Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Public Policy Leadership

First Advisor

David Rutherford

Second Advisor

Jody Holland

Third Advisor

Christian Sellar

Relational Format



The research proposed in this thesis will identify the barriers of entry that

small farmers face when entering the Agricultural Industry. The proposed research will also seek to discover how having these barriers in place affects rural communities. This thesis conducts a literature review of the topic, sets the context for the research to be done, and proposes a research project to further investigate the topic. The proposed research will be done through administering a survey to stakeholders, and then interviewing a small sample of those surveyed to get a comprehensive look at the effects of agribusiness on rural communities. The literature review identifies the repercussions likely to occur if current trends in the agricultural industry and rural communities continue, specifically looking at employment, poverty, and community development. Knowledge has been identified as a key barrier to entry for many stakeholders attempting to enter the agricultural industry at any level. Producers have been forced out of the industry as a result of the growth of agribusiness. The effects of these stakeholders leaving the industry go far beyond just their economic stability as ripple effects are felt in rural communities across the country. These community members are often faced with difficult choices as their sources of income are driven away, and as a result, they must look for jobs outside of their communities. Trends in the Agricultural industry also have ripple effects into rural communities across the country, and as a result the policy surrounding Agribusiness must be addressed to create sustainable development for small farmers, and also rural communities. Without policy changes to address these issues rural America will continue to slip through the cracks.

Accessibility Status

Searchable text

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Included in

Food Security Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.