Implementation: Apr, 2013 - Aug, 2015. This research project integrates research into the benefits of collective entrepreneurial action by small and medium-sized farms with the development of educational modules on collective entrepreneurship in agriculture. The research portion of the integrated project will examine the development of six networks of farms; three networks will be studied in both Michigan and Missouri.
The project will use a combination of research tools, including qualitative case studies and quantitative social network analysis, to identify the mechanisms that support the collective action and to identify the critical success factors that lead to superior performance of the farms engaged in the networks.
The project team will work with the leaders of selected networks in a participatory action model for grounding the studies. This will ensure that research outputs will serve to enhance the strategies and operations of the participating farmers in the network, as well provide repeatable lessons to the professional community of economists and sociologists working on entrepreneurship and economic development.
The educational portion of the project will create teaching materials suitable for undergraduate courses in agricultural entrepreneurship, graduate courses in agribusiness management and research methods, and continuing education courses for programs such as the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program and Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food.