness to contact elected officials and reliance of foreign labor ( r =.101, p <.05, n =1616), with high willingness to contact elected off icials associated with high needs for foreign labor. This information is also presented in Table 429.

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84 The last level used to indicate correlation strength is negligible. The first relationship indicated on the correlation matrix is a negligible, positive relationship between reliance on foreign labor and willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop ( r =.099, p <.05, n =1527), with high levels of reliance on foreign workers associated with high levels of willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop. A negligible, positive relationship also existed between experience of worker shortages and receipt of FBACT email alerts ( r =.074, p <.05, n =1569), with higher shortages of workers associated with higher receipts of FBACT email alerts. Ex perience of worker shortages also held a negligible, positive relationship with responses to FBACT email alerts ( r =.057, p <.05, n =1490), with higher shortages of workers associated with higher responses to FBACT e mail alerts. Negligible, negative relationship existed between experience of worker shortages and awareness of the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau ( r = .072, p <.05, n =1598), with high experiences of worker shortages associated with a low awareness of the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau. The coefficients also indicate a negligible, negative relationship between experience of worker shortage and perceived impact on the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau ( r = .039, p <.05, n =1563), with high experiences of worker shortages associated with a low perceived impact o= the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau. Next, a negligible, negative relationship was found between experience of worker shortages and willingness to shift farming operati ons to an energy crop ( r = .074, p <.05, n =1527), with high experiences of workers shortages with low levels of willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop. Lastly, willingness to contact an elected official showed a negligible, negative

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85 relati onship with experience of worker shortages ( r = .060, p <.05, n =1565), with a high willingness to contact an elected official associated with low experiences of worker shortages. See Table 429 below for an alternative representation of this information. Ta ble 4 2 7 P earson product moment correlations coefficient between aptitude with electronic correspondence, dependence on foreign labor, and energy crop issues with participation in the policy process Scale 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1. Received E mail Alert .757 ** .320 ** .216 ** .102 ** .173 ** .074 ** .207 ** 2. Responded to E mail Alert .757 ** .341 ** .244 ** .137 ** .183 ** .057 .247 ** Table 4 27. Continued 3. Policy Awareness .320 ** .341 ** .451 ** .206 ** .171 ** .072 ** .289 ** 4. Policy Impact .216 ** .244 ** .451 ** .206 ** .172 ** .039 .256 ** 5. Shift to Energy Crop .102 ** .137 ** .206 ** .206 ** .099 ** .074 ** .283 ** 6. Need for Foreign Workers .173 ** .183 ** .171 ** .172 ** .099 ** .307 ** .101 ** 7. Worker Shortage .074 ** .057 .072 ** .039 .074 ** .307 ** .060 8. Elected Official .207 ** .247 ** .289 ** .256 ** .283 ** .101 ** .060 Note: **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2 tailed) *. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2 tailed)

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86 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECCOMENDATIONS Introduction P urpose and Objectives The purpose of this research is to ascertain the specific factors, which motivate certain members of the FFBF (FFBF) to participate in the policy development and implementation process. Additionally, empowerment will be analyzed for its influence on member participation and potential to create sustainability. A secondary purpose of this study will be to understand the perceptions and concerns of active FFBF members regarding major agricultural issues in the state of Florida such as immigration and energy cr ops. In order to meet the purpose of this study, the following objectives were investigated: 1. Determine the perceptions of Florida Farm Bureau members as they relate to Farm Bureaus organizational policy development efforts. 2. Determine the perceptions of Fl orida Farm Bureau members as they relate to their personal ability to make an impact on Farm Bureaus policy development efforts. 3. Determine differences, which exist among Florida Farm Bureau members related to Florida Farm Bureaus policy development effor ts. 4. Determine differences, which exist among Florida Farm Bureau members related to personal impact on Florida Farm Bureau policy development efforts. 5. Determine the perceptions and concerns of Florida Farm Bureau active members on immigration and energy cr op issues. 6. D etermine the differences, which exist among Florida Farm Bureau Members related to needs for foreign labor energy crop issues, electronic correspondence and participation in the policy process 7. D etermine the relationship between aptitude with electronic correspondence, dependence on foreign workers, and energy crop issues with parti cipation in the policy process.

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87 Methodology This study used a quantitative research perspective for its methods. More specifically, the researcher utilized a descriptive survey design as described by Ary, Jacobs, and Razavieh (2002). The researcher utilized an industry developed mail based questionnaire that was administered to all active members of the FFBF ( n =21,000). The questionnaire was considered valid and reliable after review by an expert panel. The 2008 FFBF member directory served as the population frame. Duplicates, those not involved in agricultural and those once involved in agriculture that had deceased were removed from the master list. Responses were obtained from 1757 of the 21,000 active members for an overall response rate of 8.34%, reaching saturation of the population frame (Dillman et al., 2009). Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 17.0 for Windows was used to analyze the questionnaire data. The researcher calculated frequencies, mean scores, and oneway analysis of variance (ANOVA). Summary of Findings Demographics Demographic findings were reported on member type, county, Flori da Farm Bureau district, level of contribution, participant employment, prevalence of email, and industry affiliation. Findings for each demographic were reported individually. Member Type The majority of participants in this study were classified as part time farmers, 51.0% ( n =896) of the sample, meaning most the participants gain large portions of their income from sources other than their farming operation ( FFBF, 2009). Adversely, the

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88 group with the least amount of participants was the farm associate member type, representing only 0.3% of the population. Mail list only and honorary member types were not represented in the study. County The breadth of counties representing respondents was varied. The largest group represented in the study was Alachua County respondents, with 5.7% ( n =100) of the sample population. In contrast, the least represented counties were Gulf and Liberty, each with only 0.1% ( n =1, n =2, respectively) of the population sample. Additionally, some Florida counties obtained zero par ticipation including: Charlotte, Citrus, Dixie, Franklin, Glades, Monroe, and St. Johns Farm Bureau District As members of the FFBF respondents were automatically classified into Farm Bureau districts based upon their address. The most represented FFBF district was District 3, which obtained 17.4% ( n =305) of the population from the following counties: Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Clay, Duval, Putnam/St. J ohns, Nassau, and Union. The district with the least percentage of respondents was District 8, with only 8.0% ( n =141) of the population sample. Respondents belonging to District 8 were from Hendry, Glades, Palm Beach, Collier, Broward, Dade and Monroe counties. Level of Contribution The majority of respondents contributed little to nothing to the Florida Farm Bureaus Federal Political Action Campaign; 84.5% ( n =1485) of th e respondents contributed zero and 8.5% ( n =150) contributed $25.

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89 Type of Employment Of the 1489 respondents who reported their type of employment, 60.7 % ( n =1066) reported being self e mployed, while 24.1% ( n =423) indicated employment by another. Prevalence of E mail Based on the responses, the researcher found that 63.6% ( n =1117) of participants do not have an email account, while 36.3% (n =638) do have an email account. Finally, 0.1% ( n =2) chose not to report whether or not they had an email account. Industry Affiliation The top three agricultural sectors with which most respondents indicated an affiliation with were beef cattle with 41.8% ( n =735), hay with 23.7% ( n =416) and fores try representing 21.9% ( n =385) of the respondents. Meanwhile, the three sectors in which respondents were least involved were tobacco at 0.3% ( n =5), rice also at 0.3% ( n =5) and seafood at 0.9% ( n =19). Objective 1 Objective 1 sought to determine the perce ptions of FFBF members as those perceptions relation to FFBFs organizational policy development efforts. The variables chosen for this objective included a respondents awareness of FFBFs policy development efforts, as well as whether or not the respondent received the FBACT e mail alert. Respondents indicated being not very aware ( M =2.29, SD =0.96) of the FFBF policy development process on a scale of 1 to 4 (1=not at all aware, 2=not very aware, 3=somewhat aware and 4=very aware) Also, generally did not receive FBAC T e mail alerts ( M =1.76, SD =4.29) with 1=yes, 2=no.

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90 Objective 2 The second objective sought to determine the perceptions of Florida Farm Bureau members as those perceptions related to respondents personal ability to make an impact on Florida Farm Bureaus policy development efforts. This objective was accomplished through an examination of three variables including the following: respondents willingness to contact elected officials, the impact respondents feel they have on FFBFs policy development process, and whether or not participants responded to FFBFs FBACT e mail alerts. Respondents willingness to contact elected officials was rated on a Likert type scale with a minimum of 1 and maximum of 4 (1=not at all willing, 2=not very willing, 3=somewhat willing, and 4=very willing). Respondents indicated being somewhat willing to contact elected officials ( M =3.02, SD =0.86). Perceived impact on the Florida Farm Bureau policy development process was scaled 1 to 4 (1=no impact, 2=not much impact, 3=some impact, 4=A great deal of impact) and respondents felt they had not much impact on FFBFs policy development efforts ( M =2.39, SD =0.89) Lastly, respondents indicated that they did not respond to FBACT e mail alerts ( M =1.83, SD =0.37), using 1=yes, 2=no. Objective 3 This objective sought to determine the differences, which existed among active members of the FFBF related to FFBFs policy development efforts. Using an ANOVA, significant relationships were found to exist between respondents awareness of F FBFs policy development process and contribution levels ( F =12.685, p <.05). Awareness of FFBF policy processes also showed significant relationships with Farm Bureau districts ( F =17.820, p<.05 ), member type ( F =3.654, p<.05 ), type of employment ( F =13,354, p <.05 ), and county ( F =1.383, p<.05).

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91 Significant relationships were also found between respondents receipt of the FBACT e mail alert and the Florida Farm Bureau district in which a respondent resides ( F =10.705, p<.05 ) Farm Bureau member type ( F =3.152, p<.05), type of employment ( F =12.398, p<.05 ), and county of residence ( F =1.598, p<.05 ). However, no significant relationships existed between receipt of FBACT email alerts and contribution levels ( F =.000, p =>.05) Objective 4 Objective 4 sought to det ermine, the differences, if any, which existed among Florida Farm Bureau active members, related to the members personal impact on FFBFs policy development efforts. Using an ANOVA, significant relationships were found between a respondents belief that he/she impact FFBFs policy development process and their Farm Bureau District, ( F =12.704, p<.05), as well as type of employment ( F =5.926, p<.05) In contrast, no significant relationships existed between perceived impact and contribution levels ( F =2.619 p > .05), member type ( F =1.790, p >.05), and the county in which a respondent resided ( F =1.031, p >.05). Differences were also found to exist in respondents willingness to contact elected officials and contribution level ( F =7.909, p<.05 ), as well as Farm Bureau district ( F =5.788, p<.05). The calculations did not indicate significant differences between respondents willingness to contact elected officials and member type ( F =1.497, p >.05), type of employment ( F =0.744, p >.05), and county of residence ( F =1.019, p >.05). Finally, significant relationships were found to exist between a participants response to a FBACT email alert and several variables. First, FBACT email alert response was found to have a significant relationship with the Farm Bureau district to which a respondent belonged ( F =16.231, p<.05), as well as a participants member type

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92 ( F =4.006, p<.05), type of employment ( F =15.102, p<.05 ), and county ( F =.383, p<.05). No significant relationships were found between response to FBACT email alerts and contribution level ( F = 1.678, p >.05) Objective 5 The fifth objective sought to determine the perceptions and concerns of FFBF active members concerning their reliance on foreign workers and energy crop issues. Respondents indicated their dependency on for eign workers on a scale of minimum 1 to maximum 4 (1=not at all dependent, 2=not very dependent, 3=somewhat dependent and 4=very dependent). The results show that active members in FFBF were not very dependent on immigrant workers ( M =1.73, SD =1.14). Respondents were also asked to indicate worker shortages in the year previous to when the questionnaire was taken, in a yes/no format. Generally, respondents indicated that they had not experienced worker shortages in the past year ( M =1.89, SD =0.32), with 1=yes, 2=no. Furthermore, respondents were evaluated on their willingness to shift a farming operation to an energy crop. Using a Likert type scale with 1=not at all willing, 2=not very willing, 3=somewhat willing, and 4=very willing, the results showed that r espondents were not very willing to somewhat willing to shift operation to an energy crop ( M =2.45, SD =1.04). Objective 6 This objective d etermined the differences that exist ed among Florida Farm Bureau Members related to needs for foreign labor energy crop issues, electronic correspondence and participation in the policy process Significant relationships were found to exist between receipt of the FBACT email alert and respondents awareness of the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau ( F = 188.340, p<.05),

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93 respondents perceived impact on the Farm Bureau policy process ( F =79.341 p<.05 ) and willingness to contact an elected official ( F = 72.821, p<.05). Also, significant relationships were found to exist between response/nonresponse to FBACT e mail alerts and respondents awareness of FFBFs policy development process ( F = 106.844, p<.05), as well as respondents perceived impact on the Farm Bureau policy development process ( F = 49.327, p<.05), and their willingness to contact an elected of ficial ( F = 49.765, p<.05 ). Respondents reliance on foreign workers for their farming operations proved to have significant relationships with respondents awareness of the FFBF policy process ( F = 17.138 p<.05 ), respondents perceived impact on the Florida Farm Bureau policy development process ( F = 16.940, p<.05), and their willingness to contact an elected official ( F = 6.447, p<.05 ). Lastly, relationships between respondents willingness to switch operations to energy crops was found to have significant rel ationships with respondents awareness of the Florida Farm Bureau policy process ( F = 28.181 p<.05 ), perceived impact on the policy development process ( F = 33.686, p<.05), and lastly, their willingness to contact elected officials ( F = 44.004, p<.05 ). Objecti ve 7 The seventh objective d etermines the relationship between aptitude with electronic correspondence, dependence on foreign workers, and energy crop issues with participation in the policy process. Using Pearsons Product Moment Correlation Coefficient, relationships were found between the examined variables. A very high, positive correlation existed between receipt of a FBACT email alert and response to FBACT e mail alert ( r =.757, p <.05, n =1669). No substantial level correlations were indicated by the data. Moderate level relationships with positive coefficients was found

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94 between a respondents perceived impact on Florida Farm Bureaus policy process and their awareness of the policy development process ( r =.451, p <.05, n =1662). Moderate, negative relati onships included: a members awareness of the FFBF policy process and whether or not they had received an FBACT email alert ( r = .320, p <.05, n =1654), an active members awareness of the policy development process with response to an FBACT e mail alert ( r = .341, p <.05, n =1567), and the experience of worker shortages and the need to foreign labor ( r = .307, p <.05, n =1606). The next level of interpretation found in the correlation matrix was low. Correlations with low, positive relationships included: willing ness to shift farming operations to an energy crop and a respondents policy awareness ( r =.206, p <.05, n =1529), willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop and perceived impact on the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau ( r =.206, p <.05, n =1494), the need for foreign labor and awareness of the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau ( r =.171, p <.05, n =1655), the need for foreign workers and perceived impact on the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau ( r =.172, p <.05, n =1616), willingness to contact elected officials and awareness of the policy development process at the Florida Farm Bureau ( r =.289, p <.05 n =1645), perceived impact on the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau ( r =.256, p <.05 n =1609) willingness to contact an elected official and willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop ( r =.283, p <.05 n =1503), and lastly, willingness to contact elected officials and reliance of foreign labor ( r =.101, p <.0 5, n =1616). Low, negative relationships also existed and are as follows: a respondents perceived impact on the policy development process and receipt of FBACT email alerts

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95 ( r = .216, p <.05, n =1616), Perceived impact on the policy process also had a low, negative relationship with response to FBACT email alerts ( r = .244, p <.05, n =1528), willingness to shift to an energy crop and receipt of FBACT email alerts ( r = .102, p <.05, n =1504), willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop and response to FBACT e mail alerts ( r = .137, p <.05, n =1419), reliance on foreign workers and receipt of FBACT e mail alerts ( r = .173, p <.05, n =1624), respondents reliance on foreign workers and response of FBACT email alerts ( r = .183, p <.05, n =1539), willingness to contact elected officials and receipt of an FBACT email alert ( r = .207, p <.05, n =1621), and lastly, willingness to contact elected officials and response to a FBACT email alerts ( r = .247, p <.05, n =1532). The last level of interpretation indicated in the correlation matrix was neg ligible relationships. Of those negligible relationships, those which were positive are as follows: reliance on foreign labor and willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop ( r =.099, p <.05, n =1527), experience of worker shortages and receipt of FBACT e mail alerts ( r =.074, p <.05, n =1569), and lastly, experience of worker shortages with responses to FBACT e mail alerts ( r =.057, p <.05, n =1490,). Negligible, negative relationships were also indicated in the calculations and follow: experience of worker shortages and awareness of the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau ( r = .072, p <.05, n =1598), experience of worker shortage and perceived impact on the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau ( r = .039, p <.05, n =1563), experience of worker shortages and willingness to shift farming operations to an energy crop ( r = .074, p <.05, n =1527,), and lastly, willingness to contact an elected official with experience of worker shortages ( r = .060, p <.05, n =1565).

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96 Conclusions Based on the breadth and variety of the population sample ( n =21,000), along with the FFBFs service as an umbrella organization for all Florida agricultural sectors allows the findings to be generalizable to all members of the FFBF ( n =140,000), farmers in the s tate of Florida and states with similar Farm Bureau organizations. 1. FFBF members are mildly aware of the Florida Farm Bureau policy development process. 2. Electronic correspondence is not an effective medium for transmitting messages dealing with policy iss ues to active members. 3. FFBF members are willing to contact their elected officials on issues that are important to them. 4. Differences exist between an active members location and their willingness to use email to contact elected officials and FFBFs pol icy development process. 5. Differences exist between FFBF members who contribute to Florida Farm Bureau campaigns and those who contact elected officials. 6. Immigration reform is not a top issue for FFBF members 7. FFBF members are not committed to implementing energy crops into their farming operations. 8. E mail is an effect medium for communication with elected officials for those already utilizing the benefits of email. 9. Those aware of the policy development process feel they are impacting the process. 10. FFBF members willing to contact their elected officials are not receiving or responding to FBACT email alerts. 11. FFBF members willing to contact elected officials are more aware and perceive to have an impact on the policy development process at Florida Farm B ureau. 12. FFBF members willing to shift farming operations to energy crops and those reliant on foreign labor are more aware and perceive to have an impact on the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau.

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97 Discussions and Implications Florida farmers are mildly aware of the Florida Farm Bureau policy development process. The data indicated a mean of 2.29 for farmer awareness of the Florida Farm Bureau policy development process, indicating they are not very aware. This follows the literature that suggests Americans are becoming less engaged in politics ( Theiss Morse & Hibbing, 2005 ; Putnam, 1995) and only express interest when issues are specific to the individual, explaining the low level of awareness necessary to stay engaged when issues of impor tance arise. Also, the vehicle for communicating policy issues in Florida Farm Bureau is missing large numbers of members, resulting in a lack of awareness from the majority of members. Lastly, a lack of disposable time due to farming obligations is charac teristic of the sample population and a reason for low civic engagement according to Putnam (1998). Electronic correspondence was found to be under utilized by Florida farmers to transmit messages to elected officials. A mean of 1.83 indicated that Flori da farmers are not responding to FBACT email alerts concerning policy issues. These farmers do not have email accounts and are unlikely to adopt the technology being resistant to change. These types of farmers value postal mail, telephone, and in person contact with elected officials, believing technological communication to be impersonal and ineffective (Putnam, 1995, 1998). Also, efficient forms of electronic correspondence are questionable in farming areas, forcing electronic correspondence with elected officials to be purposeful and timely. Lastly, the mode in which the questionnaire was sent and received, postal mail, indicates a comfort with certain communication mediums. Florida farmers are willing to contact elected officials on issues important to them. A mean of 3.02 indicated that Florida farmers are somewhat willing to contact

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98 elected officials on issues important to them. This explains Florida farmers mild awareness of the policy process for purposes of becoming involved when issues are personal to the individual or industry sector. Vrooms Expectancy Theory of Motivation (1964) explains that decisionmakers have greater motivation for a specific choice, in this c ase to contact an elected official or not, when the valancey of the decision is greater. Valancey refers to the positive or negative outcome of a decision. These farmers only contact elected officials when the option of remaining quite is more detrimental to their livelihoods than communicating. Differences were found between an active members location and their willingness to use email to contact elected officials and FFBFs policy development process. These differences were found significant at the p < .05, 95% confidence interval. Location plays a role in a farmers access to reliable Internet needed to use email to contact elected officials and stay abreast on policy issues that are communicated via the Web. Some counties/districts in Florida still rely on dial up Internet connections explaining why location affects a farmers willingness to communicate via email. Local Farm Bureau offices also differ greatly by county and Farm Bureau district, which have an influence on the interests of local members Certain Farm Bureau offices stress to its members the importance of involvement in the policy process while others do not. Lastly, due to the diversity of Florida agriculture certain policy issues only affect certain sectors of the agriculture industry and at varying levels of intensity. Those reporting involvement in the policy process and willingness to contact elected officials on important issues are currently facing policy dilemmas affecting their livelihoods. Those

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99 reporting low involvement in the p olicy process are from sectors of the industry that are not facing major policy dilemmas but will become involved when those dilemmas occur. Significant differences were found between contribution levels of Florida Farm Bureau members and their willingness to contact elected officials on issues important to them. Farmers who contribute view their contribution as involvement in the policy process (Zimmerman & Rappaport, 1988) thus encouraging further participation by contacting elected officials. According to Portes (1998), these individuals express high levels of social capital, which is motivator for further participation as self efficacy and empowerment are formed. Immigration reform is not a top issue for Florida farmers. The mean of reliance on foreign workers ( M =1.73, SD =1.14) was not very dependent and farmers indicated not experiencing workers shortages in the year previous to taking the questionnaire, July 2007 to July 2008 ( M =1.89, SD =0.32). The economic downturn has allowed farmers to become less reliant on foreign workers due to the availability of local labor. Also, increased technology and innovation has resulted in a decrease in the need for human labor overall. Healthcare and unemployment have put immigration policy reform on hold and farmers are focusing efforts on protecting their industry and keeping their operations going. Florida farmers are not committed to implementing energy crops into their farming operations. The data indicated that farmers are not very willing to somewhat willing to shift production to an energy crop ( M =2.45, SD =1.04). These farmers are aware of the benefits of sustainable farming but have yet to find the necessary incentives to become fully committed. The mean represents a cros s section of early

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100 adopters, late adopters, and laggards (Rogers, 2003). The early adopters are those utilizing e mail as a tool to correspond with elected officials and stay abreast to policy issues and education. Early adopters understand the financial a nd sustainable benefits of energy crop production. The late adopters are receiving the FBACT email alerts but find the greatest value in traditional forms of communication. They are becoming involved in energy crops based upon the financial incentives provided. Finally, the laggards realize that email technology exists to communicate with elected officials but arent yet willing to let go of their current methods for communication. Laggards feel pressured by regulations and neighboring farms to accept energy crops but enjoy the economic incentives provided. As economic incentives increase to support energy crops, more farmers will become willing to participate. Lastly, the definition of energy crops is wide and varied. Many of the farmers are practicing energy crop and sustainable farming by definition but do not consider having such science due to preconceived ideas of the terms. For those already utilizing the FBACT email alert system, the technology has proven to be an effective medium of communication to farmers and to elected officials. These farmers value the ease and accessibility of communicating electronically. They are empowered and motivated through affiliation, power, and achievement with the FFBF, which McCelland (1987) consider being drivers of motivation. These farmers view the electronic correspondence as privileged access to resources only provided to members of the organization, a form of social capital (Portes, 1998). These feelings and beliefs create political and self efficacy which in creases participation in the policy process ( Leighly, 1991).

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101 Those aware of the policy development and implementation process at Florida Farm Bureau also feel they are impacting the process. These farmers feel empowered through their participation in the policy process by being involved in the decisionmaking process affecting their communities (Zimmerman & Rappaport, 1988). These feelings of empowerment motivate them to continue participation and create trust in the organization (Leighly, 1991). According to March and Olsen (1995) these farmers are creating a political identity through their involvement. These farmers are current on issues facing their specific agricultural sector but have some awareness of issues facing other sectors of industry. Florida farmers become more and less aware of policy development at Florida Farm Bureau as issues personally affecting their sector come and go. Florida farmers willing to contact their elected officials are not receiving or responding to FBACT email alerts. These farmers understand the need and importance of civic engagement but need alternate routes for communicating with elected officials. These individuals are late adopters or laggards that are weary of the impact of electronic correspondence; unsure it has t he same as traditional forms of interaction with elected officials. These farmers attend local candidates forums, campaign rallies, write lette rs, make phone calls and even visit congressional offices. This type of farmer is knowledgeable of the issues affecting his or her commodities and has very strong opinions concerning the issues. Lastly, this farmer is very well connected with farmers similar to themselves. Florida farmers willing to contact elected officials are more aware and perceive to have an impact on the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau. These

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102 farmers experience political and self efficacy through their involvement in the policy process (Zimmerman & Rappaport 1988). Farmers experiencing political or self efficacy will continue to stay involved, explaining their willingness to contact elected officials (Zimmerman & Rappaport 1988) The feelings of achievement, affil iation, and empowerment act as a catalyst for additional participation ( McClelland, 1987; Zimmerman & Rappaport 1988) These farmers are highly aware of the policy issues facing their industry sectors and are connected with other farmers of the same commo dities. These farmers are opinion leaders and change agents in their communities and industry sectors. Florida farmers willing to shift farming operations to energy crops and those reliant on foreign labor are more aware and perceive to have an impact on the policy development process at Florida Farm Bureau. These farmers are knowledgeable of policies concerning energy crops, understanding the income potential available and the environmental benefits/risks associated with adoption. These farmers seek to c apitalize on government incentives and programs providing funding to innovative sustainability practices on the farm. Also, these farmers identify themselves as sustainable despite the amount of sustainability practices occurring on their operation. These farmers have the capital to invest in energy crops and have large operations, making them reliant on foreign labor. Negative perceptions of large farms portrayed in the media motivate these farmers to stay current on policy issues. They view Florida Farm B ureau as a liaison between the agricultural community and government, and view FFBF as a representative of agriculture to the media. Lastly, these farmers are highly connected

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103 within their industry sector and community and will often inform Florida Farm Bureau of issues and happenings in local communities affecting the agricultural industry. National Research Agenda The conclusions, discussions, implications, and recommendations can all be linked back to The National Research Agenda: Agricultural Educatio n and Communication 20072010. Specifically this study aids in the following research priority areas (RPA): RPA 1: Enhance decision making within agricultural sectors of society. Discovering information that various stakeholders need in order to make info rmed decisions. RPA 2: Within and among societies, aid the public in effectively participating in public decisionmaking about high priority agricultural issues. Identifying, assimilating, disseminating, formatting and evaluating relevant information tha t facilitates public decision making about high priority agricultural issues. RPA 3: Build competitive societal knowledge and intellectual capabilities Understanding how information and media delivery affect thinking processes, problem solving, and decis ion making related to agriculture RPA 4: Engage citizens in community action t hrough leadership education and development. Identify the strategies that successful leaders use to enhance citizen engagement in community issues and programs. Examine the processes by which youth and adults become effective citizen leaders. Recommendations Recommendations for practice and future research are provided as a result of ascertaining the factors that motivate members of the FFBF to participate in the policy process.

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104 Recommendations for Practice Organizations with established memberships should survey their members in order to assess the major issues facing specific industry sectors. An analysis of preferred communication modes is needed to effectively transmit message to FFBF members. Organizations should offer multiple communication mediums to transmit policy messages. Organizations should find ways to incentivize participation from all sectors of membership so to provide diverse thinking and representation on policy issues. Florida agricultural organizations should strive to address policy issues that affect large numbers of it membership. Organizations should provide diverse methods and experiences for its members to contact elect officials. Organizations with inactive counties/districts/areas should offer training and support to local offices on methods and incentives for encouraging participation in nonparticipatory areas. Organizations involved in policy development should provide education concerning the importance for civic engagement. Mini workshops or education materials should be provided on how to utilize the FBACT e mail alerts and their effectiveness in sending a message to elected officials. Examine the impact o f leadership at county Farm Bureau offices on the policy development and implementation level at the state Farm Bureau level. Recommendations for Future Research Research should be conducted to understand the diffusion of email technologies in Florida Farmers to identify opinion leaders and change agents. A qualitative study should be conducted to uncover the level of trust Florida Farms have in regards to utilizing Florida Farm Bureau to receive and send policy information. Research to understand Florida farmers definition, perceptions, and adoption of energy crops and sustainable farming is needed to set policy initiatives representative of Florida farmers and to ensure the longevity of farming in the state of Florida.

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105 Further research should be conducted to understand Florida farmers shift away from foreign labor. To understand the specific policy issues affecting cross sections of the agricultural industry, further research should be conducted to gain more diverse participation in the policy process A more in depth study assessing the demographics of Florida farmers in necessary to target groups of the farming community that may be underrepresented or nonexistent in the policy process. Further research is needed to investigate the relationship bet ween FFBF members who responded and those who did not respond. An examination of the publics knowledge concerning state and federal policy development is needed to apply the studys research more broadly. Further research is needed to uncover potential social filters concerning perceptions about immigration and other socially sensitive issues. Summary The start of C hapter 5 began with a review of the purposes and objectives of this study. Summaries of the findings presented in C hapter 4 were the next section o f the chapter. Using data from C hapter 4, conclusions were drawn and presented following the summaries. A discussion of the conclusions and comparison to previous literature was also included. These conclusions were discussed in the contact of the National Research Agenda for Agriculture Education and Communication. Lastly, recommendations for practice and research were included.

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106 APPENDIX A FLORIDA FARM BUREAU FEDERAL POLICY SURVEY COVER LETTER

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107 A PPENDIX B 2008 FLORIDA FARM BUREAU FEDERAL POLICY SURVEY FRONT

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108 APPENDIX C 2008 FLORIDA FARM BUREAU FEDERAL POLICY SURVEY BACK

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109 LIST OF REFERENCES Agresti, A. & Finlay, B. (1997). Statistical methods for the social sciences (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. American Farm Bureau Federation. (2009). We are Farm Bureau. Retrieved June 12, 2009, from http://www.fb.org/index.php?fuseaction=about.home Annual Review UCLA Higher Education Research Institute. (2004) The American Freshman: National Norms for Fall 2003, released January 26, 2004. Ary, D., Jacobs, L., Razavieh, A. & Sorenson, C. (2006) Introduction to Research in Education. Belmont, CA. Thomson Higher Education. Barling, J. (1977). A critical review of the application of Maslows motivation theory in industry. Perspectives in Industrial Psychology Basford, A. (2008). Food/feed vs fuel Retrieved June 12, 2009, from http://floridafarmbureau.org/briefs/08052008_1. Blau, P.M. (1964). Exchange and Power in Social Life. New York Wiley. Bowler, S., & Karp, J.A. (2004). Politicians, scandals and trust in government. Political Behavior, 26( 3). Brehm, J., & Rahn, W. (1997). Individual level evidence for the causes and consequences of social capital. American Journal of Political Science, 41(3). Chambers, S. (1996). Reasonable democracy: Jurgen Habermas and the politics of discourse. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Coleman, J.S. (1988). Social capital in the creation of human capital. American Journal of Sociology, 94 Coleman, J.S. (1990). Foundations of Social Theory. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Coleman, J.S. (1994). A national choice perspective on economic sociology In Handbook of Economic Sociology, ed. NJ Smelser, R Swedberg, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press Culp, K. & Schwartz, V. (1999). Motivating Adult 4 H Leaders. Journal of Extension. (37) 1. de Weerd, M., Gemmeke, M., Rigter, J., & van Rij, C. (2005). Indicators for monitoring active citizenship and citizenship Education. Regioplan. 1261 (d). Dillman, D., Smyth, J., & Christian, L. M. (2009) Internet mail and mixedmode surveys: the tailored design method. Hoboken, N.J. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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110 Egerton, Muriel. (2002). Higher education and civic engagement. British Journal of Sociology 23(4). Elster, J. (1998). Intro duction. In Deliberative Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Fitz enz, J. (2001). The ROI of Human Capital: Measuring the Economic Value of Employee Performance. New York: AMACON. Florida Farm Bureau Federation. (2009). Constitution and Bylaws (1st ed). Gainesville, Fl. Fukuyama, F. (1995). Trust: The social virtues and creation of prosperity. New York The Free Press Habermas, J. (1975). Legitimation Crisis Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Hackman, J. R., & Lawler, E., III (19 71). Employee reactions to job characteristics. Journal of Applied Psychology Monograph, 55, 259 285. Homans, G.G. (1961). Social Behavior: Its Elementary Forms. New York: Harcourt Brace & World Harper, C. (1997). Using Grassroots Experience to Inform Macro Level Policy: A NGO Perspective. Journal of International Development. 9(5). Hermansen, J.E., Noe, E. & Halberg, N. (n.d.) Exploring the multifunctional role of farming systems Research Centre Foulum. Issac, R.G., Zerbe, W.J. & Pitt, D.C. (2001). Lea dership and motivation: The effective application of expectancy theory. Journal of Managerial Issues, 13(2). Jones, B.T., Corbin, W. & Fromme, K. (2001). A review of expectancy theory and alcohol consumption. Addiction, 96(1). Kahne, J., Chi, C., & Middaug h, E. (2006). Building social capital for civic and political engagement: The potential of high school civic courses. Canadian Journal of Education, 29(2). King, C.S., Feltey, K.M., & Susel, B.O. (1998). The question of participation: Toward authentic publ ic participation in public administration. Public Administration Review 58(4). Knack, S. (2002). Social capital and the quality of the government: Evidence from the states. American Journal of Political Science Lawler, E.E. & Suttle, J.L. (1973). Expectancy theory and job behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 9(3).

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111 Leighly, J. (1991). Participation as a stimulus of political conceptualization. Journal of Politics 53(1). Maehr, M., & Braskamp, L. (1986). The motivation factor Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. Marx, K. & Engels, F. (1947) [1848]. The German Ideology. New York: International Marx, K. (1967) [1894]. Capital, Vol. 3. New York: International Mathews, C. (2010). Volunteer leadership in the U.S. beef industry Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Florida, Gainesville. Maslow, A. H. (1965). Eupsychian Management A Journal Homewood, IL: Richard D. Irwin Publishing. McClelland, D. (1987). Human motivation. West Nyack, NY. Cambridge University Press. Miller, V. (1994). NGO and Grassroots Policy Influence: What is Success? IDR Report. Washington, D.C. Just Associates. Millette, V. & Gagne, M. (2008). Designing volunteers tasks to maximize motivation, satisfaction and performance: The impact of job characteristics on volunteer engagement. Motivation and Emotion, (32) 1. Montana, P.J., & Charnov, B.H. (2008). Management 4th Ed Hauppauge, NY: Barrons Educational Series, Inc. Patterson, T.E. (2003). The vanishing voter: Public involvement in an age of uncertainty Trade Paperback. Pearce, J. (1993). Volunteers: The organizational behavior of unpaid workers New York, NY: Routledge. Platt, M.B. (2008). Participation for what? A policy motivated approach to political activism. Political Behavior Portes, A (1998). Social capital: Its origins and applications in modern sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 24(1). Putnam, R. (1993). Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy Princeton, NJ. Princeton University Press. Putnam, R. (1995). Tuning in, tuning out: The strange disappearance of social capital in America. PS: Political Science and Politics, 28 (4). Putnam, R. (1998). The Strange Disappearance of Civic America. The American Prospect, (24)

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112 Sanders, H. (1966). The Cooperative Extension S ervice New Jersey: Prentice Hall Sanders, T. & R. Putnam. (2006). Social Capital and Civic Engagement of Individuals Over Age Fifty in the United States. Civic Engagement and the Baby Boomer Generation. Hawthorne, NJ: Hawthorne Press Inc. (2006). Schiff, M. (1992). Social capital, labor mobility, and welfare. Ration (4) Shah, K., & Shah, P.J. (n.d.) Theories of Motivation. Retrieved July 14, 2009, from http://www.laynetworks.com/Theories of Motivation.html Simmel, G. (1964) [1902]. The metropolis and ment al life. In Sociology of Georg Simmel, ed. transl. K.H. Wolff. New York: Free Press Strauss, A. M., & J. L. Corbin (1990). Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Tauxe, C. S. (1995). Theiss Morse E. & Hibbing, J. R. (2005). Citizenship and civic engagement. Political Science U.S. Department of Education. (2008). Digest of Education Statistics Retrieved June 12, 2009, f rom http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=98 Verba, S., Schlozman, K.L. & Brady, H.E. (1995). Voice and equality: Civic voluntarism in American policies Cambridge: Harvard University Press Vroom, V.H. (1964). Work and Motivation. New York: Wiley Publishing Vroom, V.H. (2005). On the Origins of Expectancy Theory. In K. Smith & M. Hitt (Ed.), Great minds in management: The process of theory development (pp. 239 247) New York: Oxford University Press. Zimmerman, M. & Rappaport, R. (1988). Citizen participation, perceived control, and psychological empowerment. American Journal of Community Psychology, 16(5).

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113 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH A seventh generation Floridian, Katelyn Crow Landrum was born in Gainesville, Florida. She grew up near the Suwannee River and graduated from Columbia High School in May of 2004. Following high school graduation, Ms. Landrum went to Abraham Baldwin Agricul tural College in Tifton, Georgia where she received an Associate of Science degree in Agriculture. Her father is also an alumnus of ABAC, graduating with an Associate of Science degree in Forestry in 1972. Upon completion of her degree at ABAC, Ms. Landru m joined the Communication and Leadership Development program in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida. In May 2008, Ms. Landrum earned her Bachelor of Science in agricultural education and communication wi th minors in leadership and agricultural and natural resource law. During her senior year at UF, Ms. Landrum was elected the Second Vice President of the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. In August 2008, Ms. Landrum entered the graduate program in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida with an emphasis in Agricultural Leadership. During her time as a masters student, Ms. Landrum served as the editor of the College of Agricultural and Life Sci ence magazine, CALS Connection. In addition, she served as a graduate assistant for AEE 3030 Effective Oral Communication and AEE 4035: Advanced Agricultural Communication Writing. In May 2010, Ms. Landrum received a Master of Science degree in agricultural leadership with minors in political science and food and resource economics.