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Life Sciences

Theses/Dissertations

Iowa State University

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Sustainable Agriculture

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Ratios And Benchmarks As Tools For Local Food Hub Decision-Making: A Comparative Case Study, Savanna May Lyons Jan 2016

Ratios And Benchmarks As Tools For Local Food Hub Decision-Making: A Comparative Case Study, Savanna May Lyons

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Food hubs, or local food aggregation and distribution businesses, are triple-bottom-line firms that play an increasingly important role in connecting small and mid-sized farmers to wholesale and retail markets. This paper explores how food hubs can use their financial data to identify and address strengths and challenges in their operations. We propose a “dashboard” of key metrics and benchmarks for food hub managers, and apply it a comparative case study of four food hubs over three years of operations. We compare and contrast the liquidity, cash flow, efficiency, solvency and repayment capacity of the four cases, and analyze cross-cutting themes ...


Motivation And Retention Of Iowa’S Master Gardener Volunteers, Bryn Takle Jan 2015

Motivation And Retention Of Iowa’S Master Gardener Volunteers, Bryn Takle

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Retention of participants in volunteer organizations has been shown to be not only a challenge, but also a great benefit to the organization. Rising costs of training and continuing education make each interaction valuable from both perspectives. Volunteer opportunities are abundant but must be meaningful and engaging for the participants in order to keep them involved. Using electronic survey software, Iowa Master Gardeners were asked to respond to a series of questions investigating 1) the current demographics of the population, 2) reasons volunteers associate with the Master Gardener program, and 3) the continuing education topics and delivery methods most preferred ...