Master’s Thesis Proposal Defense - Christian Scott - May 7

Date: May 7, 2015
Location: Natural Resources RM 320

Master’s Thesis Proposal Defense

The Role Of Emerging Farmers’ Personal Networks In Market Access And Start-Up Farm Success

Christian Scott

Thursday, May 7, 2015, 10:30 a.m.

Room 320, Natural Resources building

Department of Community Sustainability


The Mid-Michigan local food system harbors a wide variety of local farms ranging from new to long established operations. Market access plays a key role in the sustained success of these farms, particularly emerging farmers. This study seeks to examine the personal networks of Mid-Michigan’s emerging farmers and identify characteristics of farmers with differing backgrounds as they relate to their market access decisions. This study will examine the social ties amongst farmers through the use of network analysis and measures of social connectedness. It is anticipated that findings will yield insights into the relationship between social networks and market access among emerging farmers in Mid-Michigan, and the factors contributing to the sustainability of the farmers’ operations. Through analysis and comparison of long-term indicators of likely success, it is anticipated that entrepreneurial farming aspects of the incubator farm program’s participants will emerge, and these will be highlighted in the results of the study.

Guidance Committee: