Murray State Theses and Dissertations


Research quickly identified many different avenues of funding available to new and beginning traditional row-crop farmers in Tennessee, but questions surrounding local farmers’ knowledge of these opportunities are in question. Many programs specific to the New and Beginning Farmer demographic boasted the potential benefits of using these programs as well as the good work these programs are accomplishing. The current increase in cost of traditional row-crop funding continues to drive the need for more funding resources with New and Beginning Farmers. Providing resources of where farmers can find the best available funds for their operation will expand the level of general knowledge of funding opportunities. In addition to understanding the available financing opportunities, this study collected feedback on the perceived availability of these funds from local West Tennessee Farmers. Local farmer responses to a semi-structured interview resulted in identified gaps in funding options specific to New and Beginning Farmer demographic. Interview questions focused on the level of knowledge this demographic held when starting their operations versus their current knowledge. Other variables explored included: specific lenders, crops grown, farm size, and participant demographic information. After reviewing all similar and differentiating factors, the qualitative research concluded there were few to no characteristics of a farming operation, or the farmer, that directly influenced the level of knowledge held of New and Beginning Farmers programs. Research efforts also identified a large gap in the lack of knowledge held by the interviewed demographic, which could lead to future studies concerning effective educational efforts of these specific funding opportunities.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

Agriculture Finance, Agribusiness, Farmer Financing, Young and Beginning Farmer Programs, Finance Education, Agriculture Education

Degree Awarded

Doctor of Education


Educational Studies, Leadership and Counseling


College of Education & Human Services

Dissertation Committee Chair

Marcus Pollard

Committee Member

Kristie Guffey

Committee Member

Brian Parr

Document Type