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Date of Award

10-8-2016

Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Department of Agriculture

First Advisor

Aslihan Spaulding

Abstract

The number of farms participating in agritourism is on the rise. From 2007 to 2012 the number of United States farms participating in agritourism increased 42%. During the same time period, the number of farms participating in agritourism in the state of Illinois increased 25% (USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2014). In 2012, 87.4% of agritourism businesses were owned or operated by families or individuals and legally classified by the United States Code of Federal Regulations as a small business (Miller, 2014) (USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2014). While many resources are available for individuals that are considering entering the agritourism industry, they tend to focus on the economic, environmental, and/or legal factors of the business model, excluding the role psychological factors, such as, personality traits can have on business creation and success. The purpose of this study was to 1) determine the personality traits (BFI scale score means) of Illinois agritourism entrepreneurs as related to the Five-Factor Model (FFM), 2) determine if the personality traits (BFI scale score means) of Illinois agritourism entrepreneurs differ from non-entrepreneurs as related to the FFM, and 3) determine if select demographic variables have an influence on personality traits (BFI scale score means) as related to the FFM. A three-part survey instrument was sent via email or postal mail to all Illinois agritourism businesses as identified by the University of Illinois Extension (Illinois Agritourism, n.d.). Upon analysis of the data, 1) the BFI scale score means of Illinois agritourism entrepreneurs were identified, 2) it was concluded that Illinois agritourism entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs only differ statistically for the personality trait of agreeableness, and 3) it was also concluded that select demographic variables have an influence on the BFI scale score means of select personality traits. This information draws attention to an aspect of business that is often overlooked, specifically in the agriculture industry. University extension offices, farm bureaus, and/or agritourism associations can use the information gleaned from this study when publicizing resource guides for individuals considering entering the agritourism industry. The information from this study should also prove beneficial to current agritourism businesses for the purposes of succession planning and hiring.

Comments

Imported from ProQuest Kindred_ilstu_0092N_10857.pdf

Page Count

68

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