Communication channels : educational providers engaging beginning farmers and ranchers with the information they need, the way they want it
Hebel, Katie Jorine
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Beginning farmers and ranchers are a critical demographic in the agricultural industry as more and more farmers and ranchers are reaching the age of retirement. As they emerge into this field, they have critical production-oriented educational needs in order to be successful. It is critical for educational providers to consider beginning farmers and ranchers preferred communication channels when transferring this educational information. Programs need to deliver the desired content through the desired communication channel in order to be most effective. This review sought to identify communication channels, beginning farmers and ranchers, and their self-perceived preferences for educational information over the last twenty-five years. This exhaustive literature review examined research on communication channels, beginning farmers and ranchers and their self-perceived educational needs. The problem identified was what preferred communication channels were most effective in engaging beginning farmers and ranchers with production-oriented educational information. Beginning farmers and ranchers have a need for educational information, particularly relating to agriculture business management. Even though their need for educational information has not changed in the last twenty-five years, the content of educational information has progressed with the changes in agricultural technology, regulations, practices and services. Educational providers need to consider and continually re-assess the educational content and communication channel when engaging beginning farmers and ranchers. Educational providers need to provide educational information through a variety of communication channels in multiple ways to reach their target demographic.