Measuring Social Media and Smartphone Use in Ontario Agriculture

Social media and smartphone topics have been popular at farm meetings this winter, and for good reason.  Many farmers and other agribusinesses are using these online and mobile tools to streamline and improve their communications and business activities.

Researchers, OMAFRA specialists, and other organizations who want to get current information out to the industry need to take advantage of these tools and be part of the conversation.  For the innovators and influencers who are using these tools, it’s a timely and efficient way to share information and ideas.

OMAFRA field staff in Ridgetown are leading an OMAFRA/University of Guelph initiative to determine the level of usage of various smartphone and mobile device platforms and communication tools, including social media, in the Ontario agriculture industry.  An online survey has just been launched, aimed at those working in agriculture across the province.  The questions will focus on whether you are using social media, smartphones, or other internet, media, and print resources in your agricultural business.  Agricultural students are also included in the survey.

The online survey is being conducted by Ipsos Reid.  The project team hopes to get participation from a wide range of people across the industry – and from those who get their information from a wide variety of sources, not just those with smartphones and Twitter accounts.  The existing ways of sharing information aren’t being thrown out just because we have some new tools, but with so many options out there, it’s a good time to ask people how they want to get their information.

The online survey is found at: http://www.ipsosresearch.com/omafra/.  It should take less than ten minutes to complete.

Results will be available early in April and the information will give agricultural organizations and businesses more data to use in deciding where to focus their efforts in mobile tools and online communication with their members, clients, or stakeholders.

This project is funded by Agri-Food and Rural Link, the Knowledge Translation and Transfer program under the OMAFRA-U of G Partnership.

 

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