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Articles 1 - 30 of 911

Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Essays On Fall Fertilizer Application, Mira Nurmakhanova Jan 2008

Essays On Fall Fertilizer Application, Mira Nurmakhanova

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Increased use of nitrogen fertilizer in agricultural production has contributed to increased food production but also contributed to elevated concentration levels of nitrates in groundwater and surface water. High concentration levels of nitrates in drinking water supplied from groundwater and surface water have become a public concern because of their risks to human health.;One way to reduce nitrogen losses is to develop and apply technologies that enable farmers to more accurately match the amount and timing of fertilizer application to crop growth needs. It is best to apply nitrogen as close as possible to when crop needs it most ...


Peasant Communities, The First Link Of The Commodity Chain Of Vicuña Fiber, Liliana L. Lay Lisung Jan 2008

Peasant Communities, The First Link Of The Commodity Chain Of Vicuña Fiber, Liliana L. Lay Lisung

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Vicuna fiber has a high value in the textile and fashion industry and is seen on the runways of the most selective and luxurious clothing designers in Europe. However, the vicuna fiber process and commodity chain are little known. This thesis presents the commodity chain of vicuna fiber and the positive and negative impacts that vicuna fiber commercialization generates in Peruvian peasant communities. The research, based on in-depth interviews and document analysis, studies the development of this buyer-driven chain, the social actors' roles, and the policies and legislation implemented to preserve vicuna species. In response to consumption demands, the marketing ...


The Land, It's Everything: Women Farmland Owners And The Institution Of Agricultural Conservation In The U.S. Midwest, Jean Crim Eells Jan 2008

The Land, It's Everything: Women Farmland Owners And The Institution Of Agricultural Conservation In The U.S. Midwest, Jean Crim Eells

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

This institutional ethnography was undertaken to address the problematic that far fewer women than men participate in the institution of agricultural conservation despite the fact that about the same numbers of men and women own roughly equal amounts of agricultural land in the U.S. Midwest. The institution of agricultural conservation---governmental agencies and private non-profit organizations---provides conservation services such as technical assistance and funding to clients, private farmland owners, who implement conservation practices on their lands.;As a qualitative research methodology, institutional ethnography (IE) is a way to examine otherwise intractable or elusive problems that exist on an institutional level ...


The Effects Of Farmer Attitudes And Farm Management Practices On Soil Quality: A Study In Cherokee County, Iowa, Amber D. Anderson Mba Jan 2008

The Effects Of Farmer Attitudes And Farm Management Practices On Soil Quality: A Study In Cherokee County, Iowa, Amber D. Anderson Mba

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

This study seeks to relate farmer attitudes, perceptions, and management characteristics to field soil quality and laboratory fertility indicators. Farmer interviews were conducted to document recent practices on the farm as well as farmer attitudes about farming. To obtain soil quality measures, both the Natural Resource Conservation Service's field soil quality kit and laboratory tests were employed. Sites from the eastern half of Cherokee County, Iowa, were selected.;Key considerations of this study included farmer practices of renting versus owning land and organic or synthetic nitrogen application. Additional farmer data, including attitudes about farming, are used in this analysis ...


Identity Preservation & Traceability: The State Of The Art - From A Grain Perspective (Status Of Agricultural Quality Systems / Traceability / Certification Systems), Gregory Scott Bennet Jan 2008

Identity Preservation & Traceability: The State Of The Art - From A Grain Perspective (Status Of Agricultural Quality Systems / Traceability / Certification Systems), Gregory Scott Bennet

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

A descriptive paper on the state of identity preservation and traceability (IPT) as it relates domestically and internationally to food safety and economics. While not exhaustive, it is illustrative of trends. Identity preservation and traceability (IPT) are not new concepts; however, the growth of public and business interest and concerns regarding them has grown tremendously during the past decade due to many events, which has resulted in these concepts joining together within a single concept (with the same title). This paper, while attempting to be thorough, will highlight the major systems of IPT from a US business perspective. Before and ...


Farmer Field Schools In Bungoma District Of Western Kenya: A Rapid Appraisal, Anthony Machacha Jan 2008

Farmer Field Schools In Bungoma District Of Western Kenya: A Rapid Appraisal, Anthony Machacha

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Africa has experienced the least socioeconomic progress in recent decades by many measures. Poverty, disease, drought, and conflict have combined to trap many nations in endless cycles of misery and plummeting quality of life. Agriculture, one potentially significant avenue out of these cycles and Africa's largest economic sector, is burdened with significant problems. Over the last five decades, various approaches to agricultural development have been introduced with some modest levels of success. The latest extension innovation in the fight against rural poverty is the Farmer Field School (FFS), introduced to Africa from South East Asia in the early 1990s ...


Alternative Approaches For Sharing Machinery, Labor, And Other Resources Among Small- And Medium-Sized Agricultural Producers, Greg Colson Jan 2008

Alternative Approaches For Sharing Machinery, Labor, And Other Resources Among Small- And Medium-Sized Agricultural Producers, Greg Colson

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

As the U.S. agriculture industry continues to become increasingly concentrated, the viability of small- and medium-sized farms faced with diminishing profit margins per unit of output hinges in part on their ability to expand operations. In this study, the solution to this problem of taking advantage of economies of scale through farm-level resource sharing arrangements is considered. Through a two phase data collection procedure, Midwestern farmer groups engaged in resource sharing arrangements were identified and investigated through a case study approach. Evidence from the case studies suggest that sharing of equipment and labor can yield not only financial benefits ...


Three Essays On Agricultural Risk And Insurance, Li Zhang Jan 2008

Three Essays On Agricultural Risk And Insurance, Li Zhang

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

The general theme of this dissertation is agricultural risk and insurance in the United States. Chapter 2 examines welfare effects of the 2002 farm bill programs and yield insurance as well as their impacts on acreage decision of a representative Iowa farmer. Instead of measuring welfare using expected utility to capture farmers' preferences over risky alternatives, we apply recent advances in decision theory and use prospect theory to measure welfare changes due to government programs. The results indicate that there is no policy distortion to farmers' acreage decisions and farmers' willingness to pay per dollar of program cost is greatest ...


Postconflict And Conflict Behavior In All-Male Groups Of Captive Western Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla), Jackie Elizabeth Davenport Jan 2008

Postconflict And Conflict Behavior In All-Male Groups Of Captive Western Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla), Jackie Elizabeth Davenport

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

I studied male western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in a captive setting in order to determine if post-conflict reconciliation exists in male-male dyads of this species. I also examined conflict itself in order to determine the consequences of housing these males together in all-male groups in captivity. This was accomplished by examining the behaviors of nine male gorillas at the Henry-Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. Data that I recorded included post-conflict observations, social interactions, and activity budgets. I analyzed the data in order to determine levels of reconciliation, welfare of the population, and comparisons with wild conspecifics. I hypothesized ...


Relationship Between Physical Activity, Perceived Stress, And The Metabolic Syndrome In Law Enforcement Officers, Hye Lim Yoo Jan 2007

Relationship Between Physical Activity, Perceived Stress, And The Metabolic Syndrome In Law Enforcement Officers, Hye Lim Yoo

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Purpose. The purpose of this study was to examine the interrelationship among physical activity, perceived stress, and the metabolic syndrome in law enforcement officers (LEOs). Methods. 461 sworn LEOs of the Iowa Department of Public Safety were invited to participate. Perceived stress was measured with the Perceived Stress Scale. Exercise and fitness questionnaires were used to assess the level of physical activity. Perceived stress and physical activity were divided into three categories; Low, Moderate, and High. The metabolic syndrome was defined according to the criteria of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III. A continuous metabolic syndrome score ...


A Simulation Model Evaluating Costs Of Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (Bvdv) For A Typical U.S. Cow-Calf Producer And Benefits Of Multiple Test And Cull Strategies, Kelsey James Wittenberger Jan 2007

A Simulation Model Evaluating Costs Of Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (Bvdv) For A Typical U.S. Cow-Calf Producer And Benefits Of Multiple Test And Cull Strategies, Kelsey James Wittenberger

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Increasingly, veterinarian organizations in the United States recommend the control and eradication of Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV). Cow-calf producers comprise 35% of U.S. cattle; however, research on the effects of BVDV in these herds is limited. To gain a better understanding of the pathology of BVDV in cow-calf producers, a stochastic simulation model was developed in C++ to measure epidemiological and financial outcomes. Additional simulations were run to evaluate changes in producer profit for several test and cull strategies. Introducing a PI animal decreased profit by an average of {dollar}13,971 over 10 years. When a second ...


Hacia El Ranchito: Mexican Immigrants, Farming And Sustainable Rural Livelihoods In Iowa, Hannah Kathryn Lewis Jan 2007

Hacia El Ranchito: Mexican Immigrants, Farming And Sustainable Rural Livelihoods In Iowa, Hannah Kathryn Lewis

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Latinos are the fastest growing ethnicity of farmers in Iowa and across the U.S., and 3.7 percent of Iowa's total population. This case study of four Mexican immigrant farmers explores why and how they farm in Iowa, and how agricultural institutions can support them. I conducted in-depth interviews and observation, using the Sustainable Rural Livelihoods framework in analysis. These farmers learned as children to tend livestock and butcher animals for home consumption. Each bought a small Iowa farmstead by assembling social, human and limited financial capital. They work off-farm fulltime, while on-farm producing meat, dairy, and/or ...


Evaluating The Conservation Security Program Utilizing The Perceptions And Economics Of Producer Participation: Implications For Land Stewardship In Iowa Agriculture, Denis Andrew Reich Jan 2007

Evaluating The Conservation Security Program Utilizing The Perceptions And Economics Of Producer Participation: Implications For Land Stewardship In Iowa Agriculture, Denis Andrew Reich

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Agriculture in the United States (US) has been the focus of a number of studies that address the link between on-farm agricultural practices and the degradation of natural resources. The mounting body of evidence that associates certain cropping and grazing practices with soil and waterway damage points to a need for federal agricultural policy to provide improved conservation incentives for agricultural producers. This study focuses on the first two years of the Conservation Security Program (CSP) in Iowa, a watershed based conservation program introduced with the 2002 Federal Farm Act. This new "green payment" program emphasizes "rewarding the best" stewards ...


The Endangered Species Act, Local Power And Contested Issues On The Rural-Urban Interface, Kristen Marie Corey Jan 2007

The Endangered Species Act, Local Power And Contested Issues On The Rural-Urban Interface, Kristen Marie Corey

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

This research project examines some of the effects that implementing the Endangered Species Act has on a rapidly growing community. This case study focuses on the eastern Nebraska saline wetlands near Lincoln in the Little Salt Creek watershed - home to the endangered Salt Creek tiger beetle. With the listing of the Salt Creek tiger beetle on the Federal Endangered Species list in 2005, the beetle has emerged as the central figure in a debate dividing those who wish to develop and those who aspire to protect these rare saline wetlands. Ethnographic data are used to study this situation. In-person interviews ...


Three Essays On Risk And Uncertainty In Agriculture, Nicholas David Paulson Jan 2007

Three Essays On Risk And Uncertainty In Agriculture, Nicholas David Paulson

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

The general theme of this dissertation is risk and uncertainty in agriculture, with each chapter addressing a specific topic related to agricultural risk and uncertainty. Chapter 2 examines the effects of production uncertainty on the types of contract structures used in specialty grain markets. A theoretical model of a contractual relationship between a monopsonistic processor and risk-neutral producers is presented. Two common contract structures, and their resulting effects on the sharing of production risk between buyer and seller, are compared. The spatial structure of yields and farm-level yield volatility are shown to have significant impacts on the processor's preferred ...


Small Meat Lockers Working Group: A Participatory Action Research Project To Revitalize The Decentralized Meatpacking Sector In Iowa, Arion Jean Thiboumery Jan 2007

Small Meat Lockers Working Group: A Participatory Action Research Project To Revitalize The Decentralized Meatpacking Sector In Iowa, Arion Jean Thiboumery

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Small meat lockers are critical pieces of Lyson's (2004) "civic agriculture." Unfortunately, in Iowa they have been declining for several decades. This thesis examines how civic engagement and our modern orientation towards bureaucratic structure have and do impact small meat lockers and how this impact can be negotiated by Habermas' (1987) "communicative rationality." The results come from a participatory action research working group composed of various stakeholders, attempting to revitalize small, decentralized meat processing in Iowa, specifically by negotiating bureaucracy. Lockers are found to need help in five areas: Business Planning & Feasibility, Financial Assistance, Plant Design, Plant Construction, and ...


Trade-Off Between Cost Of Traceability Within A Small And Large Commercial Meat Plant And Economic Benefits Of Reducing The Number Of Recalls And Size Of Recalls, Bryan Lindley Jan 2007

Trade-Off Between Cost Of Traceability Within A Small And Large Commercial Meat Plant And Economic Benefits Of Reducing The Number Of Recalls And Size Of Recalls, Bryan Lindley

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Is the benefit of reducing the size or probability of a recall worth the cost of the system? Recalls have the potential to incur large cost associated with loss of product, negative publicity, and legal judgments. A model including the cost of traceability, probability that a recall occurs, costs associated with a recall, and severity of recall events is simulated using a random draw of probability and average size from a given distribution for both a 400 head per day and a 5,000 head per day beef plant. For a small plant, it was estimated that the reduction in ...


Program Theory Of A Usda Grants Program For Use In Evaluation Based On Quantitative Content Analysis And Oral History Narrative Analysis, Elena Yu Polush Jan 2007

Program Theory Of A Usda Grants Program For Use In Evaluation Based On Quantitative Content Analysis And Oral History Narrative Analysis, Elena Yu Polush

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

This research was conceived on the premise that a good evaluation plan for a program begins with explicating the program's essential conceptual underpinnings, namely the program theory. Theory-based evaluation is generally recognized as enhancing the quality of evaluation. However, the theory-based approach remains underutilized in evaluation of federal competitive grants programs. The goal of the research was to depict a coherent description of program theory for the Higher Education Challenge (HEC) grants program grounded on core aspects of theories developed in two studies. The research used quantitative content analysis to systematically study the texts of Request for Application (RFA ...


Three Essays On Contract Farming In China, Jianhua Zhu Jan 2007

Three Essays On Contract Farming In China, Jianhua Zhu

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Contract farming in China has grown rapidly over the past 10 years. The first part of this dissertation examines the evolution of contract farming, and explores the incentives to engage in contract farming, preferred contract provisions, and contract performance from the perspective of both Chinese farmers and contracting firms. Firm and household perceptions of contracting are assessed using data obtained from village and firm level surveys. Farmers identify price stability and market access as the key advantages to contracts, while firms consider improved product quality as the primary incentive to use contracts.;In Part II, the survey data are used ...


The Effects Of Cueing On Walking Stability In People With Parkinson's Disease, Andrew Jennings Carrel Jan 2007

The Effects Of Cueing On Walking Stability In People With Parkinson's Disease, Andrew Jennings Carrel

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Research indicates that visual and verbal cues change gait spatiotemporal parameters in people with Parkinson's disease (PD) (Morris, Iansek, Matyas, & Summers, 1994a, 1994b). Previous studies show that utilizing harmonic analysis differentiates walking patterns between old and young adults (Menz, Lord, & Fitzpatrick, 2003). One purpose of this study is to examine differences in harmonic ratios between people with PD and healthy older adults and another is to determine the effect of visual and verbal cues on harmonic ratios of participants with PD when compared with their harmonic ratios during preferred walking. Eleven people with PD and 11 age- and gender-matched ...


Dynamics Of Food Insecurity Of Families With Children, Shuxin Cui Jan 2007

Dynamics Of Food Insecurity Of Families With Children, Shuxin Cui

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Guided by family ecological theory, this paper empirically explored how family demographic, socioeconomic, and community characteristics, as well as public and government factors, are related to changes in a family's food insecurity status. Using 2001 and 2003 data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), a multinomial logit model of food security status was estimated. About 33.16% of the families with children under age 18 that were food insecure in 2001 became food secure in 2003. Meanwhile, about 4.48% of the families who were food secure in 2001 became food insecure in 2003. Although the average ...


An Examination Of Contributing Factors To Land Use/Land Cover Change In Southern Belize And The Use Of Satellite Image Analysis To Track Changes, Marissa Lenée Moore Jan 2007

An Examination Of Contributing Factors To Land Use/Land Cover Change In Southern Belize And The Use Of Satellite Image Analysis To Track Changes, Marissa Lenée Moore

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Land use and land cover change analyses are important tools for planning and development decisions. Tropical deforestation has both local and global implications. One main reason for deforestation is the conversion of forest to agricultural land. This study explores influences and potential causes for agricultural expansion and deforestation within the Toledo District in southern Belize, Central America. Many factors play into the deforestation and degradation of tropical forests in this district, including social, cultural, political and economic issues, all of which need serious consideration if planners and politicians are to combat the problem. Understanding the reasons for deforestation goes hand ...


Agriculture And Ideology In A Globalized World: A Multiplicity Of Farmer Discourses, Ann Finan Jan 2007

Agriculture And Ideology In A Globalized World: A Multiplicity Of Farmer Discourses, Ann Finan

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

No abstract provided.


Three Essays On Food Quality And Transaction Costs , Chengyan Yue Jan 2006

Three Essays On Food Quality And Transaction Costs , Chengyan Yue

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Product quality and product differentiation have become increasingly important to producers and policymakers for explaining consumer choice over food products. Consumers are often willing to pay large price premiums for products with preferred attributes. Heterogeneity in quality increases the diversity of goods for consumers and can improve welfare. However, variation in quality also leads to higher transaction costs for consumers, producers and policymakers because quality attributes are hard to identify precisely and vary when the state of the world changes. The first essay addresses the issue of food-quality attributes driven by protectionist policy that inhibits exchange between two countries. Technical ...


Improving Text Clustering For Functional Analysis Of Genes, Jing Ding Jan 2006

Improving Text Clustering For Functional Analysis Of Genes, Jing Ding

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Continued rapid advancements in genomic, proteomic and metabolomic technologies demand computer-aided methods and tools to efficiently and timely process large amount of data, extract meaningful information, and interpret data into knowledge. While numerous algorithms and systems have been developed for information extraction (i.e. profiling analysis), biological interpretation still largely relies on biologists' domain knowledge, as well as collecting and analyzing functional information from various public databases. The goal of this project was to build a text clustering-based software system, called GeneNarrator, for functional analysis of genes (microarray experiments);GeneNarrator automatically collected MEDLINE citations for a list of genes as ...


Exploring The Role Of Visual Selective Attention In Synesthesia , Amy L. Ramos Jan 2006

Exploring The Role Of Visual Selective Attention In Synesthesia , Amy L. Ramos

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Individuals with grapheme-color synesthesia perceive colors, called concurrents, when processing alphanumeric stimuli. Concurrents may arise from cross activation between cortical language and color processing areas. Two experiments used an attentional blink (AB) paradigm to test whether production of concurrents is an automatic or attention-demanding process. Two experiments used a visual-short-term-memory paradigm to test whether working memory (WM) representations of concurrents are capacity demanding. When target color was incongruent with concurrent color but color did not define targets, a synesthete (S1) showed delayed AB recovery compared to controls. When color defined targets and target color was congruent with concurrent color, the ...


Micro-Level Econometric And Water-Quality Modeling: Simulation Of Nutrient Management Policy Effects , Christopher Sean Burkart Jan 2006

Micro-Level Econometric And Water-Quality Modeling: Simulation Of Nutrient Management Policy Effects , Christopher Sean Burkart

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Large surface areas of lakes and streams are impaired by nutrient contributions from agricultural nonpoint sources. This research develops a fully integrated economic and water quality model of an actual watershed to assess alternative nutrient abatement polities in terms of their economic efficiency and water quality effects. The policies examined include fertilizer taxes, application rate caps, uniform reductions, and a cap-and-trade fertilizer application right trading scheme. A micro-econometric field scale model of nutrient application is estimated using USDA Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) data combined with prices and spatially detailed soil data. Estimation results are interfaced with the Soil and ...


Incentives And Contract Design: A Case Study Of Farmland Lease Contracts In Us Agriculture , Keita Fukunaga Jan 2006

Incentives And Contract Design: A Case Study Of Farmland Lease Contracts In Us Agriculture , Keita Fukunaga

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

In this dissertation, I have studied farmland lease contracts in U.S. agriculture. Using the data from the 1999 Agricultural Economics and Land Ownership Survey, I investigated the empirical determinants of contract design from the perspective of the principal-agent framework, which emphasizes the role of incentives. In the empirical analyses, I found evidence that incentives indeed play an important role in contract design. In chapter 2, I investigated the role of risk, transaction costs, and endogenous matching between the landlord and tenant in contract choice. I found that both risk and transaction costs affect contract choice. Furthermore, I found evidence ...


The Density And Distribution Of Ateles Geoffroyi In A Mosaic Landscape At El Zota Biological Field Station, Costa Rica , Stacy M. Lindshield Jan 2006

The Density And Distribution Of Ateles Geoffroyi In A Mosaic Landscape At El Zota Biological Field Station, Costa Rica , Stacy M. Lindshield

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

The genus Ateles is thought to prefer primary forest, as spider monkeys are ripe fruit specialists and generally occupy the upper canopy of tropical forests. However, this generalization could be weakened by new research examining Ateles' use of disturbed and undisturbed habitat. This study measures spider monkey habitat use with density estimates following line transect methodology and encounter frequencies between undisturbed and disturbed habitat in wet and swamp forests. Results indicate no significant difference in habitat use. Preliminary measures of habitat quality show greater overall fruit abundance in primary forest, yet similar Ateles densities suggest factors influencing habitat use in ...


An Analysis Of The Iowan Angler's Fishing License Renewal Decision, Ryan R. French Jan 2006

An Analysis Of The Iowan Angler's Fishing License Renewal Decision, Ryan R. French

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

The number of annual fishing licenses sold in Iowa has been in decline for two decades and has limited the amount of funds available to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for fisheries management. The Iowa DNR is focused on reversing this trend through targeted marketing and efficient management of fishing resources. An analysis of Iowa anglers is performed with these goals in mind using past surveys and current customer data. The product of this analysis is a model which predicts whether a past customer will renew their license in the upcoming year. A logit model is developed using license ...