Identifying, examining, and validating a description of the agriculture industry



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The purpose of this study was to identify, examine, and validate the various components and systems in agriculture while investigating three objectives related to Careers, Industries, and Systems using the Delphi technique over three rounds. Three similar but different instruments were used to gather information from the expert panel. The following questions were considered: 1) What are the different Careers associated with agriculture? 2) What are the Industries that play an important role in the input segment of agriculture? and 3) What are the System components needed to depict the industry of agriculture? Twenty-one expert panelists from nine states with varied backgrounds such as Church/Religion, Education, Government, Insurance, Manufacturing, Natural Resources, Pharmaceutical, and Public Policy participated in this study. The expert?s years of service total 370 years in their respected occupations with a mean of 17.6 years of experience. Raw data submitted by the expert panelists in round one identified 477 Career items, 157 Industry items, and 130 System items, totaling 764 pieces of initial information. Over the course of the subsequent two rounds, duplicates were eliminated, items were categorized, and consensus was reached for 317 Careers associated with agriculture. There were 30 Industries recognized and validated to play an important role in the input segment of agriculture and 21 System components depicted in agriculture. In all, 368 items reached consensus and were confirmed in the study. Findings indicated: 1) It is difficult to find a comprehensive diagram that visually conveys the different Careers, Industries, and Systems to assist in recruiting efforts by colleges and universities; 2) Not all websites found in the literature convey an accurate distinctiveness of what agriculture is today; 3) More research is needed regarding the impact of agriculture on career education used in agricultural literacy initiatives; and 4) The information found in this study can be used to begin further development of models to aid in the visualization of how Careers, Industries, and Systems are interconnected in order to help the public better understand the complex and diverse agricultural sector and challenges facing the agricultural industry in all its dimensions.