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Agrimarketing : January-Febuary 2010
January/February 2010 Agri Marketing 23 Anew research study found 54% of ag producers with $500,000+ in annual gross income and 38% of those with $100,000+ are active every day, Monday through Friday, on the internet. That's just one of the key findings from the "Internet Usage Study" commissioned by the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) and conducted by Ag Media Research, Sioux Falls, SD, late last summer. "Our goal at NAFB is to be the leader in providing information on media usage to agri-marketers and their agencies," says Lynn Ketelsen, Chairman of NAFB's Research Committee and General Manager of the Linder Farm Network, Owatonna, MN. "We know there is a lot of interest about ag producers' usage of the internet, so we decided to conduct a comprehensive market research study to quantify it." Ketelsen reports his team established three objectives for the study: • Discover how many producers are actively using the internet and what their priorities are while accessing it, • Determine what demand there is for NAFB broadcaster internet applications, and • Learn producers' current usage of "social media" vehicles. THE RESULTS "We learned a lot, and confirmed much of the usage habits producers have online that we already suspected," reports Ted Haller, who directed the research and is President of Teddy Media, St. Louis, MO, and Ag Media Director of True Media, Columbia, MO. One of important pieces of information NAFB wanted to know was what the ag producers' home page was. That information will not be released publicly, but will be provided in presentations the association's representatives will be making to selected advertisers and their agencies. However, one of the survey's questions does provide some insight. When asked "If you (ag producer) were to design your own web site, list its top three components." The top were 1. Weather (25% of the producers), 2. Futures markets (21%), 3. Local cash markets (19%). 4. Don't know (17%). "Another finding that makes a lot of sense when you look at the primary age demographic of producers," Haller says, "are their use of 'social media.' " Upper income producers seem to be behind their urban counterparts in use of social media with 13% participating in mainstream social sites such as 'Facebook,' 'MySpace,' etc. "This is most likely a function of age, since you would have to compare social media usage of adults 50+ to see if producers are really lagging behind," Haller continues, "We did note that the younger producers were much more likely to be active in social media. Eighteen percent of the producers younger than 50 have used social media compared to 9% of all producers." For more results, see the accompanying tables. TAKE AWAYS "In the past 30 years of working in media and media research," Haller says, "nothing like the internet had occurred before on our watch. The closest thing would have been TV's growth after WW II and on into the early 1950s. "The issue with the internet," he continues, "is that unlike the media analysis of the past, there seemed to be more of a willingness to project one's own usage habits on the internet as 'universal' with not a lot of data to back that up. This is a very easy thing to do since agri-marketers have an extremely high usage level on the internet --- maybe even into the 99% range. "What we learned is that smaller producers were in the 55% range on internet usage with the larger producer at the 70% usage level, or about 15% higher. The other interesting thing is that approxi- mately 12% to 13% of producers at all income levels have either a family member or an employee access the internet for them," Haller says. (more on page 24) INTERNET USAGE STUDY OF FARMERS by the Agri Marketing Editors AG/RURAL BROADCASTING UPDATE ACCESSING THE INTERNET Gross Farm Income $100K+ $500K+ Use high-speed DSL through phone 26% 35% Use dial up internet access 10% 6% Have satellite internet access 9% 12% Use wireless from cell phone provider (data card) 7% 10% Have high-speed cable internet access 4% 8% Do not access (self) 45% 30% INTERNET USAGE Gross Farm Income $100K+ $500K+ Access the internet (self) 55% 70% Have someone in their operation access the internet for them 13% 13% Total with access to the internet 68% 84% Are active every day, M-F 38% 54% Personally do not access the internet 45% 30% Note: Totals more than 100% due to rounding.
World Ag Congress