Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date

1970

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology and Rural Studies

Abstract

Attitudinal differences among farm operators were studied in relation to wetlands, drainage, and waterfowl production within selected sections of four South Dakota counties. The counties involved were Marshall, Day, Codington and Brookings. The interview schedule which was used included personal, social, and economic characteristics of the farm operator and his farm operation. Also included were a series of knowledge and attitude questions pertaining to wetlands, drainage, and waterfowl production. Through the use of a Likert-type scale, the degree of favorableness toward 26 statements in relation to wetlands, drainage, and waterfowl production was recorded. The independent variables which were used in this study included the age, income, education, size of the farm and tenure status of the farm operator. Also, the type of farm operation, the composition of the farmland, the involvement in wetland programs, the draining of farm property, the hunting activities, the participation of neighbors in wetland programs, and the participation of neighbors in drainage programs were used as independent variables. The dependent variables were attitudes of the farm operator toward wetlands, drainage and waterfowl production. The general objective of this study was to determine whether any significant differences would be found to exist between those characteristics of the farm operator (independent variables) and his attitudes toward wetlands, drainage and waterfowl production (dependent variables.) The following conclusions were made from the analysis of the data. When age, income, and education were related to the farm operator’s attitudes toward wetlands, no significant differences were found to occur. No significant difference in attitudes was found to exist between the tenure status of the farm operator and his attitudes toward waterfowl production. A significant difference, however was found to exist between the size of the farm operation and the farm operator’s attitudes toward wetlands. When the type of farm operation was related to the farm operator’s attitudes toward wetlands, drainage, and the waterfowl production, no significant difference were found to occur. Significant differences were not found to exist between the composition of the farmland and attitudes of the farm operator toward wetlands, drainage, and waterfowl production except where the amount of property in wetlands was related to attitudes toward wetland wetlands and waterfowl production. No significant difference was found to exist between the participation of the farm operator in wetland programs and his attitudes toward waterfowl production. A significant difference was found to exist when the draining of farm property was related to the attitudes toward waterfowl production. Significant differences did not occur in cases where the farm operator had recently hunted upland game and deer with his attitudes toward wetlands and waterfowl production. Significant differences did exist, however, where the farm operator had recently hunted migratory waterfowl with his attitudes toward wetlands and waterfowl production. An exception to this statement occurred in the attitudes toward wetlands by goose hunters. Whether or not farm operators had neighbors had neighbors participating in wetland or drainage programs had little bearing on their attitudes. No significant differences were found to exist in either of these cases. Attitudinal differences, where they did differ significantly, may serve as a guide to conservationists in the promotion of a natural resource in the future. Because farm operators control the use of the land, support for conservation programs related to wetlands and waterfowl production may be enhanced by determining the differences in their attitudes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Social interaction

Conservation of natural resources -- South Dakota

Farmers -- South Dakota -- Attitudes

Format

application/pdf

Number of Pages

147

Publisher

South Dakota State University

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