The purpose of this study was to assess the perceptions of 4-H youth regarding the total quality management of their livestock projects and the production of safe food before and after they received the new Total Quality Management (TQM) Curriculum for Youth Producers;The sample consisted of 800 4-H'ers selected at random from a list of 4-H'ers with livestock projects supplied by Iowa's State 4-H office. The questionnaire had an initial overall Cronbach alpha reliability score of 0.78. 4-H'ers used a 5-point Likert-type scale to indicate their perceptions of 20 quality management practices. The return rate of mailings was 49% for the pretest and 58% for the posttest;Statistical procedures used included frequency counts, percentages, means, standard deviations, multivariate ANOVA, factor analysis and t-tests. An 0.05 level of significance for all tests was set a priori. A post-test was conducted a year later by sending questionnaires to the respondents to the pre-test. The study found that 4H'ers perceived themselves as doing well in provision of space and avoidance of harm to livestock. Awards, regular record keeping and selection of animals by appearance were topics rated lower. Years of enrollment in 4-H had a positive effect on ratings for safety and appropriate care. Gender played a significant role in determining how TQM concepts were perceived, as females gave themselves higher ratings than males;It was concluded that the 4-H program was already making a difference in enhancing positive Total Quality Management perceptions. Record keeping was identified as an area needing more attention in the 4-H curriculum. Although responsibility is not listed as one of the seven life skills in the Iowa 4-H program, one of the factors identified by factor analysis in this study was responsible behavior. A paired t-test between the pre-test and the post-test showed a slight increase in TQM ratings, but the role of teaching materials in determining the increase could not be established with certainty. Extraneous variables such as maturation of 4-H'ers over the year might have affected the findings. It was recommended that the effect of teaching materials should receive further investigation under controlled conditions.
|Publisher||Digital Repository, Iowa State University|
|Location of Publication||Ames, IA 50011|
|Department||Agricultural Education and Studies|
|Degree||Doctor of Philosophy|
|University||Iowa State University|