Document Type

Plan B - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Evert Van der Sluis


Since the economic difficulties in the farm economy of the 1980s, many farm dependent states have made attempts to find alternatives to a heavy reliance on farm production to revitalize their rural economies. In recent years, many policy makers, political leaders, and agricultural researchers have come to regard value added agriculture as an important means to create jobs and increase incomes in rural economies, particularly for people in states with a high dependence on agriculture as a source of economic activity. The dependence on agriculture provides farm states with a motive for seeking a means to diversify their economies and reduce the risks associated with depending on a dominant agricultural commodity sector. What can agriculture dependent states do to enhance value added agriculture activities? Food processing allows agriculture dependent states to add value to locally grown farm products, and is considered a major way of getting engaged in value added agriculture. However, agriculture dependent states face competition from many entrenched competitors in their attempts to develop their food processing industries. Most states that successfully developed their food processing industries did so on the basis of their location advantage. That is, most food processing states have large populations, or are located close to large population centers, providing a strong customer base for their food processing industries. In contrast, most agriculture dependent states are farther removed from population centers, and are forced to overcome distances before their products can reach their final consumers. With the rapid advancement of communication and transportation technologies, the disadvantages associated with location are diminishing and may be offset by utilizing newly emerging technologies. Therefore, a value-added agriculture development strategy for farm states may be to utilize their comparative advantages and built on their own existing economic environment by processing locally grown farm products. This will enable farm states to generate additional economic activities, add jobs, and revitalize their rural economies. Hence, food processing provides a vehicle for farm states to engage in value added agriculture.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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