Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Swortzel, Kirk A.

Committee Member

Denny, Marina D’Abreau

Committee Member

Greenhaw, Laura L.

Committee Member

Catchot, Angus L. Jr.

Committee Member

Irby, Jon Trenton

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Agricultural Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


School of Human Sciences


ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to explore the preferred information sources and delivery channels for receiving agronomic crop related information for farmers, agricultural retailers, and private crop consultants in Mississippi. The Mississippi State Extension Agronomic Crops Team can use this information to better serve their agronomic crop clients throughout the state of Mississippi. An electronic survey was developed and disseminated at the Mississippi State Row Crops Short Course, Winter Producer Meetings, and Farm Trade Shows to farmers, agricultural retailers, and private crop consultants who attended throughout Mississippi (n=298). The highest-ranking interpersonal information source was MSU Extension, followed by agricultural retailers, and crop consultants. The lowest ranking interpersonal information sources were other farmers, seed and chemical companies, and government agencies. The highest ranking information delivery channels were email, text messaging, and the Mississippi Crops Blog. The lowest ranking information delivery channels were postal mail, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Face-toace conversations, private consultants, and field days were the highest rated information source preferences. In contrast, respondents rated television and radio the lowest. Respondents were asked to give a numeric ranking on where they would fall on adopting a new agricultural technology (e.g. smart phone crop app). The majority of respondents placed themselves in the “Early Majority” group as it relates to Rogers Diffusion of Innovation. The smallest percentage placed themselves in the “Laggards” group. Internet use among farmers was found to be influenced by age, highest level of education, internet connection type, and other devices used. Findings in this study support the Uses and Gratifications Theory. The majority of respondents still place value in the MSU Extension Agronomic Crops Team when it comes to frequency of contact. Respondents number one answer was making contact ten or more times a year with the appropriate Crops Specialist for their agronomic crops needs. Extension educators should remember that not all of their clientele are equally connected to the internet. Marketing efforts for programs and educational materials available only online are not being accessed by all potential clientele. Programs targeting older clientele should be marketed using other methods in addition to the internet.



information sources||delivery channels||agronomic crop related information||Extension Service