Lauri B. Sohl

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



Farmers throughout the United States use pesticides and other synthetic chemicals to decrease risk, produce an attractive looking product, and achieve higher profits. For the last two decades, there has been increasing concern over conventional agriculture's damage to the environment. The consumption of organically grown food, as an alternative to conventionally grown food, has been increasing steadily. Organic food production has matured from a niche market of direct sales to retail marketing with established regulations. This new marketing structure involves all sizes of companies competing for existing customers and convergent customers and purchasing segments. This increase in demand for organically grown food has placed prominence on the organically grown agricultural products from California. Concern about conventional farming systems and confidence in California grown organic products are the driving forces behind the proliferation of organic agriculture in California. This is revealed by the diffusion of California grown agricultural products throughout the United States.

Keywords: organic agriculture, conventional agriculture, diffusion, California

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Organic farming -- California Natural foods -- California Food consumption -- United States



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University