Date of Award

Spring 1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Raymond F. Morgan

Committee Member

M. Lee Manning

Committee Member

Donald Myers

Committee Member

Petra E. Snowden

Committee Member

Donna B. Evans


The purpose of this study was to determine reasons why few African Americans are in leadership positions in the urban agriculture industry. The lack of leaders will probably continue because there is a dearth of African Americans enrolled in agriculture programs at colleges and universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Six research questions guided the study in its endeavor to determine perceptions about the urban agriculture industry. Data were collected through surveys and interviews. A background questionnaire, developed by the researcher collected data on age, academic interests, urban background, exposure to agriculture occupations, and factors that affected selection of college major. Questionnaires were distributed to agriculture students at Virginia State University, an Historically Black College and University that is the primary source of agricultural training for African Americans in the Commonwealth of Virginia. An interview schedule was used with agriculture students, non-agriculture students, and agriculture department chairpersons at colleges and universities.

A profile of the typical agriculture student at Virginia State University was developed from the questionnaires. Analysis of interviews revealed African American perceptions about urban agriculture. Findings of the study can be used by institutions to increase their recruitment efforts for urban agricultural programs.


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