Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication Department


Date of this Version

Fall 8-1987


A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College in the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science Major: Agricultural Education Under the Supervision of Dr. Richard M. Foster


The study was conducted to determine what skills are required for a vocational agriculture student to gain employment in a Nebraska agribusiness as perceived by 36 Nebraska vocational agriculture instructors and 180 Nebraska agribusiness managers. A mailed survey was used to collect data for the survey. The survey return rate for the agribusiness respondents was 78 percent and the return rate for the vocational agriculture instructors was 86 percent. The Likert Method of Summated Ratings was used to rate 40 agribusiness skills on a scale of 1 to 9. Means, standard deviations and analysis of variance were computed for each skill item. The Anova and Tukey post hoc test revealed differences among specific groups for both demographic and skill data. A Cronbach Alpha Reliability Coefficient was calculated on the entire instrument, yielding an r-value of (.9398). The agribusiness respondents identified seven skills as required for employment in their agribusiness. Thirty skills were observed to have a significant difference at the .01 level between the perceptions of skills required for employment in an agribusiness by vocational agriculture instructors and agribusiness respondents. Customer relation skills and communication skills were identified as the most required skills for employment in an agribusiness. Agribusiness skills were most often required in occupations such as agricultural sales and service, agricultural supplies, agricultural finance and horticulture. Respondents representing agricultural supplies most often rated enrollment in vocational agriculture as "always" or "sometimes" required for employment in their agribusiness. Agribusiness managers do not require as many agribusiness skills to gain employment as perceived by the vocational agriculture instructors. Agribusiness managers are aware of the vocational agriculture program but they do not rely on the program as a source for new employees.