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Laura Sue Kippen and W. Timothy Rhodus

A focus group was conducted to ascertain the attitudes and behaviors of wholesale floriculture greenhouse growers toward the use of computers for marketing purposes. The focus group consisted of nine individuals from nine different wholesale greenhouses in the Greater Cleveland - Lorain area. The greenhouses were selected according to their sizes which ranged from one-half acre of production under cover up to 70 acres. Each individual was either the owner of the greenhouse operation or charged with the marketing function in that company. The study was conducted for the purposes of identifying possible factors related to the speed of adoption of computer technology for marketing purposes and its possible future course within the wholesale greenhouse industry. Variables that were identified from the focus group study were tested using a national survey.

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Laura Sue Kippen and W. Timothy Rhodus

Quality is extremely important to the processors of horticultural and agricultural commodities. It is important from the standpoint of producing high-quality end-products as well as resulting in lower costs and higher profits. However, producers of commodities receive few benefits from the production of higher quality for several reasons. One important reason is that producers lack information about the qualities processors require. In addition, producers are uninformed of the end-user quality their crops manifest. Presently, little incentive exists for producers to improve quality, other than that provided by USDA Grades and Standards. Using experimental economics, empirical evidence is provided demonstrating that increased awareness of crop quality requirements of processors by producers influences market efficiency, pricing efficiency, and crop quality management strategies of producers.