Decision Motivations: Factors Guiding the Choices of Agriculturalists in California
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This study sought to highlight a specific area of California-agriculturalist behavior?decision-making?that may lend additional insight into how to begin bridging the communication gap between farmers and consumers. Communication between farmers in the United States and the general public is the overarching guidance for this mixed methods (QUAL ? quan) study. Formations of organizations like the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance have begun to address the communication gap between agriculturalists and consumers through outreach. The results of this study were limited to the study participants as the total response rate for the quantitative portion of the study was 21% (total response was 65 out of 300; useable responses n = 30). The study began with a series of qualitative interviews. The data from the qualitative interviews with California-based agriculturalists were analyzed to guide the creation of a survey instrument. The subsequent survey instrument was distributed to other California-based farmers requesting they rank a series of decision-making factors as they related to annual crop production. Based upon the data collected, the decision-making factors identified in the qualitative strand of the study?water availability, soil quality, market, regulations, and labor?are more widely considered by farmers in California. Additional study is needed to further explore what other factors may guide annual planting decisions for agriculturalists in the state and country.