Murray State Theses and Dissertations


The word “farmer” somehow still evokes that stereotypical image of an old man in overalls wearing a straw hat and holding a pitchfork. Agriculture is our nation’s largest employer, but agriculture careers still have that stigma of being backbreaking manual labor that yields a low income and is reserved for those less educated or uneducated. At the secondary education level, this type of skewed perception by school counselors can have an impact on their abilities to counsel students who are seeking college or career advice. To meet the demands of our growing population, agricultural careers have evolved to become highly scientific, and many require advanced degrees to obtain employment. Agriculture has a constant need for employees in the food, fiber and forestry industries. Given the important role of guidance counselors to influence the choices related to postsecondary options for students, a questionnaire was developed to determine the perceptions of agricultural careers is an accurate depiction of the opportunities available in the agricultural industry where we are now in the twenty-first century.

Based on the analysis of the data, null hypothesis one was rejected, indicating that there is a significant predictive relationship between the counselors' likelihood of recommending students to choose postsecondary studies in an agriculturally related field and counselor perceptions of agricultural careers. Based on the analysis of the data, null hypothesis two was rejected, indicating that there is a statistically significant relationship between counselor perceptions of agriculture careers and their physical location, rural versus metropolitan areas of Georgia.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

Agricultural Careers, Agricultural Education, Perceptions, High School Counselor

Dissertation Committee Chair

Brian Bourke

Committee Member

Kristie Guffey

Committee Member

Donald Gilman

Document Type