Caroline R. Warwick, Shelli D. Rampold, Levy Randolph, and Ricky W. Telg. (2021). Examining Communication Between Florida Agriculture and Natural Resource Organizations’ Leaders and Membership to Foster Policy Engagement. Journal of Agricultural Education, 62 (4), 81-96. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2021.04078
The agricultural sector has been influenced significantly by agriculture and natural resources (ANR) policies voted in by elected officials. Many agricultural organizations and their members have sought to provide a ‘voice’ for the ANR industry and communicate with policymakers about emerging issues. It is necessary that such organizations and members be able to use that voice effectively. This study was conducted to examine the communication preferences of Florida agricultural organization members and factors that may encourage them to contact elected officials about an ANR policy. Respondents in this study least preferred to be contacted by their organization(s) via phone call or text message. They also identified local Extension offices and the university as the most trustworthy sources of communication regarding ANR policy. When contacting members to spur involvement in ANR policy decisions, organizational leaders should use a variety of communication mediums, including email magazines and printed newsletters and magazines, to promote engagement in ANR policy discussions. Future research is needed to examine other factors that may influence agriculture organization members’ communication with elected officials, as well as the types of messaging strategies organizational leaders can use to further members’ engagement in ANR policy decisions.