Volume 48 - Number 3 - 2007 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2007.03057
The purpose of this study was to determine the agricultural information preferences of crop producers inIowa and the implications for agricultural extension education. The objective was to identify agricultural information issues producers perceive as significant to their businesses. The results will help agricultural extension educators and communicators make informed decisions regarding program content and delivery. To identify these needs and preferences, this study consisted of five crop producer focus groups held throughoutIowa. Focus group data were collected as audiotapes and transcriptions. Analysis was performed through theme coding and qualitative data charts. Conclusions based on findings included: 1) needs assessments can be used to identify issues about which producers desire more information; 2) producers perceived local, timely, marketing, and management issues as significant; and 3) producers considered the source of research funding when determining the reliability of research results. Based on these conclusions the following recommendations were made: 1) educators should select program topics according to timeliness, location, and operation type of their target audience, 2) marketing or management recommendations and updates are meaningful topics to include in educational programs, and 3) educators should report the sources of funding when presenting research findings.