PR – Defining New Clientele For University Outreach In The West
The rural West has experienced dramatic demographic and economic transformations over the past decade. The make-up of farm operators has altered significantly and enterprises are increasingly at greater production, financial, marketing, human, and institutional risks. Given the importance of University Outreach education to the future of agriculture, a better understanding of the make-up of farm operators and their perceived threats are required in order to design effective risk management education. A statistically valid survey was conducted in 2006 of farmers and ranchers in Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming in cooperation with the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The questionnaire was designed to discover the demographics, preferences for learning methodologies, greatest threats, and information demands of today’s farmers. Empirical analyses were conducted using survey data of 2,645 farm operators. This paper presents preliminary results based on initial analysis.