Date of Conferral

7-2013

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Business Administration

Advisor

Dr. Steven Munkeby

Abstract

Sustainable farms are critical to United States’ food independence and they positively contribute to the global economy. Farms in the United States are not sustainable without profitable supplemental income. The purpose of this case study was to explore the historic profitability of farm income supplementation methods. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory served as the conceptual framework. A purposive sample of 25 farmers from 5 regions of the continental United States completed semistructured interviews and described their personal experiences. Archival supplemental income data came from the United States Department of Agriculture census. All the data were analyzed using coded keywords, phrases, and concepts to identify the following profitable supplemental income themes: (a) government subsidies, (b) custom work, (c) sales of other products, (d) patronage dividends, (e) insurance payments, (f) cash rent, and (g) agtourism. The implications for positive social change include new insights that farmers may use to improve farm business practice, increase farm sustainability, and improve quality of life for farm families.