Nothing Changes

Ag communicators are heavily moving online. A study I did of agriculture magazines 5 years ago showed that. Do a Google search for ag media and you will find everything from commodity groups to farm broadcasters all working to spread the message of agriculture and rural life online.

While this is a great thing, we must continue our traditional communication practices. When I started researching new media in agriculture I was driven by the numbers of farmers who were not online. Many people at that point 6 years ago felt that this was changing. While it is to a point, a recent report by Pew’s Internet and American Life Project shows that we still have a way to go in rural America. According to their research in 2007 only 60% of rural Americans are Internet users (they note 73% of urban citizens are users). It is obvious there is still a rural-urban digital divide, even though it is very small. For those followers of Everett Rogers’s Diffusion Theory we still have reached all of those late adopters, let alone the laggards.

One Comment on “Nothing Changes

  1. How long will we have to continue with so called “traditional” communication mediums? As the average age of the less than 1% of the US population whom are production agriculturalists quickly reaches retirement or death (no cynicism intended), will the inheritors of production agriculture (Gen-X and Gen-Y) be as apt to even utilize “traditional” mediums? The new generation of production agriculturalists may need to take on more traditional rolls of entrepreneurs and small business owners which means less time driving the combine which can be outsourced to cheaper moderately skilled labor in exchange for the farm owner’s much more valuable time in the office crunching numbers, analyzing production data and marketing product.

    I remember telling my clients at ADM that if they really didn’t want to deal with me giving them bad advice they could always sign up for an e-adm account and get the information for themselves if they wanted to. But then again, much to my dismay, they would sign up for an account and still keep calling grumpy as ever! haha.

    Very good blog Dr. Emily. Keep it up!

    Johnny T

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