Purdue University Graduate School
Katherine Pivaral thesis (FINAL).pdf (1.52 MB)

Markets for Diversifying Agriculture: Case Studies of the U.S Midwest

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posted on 2024-06-26, 18:35 authored by Katherine Orietta PivaralKatherine Orietta Pivaral

Agricultural diversification stands out as a critical strategy for addressing challenges and seizing opportunities within the agricultural landscape, especially in regions like the Midwest of the U.S. This research delves into the dynamics, opportunities, challenges, and key success drivers associated with agricultural diversification in the Midwest, focusing on three primary crops: oats, peas, and wheat. Employing a case study methodology grounded in empirical and contextual inquiry principles, the research aims to grasp the nuances of diversified agriculture. Data collection integrates primary and secondary sources, including semi-structured interviews and participation in field days. The data collection period spanned from October 2022 to February 2024. Interviews with 29 stakeholders, including farmers, industry representatives, agricultural cooperatives, and non-profits, provided insights into diversified agriculture practices.

Each case study provides in-depth insights into the opportunities, challenges, and key drivers of success associated with promoting diversified agriculture initiatives. These case studies underscore the significance of innovation, market access, sustainability, and collaboration in driving success within the industry. The cross-case analysis offers a comprehensive examination of the potential for agricultural diversification in the US Midwest. Through a comparative analysis of the three case studies, commonalities and key themes emerge, shedding light on stakeholder dynamics, business strategies, operational aspects, and scalability factors.

In summary, this research significantly contributes to the body of knowledge on agricultural diversification, offering insights that can guide future decisions, agricultural practices, and research endeavors aimed at promoting sustainability and resilience in the agricultural sector in the US Midwest.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Horticulture

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Linda Prokopy

Additional Committee Member 2

Ariana Torres

Additional Committee Member 3

Leigh Raymond

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