NPR - DELIVERING FARM MANAGEMENT EDUCATION THROUGH NEW MEDIA
Face-to-face farm management education continues to be an important part of U.S. Extension efforts, but websites are critical components of outreach portfolios. Websites provide access to research based information that may either be time-sensitive or durable. Electronic newsletters also typically play an important role in providing timely information directly to clientele. Social media tools have been widely adopted by the general population and presumably agricultural audiences. But social media tools have not yet been widely adopted by Extension educators. Statistics show that nearly all U.S. adults have a cell phone and most use them to access the internet. Users expect to be able to learn with their mobile devices. This paper describes the virtual farm management outreach efforts at Oklahoma State University and Iowa State University in hopes of promoting discussion about what other institutions and individuals are doing and why and what lessons have been learned that could be shared. These case studies note that limited resources mean that specialists must reallocate time to learn new tools and maintain a regular virtual presence.
Keywords: social media, Facebook, twitter, websites, electronic, outreach