Sturgis FFA Member Seeking Info from SD Farmers and Ranchers

A Sturgis, SD, FFA student is researching where the state’s agricultural producers prefer to get their ag news. Danika Gordon, a high school junior, launched her project in January 2018 and conducted a baseline survey of ag producers to determine if they preferred ag news from print or online sources. She earned top honors at the South Dakota FFA Agriscience Fair in April and was selected as a national qualifier to present her research at the National FFA Agriscience Fair being held in Indianapolis Oct. 24-26, 2018.

Gordon collected survey responses from 101 South Dakota ag producers and determined that about 58% of survey respondents indicated preference for online /digital ag news and 42% indicated preference for print. The responses were representative across all age groups. There was little difference in preference based on gender, or location – east vs. west river – of those responding to the survey.

When asked about the primary format ag producers prefer to receive ag news, the largest category (22.8%) indicated preference for weekly e-newsletters. In spite of the higher percentage of survey respondents indicating interest in online ag news, 70% of respondents indicated they believe printed agricultural news will still exist for readers in 10 years. Ninety-three percent of the survey respondents indicated they find agricultural publications informative for their operation.

Gordon shares that she was surprised to find that the largest percentage of people responding to her survey (32%) were from individuals ages 50-65, with the second largest category from individuals ages 41-50 (21%). She says this suggests the older age demographic is successfully utilizing Internet and online sources.

To continue building on her research project, Gordon is initiating a second survey to collect additional information about South Dakota ag producers’ online ag news preferences. The twelve question online survey, seeks ag producers – both men and women – to share their preferences about the online/digital sources in which they prefer to receive agricultural information (i.e. Facebook, websites, apps, etc). Young ag producers, including high school and college students, are also encouraged to take the survey to help capture the preferences of different generations. Find the survey online at https://goo.gl/forms/6p4MUZ3qi96gBz2O2. The survey only takes a few minutes to complete. Responses are requested by Nov.10, 2018. Results from the survey will be shared via South Dakota agricultural publications in 2019.