Citation
Communication of agricultural information resulting from on-farm research trials among limited resourse farmers in two North Florida counties

Material Information

Title:
Communication of agricultural information resulting from on-farm research trials among limited resourse farmers in two North Florida counties
Creator:
Wotowiec, Peter Joseph, 1958- ( Dissertant )
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publisher:
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
1987
Language:
English
Physical Description:
viii, 87 leaves ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Agricultural resources ( jstor )
Agriculture ( jstor )
Experimentation ( jstor )
Farmers ( jstor )
Farming systems ( jstor )
Farms ( jstor )
Interpersonal communication ( jstor )
Mass media ( jstor )
Media use ( jstor )
Peanuts ( jstor )
Advertising -- Agriculture ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Research -- On-farm ( lcsh )
Agricutural estimating and reporting ( lcsh )
Farms -- Research ( lcsh )
Peanuts ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract:
The central purpose of this study was to examine the informational effects of on-farm research trials of perennial peanut forage (Arachis glabra Benth.) among limited resource farmers in a two county area of North Central Florida. A secondary purpose was to determine characteristics of the on-farm trials which are related to farmers' awareness of them. Personal interviews of limited resource farmers and of cooperating farmers who managed the trials were conducted. Interviews were complied with 29 (94%) of the 31 cooperators and with 78 (57%) of the 138 limited resource farmers who were contacted. The analysis utilized frequencies, percentages and chi-square tests. The on-farm trials were not effective inn increasing awareness of perennial peanut among farmers. Few farmers were aware of the trials. Farmer awareness of the trials was not significantly associated with the physical characteristics of the trial or with characteristics of the cooperating farmers. However, farmers appear more likely to be aware of trials which have been in place longer, where cooperators do not work off the farm, have resided locally for longer periods of time and where they conduct more than one trial. An important channel for agricultural information for some limited resource farmers may be through local farm organizations. Although not statistically significant, farmers who were aware of the trials tended to be more involved in local farm groups. Interpersonal communication about the perennial peanut trials between cooperators and other limited resource vfamrers appeared to be minimal even though these two groups were similar on the basis of the variables studied. Interpersonal communication between cooperators and other local farmers cannot be solely relied upon to spread information about trials. Awareness of the trials was positively associated with contact with extension. However, efforts to promote the trials were not well planned nor consistently employed and had little effect on farmer awareness.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 1987.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 72-76.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Funding:
Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
Statement of Responsibility:
by Peter Joseph Wotowiec.

Record Information

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Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location:
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
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The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. This item may be protected by copyright but is made available here under a claim of fair use (17 U.S.C. §107) for non-profit research and educational purposes. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact Digital Services (UFDC@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
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17330945 ( OCLC )
AEU3412 ( NOTIS )

Full Text
COMMUNICATION OF AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION RESULTING FROM ON-FARM RESEARCH TRIALS AMONG LIMITED RESOURCE FARMERS
IN TWO NORTH FLORIDA COUNTIES
By
PETER JOSEPH WOTOWIEC JR.
A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR
THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1987




COMMUNICATION OF AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION RESULTING FROM ON-FARM RESEARCH TRIALS AMONG LIMITED RESOURCE FARMERS
IN TWO NORTH FLORIDA COUNTIES
By
PETER JOSEPH WOTOWIEC JR.
A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF' FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR
THE DEGREE OF' MASTER OF SCIENCE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1987




ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to thank my wife Sandra. Without her patient understanding and loving support this work would never have been completed. Special appreciation is extended to Dr. Carl Beeman, Dr. Jimmy Cheek, Dr. Peter Hildebrand, Dr. Peter Warnock, Dr. John Woeste and Dr. Glen Israel for their encouragement and tolerance in guiding me through this learning endeavor. I am indebted to Robert Hessels and my other fellow graduate students who have taught me to question "Why?"




TABLE OF CONTENTS
page
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. ................... .. .. .. ..
LIST OF TABLES........................V
LIST OFFIGUJRES...................... .... .. ..Vi
ABSTRACT............................vii
CHAPTER
I INTRODUCTION...........................1
Farming Systems Research And Extension .. ......1
On-Farm Trials as Tools for Research. ......2 On-Farm Trials as Tools for Extension .. .....3 On-Farm Trials and Farmer Communication ... 4
Statement Of The Problem. ..............5
Purpose And Objectives. ...............5
Need For The Study .. ................6
Definition Of Terms. ................9
II REVIEW OF LITERATURE ...............11
Technology Innovation Process. ..........11
Theory Of Diffusion Of Innovations .. ........12
Innovation-Decision Process ......... 16
Communication Channels. ............17
Communication Networks. ............20
Homophily, Heterophily and Informnati on Flow. 21
Result Demonstrations ................24
On-Farm Trials. ...................26
Farmer Awareness and Site Characteristics 30 Cooperating Farmers and Information Diffusion 31
III RESEARCH PROCEDURE.................34
Populations and Samples ...............34
Instrumentation ...................36
Data Collection Procedure. .............37
Statistical Analysis. .. ........... 38
iii




IV PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA. .........40
Objective 1 .....................40
Awareness of Perennial Peanut. .. ........40
Awareness of Perennial Peanut Trials .. ....41
Objective 2 .....................42
Objective 3 .....................45
Objective 4 .................... 49
Additional Analyses .................52
Cooperators and Unaware Farmers Compared 52
Promotion of Trials and Farmer Awareness 55
V SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 59
Summary ......................59
Findings. .....................61
Objective 1 .. .. .. .. ... .. ... ..61
Objective 2 ....................61
Objective 3 ....................62
Objective 4 ....................63
Additional Findings. ..............63
Conclusions .....................65
Objective 1 ....................65
Objective 2....................65
Objective 3 ....................65
Objective 4 ....................66
Additional Conclusions .. ............67
Recommendations ...................67
On-Farm Trials. ..................68
Extension Efforts .................69
Further Research. .................70
REFERENCES. .......................72
APPENDICES
A Interview Instrument .. ..............77
B On-Farm Trial DeScription Form .. ..........86
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ....................87
iv




LIST OF TABLES
Table Page
1 Results of contacts of limited resource
landowners. ...................36
2 Sources of farmer awareness of perennial
peanut. .....................41
3 Farmer awareness of specific perennial
peanut trials ..................42
4 Summary of tests of association between
farmer awareness of specific trials and
selected trial locational
characteristics .................43
5 Summary of tests of association between
farmer awareness of specific trials and
selected cooperator attributes .. ........47
6 Summary of tests of difference between.
farmers who were aware of specific trials
and farmers who were not aware .. ........50
7 Summary of tests of difference between
farmers who were not aware of trials and
cooperating farmers. .............54
8 Contact with extension by farmer
awareness of trials. ............
9 Receiving extension newsletters by
awareness of trials. .............57
10 Mention in newspaper by farmer awareness
of specific cooperators. ...........58
V




LIST OF FIGURES
Figure Page
1 Technology innovation process 12
2 Stages in the innovation-decision
process 16
3 Sequence for developing, evaluating and
delivering technologies to farmers 28
vi




Abstract of Thesis Presented to
the Graduate School of the University of Florida
in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for
the Degree of Master of Science
COMMUNICATION OF AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION RESULTING FROM
ON-FARM RESEARCH TRIALS AMONG LIMITED RESOURCE FARMERS
IN TWO NORTH FLORIDA COUNTIES By
PETER JOSEPH WOTOWIEC JR.
August 1987
Chairman: Carl E. Beeman
Cochairman: Jimmy G. Cheek Major Department: Agricultural and Extension Education
The central purpose of this study was to examine the informational effects of on-farm research trials of perennial peanut forage (Arachis glabra Benth.) among limited resource farmers in a two county area of North Central Florida. A secondary purpose was to determine characteristics of the on-farm trials which are related to farmers' awareness of them.
Personal interviews of limited resource farmers and of cooperating farmers who managed the trials were conducted. Interviews were completed with 29 (94%) of the 31 cooperators and with 78 (57%) of the 138 limited resource farmers who were contacted. The analysis utilized frequencies, percentages and chi-square tests.
vii




The on-farm trials were not effective in increasing awareness of perennial peanut among farmers. Few farmers were aware of the trials.
Farmer awareness of the trials was not significantly associated with the physical characteristics of the trial or with characteristics of the cooperating farmers. However, farmers appear more likely to be aware of trials which have been in place longer, where cooperators do not work off the farm, have resided locally for longer periods of time and where they conduct more than one trial.
An important channel for agricultural information for some limited resource farmers may be through local farm organizations. Although not statistically significant, farmers who were aware of the trials tended to be more involved in local farm groups.
Interpersonal communication about the perennial peanut trials between cooperators and other limited resource farmers appeared to be minimal even though these two groups were similar on the basis of the variables studied. Interpersonal communication between cooperators and other local farmers cannot be solely relied upon to spread information about trials.
Awareness of the trials was positively associated with contact with extension. However, efforts to promote the trials were not well planned nor consistently employed and had little effect on farmer awareness.
viii




CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
Farming Systems Research And Extension
Through a process of trial and error, continuing over generations, farmers develop, adapt and evaluate new ideas and solutions for the agricultural problems they confront. The farming systems research and extension (FSR/E) approach is designed to facilitate this natural technology innovation process and allow farmers to better stay abreast of the many changes in our modern society (Hildebrand and Waugh, 1983). Working within existing research and extension institutions, this approach brings together biological and social scientists, extension personnel and farmers to develop, test, adapt, evaluate, and deliver appropriate agricultural technologies to specific farming systems. Combined farmer, extensionist and researcher observations lead to a fuller diagnosis and understanding of the key production constraints of the targeted farming system. Ideally, communication among farmers, researchers and extensionists is maximized through frequent contact and interaction in solving farm problems.
1




2
On-Farm Trials as Tools for Research
Following initial research carried out on the
experiment station under controlled conditions, on-farm technology testing trials are conducted. Trials managed by a farming systems team allow promising technologies to be evaluated in the variable environments found on farms in the targeted area. Farmer-managed verification trials are the final step in the process before the delivery of adapted technology to appropriate farmers. Farmers who cooperate by managing the simplified on-farm trials indicate acceptability of the technology through comments and by their adoption or nonadoption of it (Gilbert, Norman, and Winch, 1980; Hildebrand and Poey, 1985).
Interdisciplinary teamwork between researchers and extensionists, participation of farmers in all stages of the process, and testing and adaptation of technologies under actual farm conditions have led to the successful development of adapted agricultural technologies for specific farming systems. Examples include improved sorghum and millet varieties for the Western Sudan (Coughenour and Nazhat, 1985), improved intercropping systems of maize with beans, wheat and cabbage in Guatemala (Hildebrand, Ruano, Lopez Yoz, Samayoa, and Duarte, 1977), and perennial peanut as an adapted forage crop for North Florida (Schmidt, 1984).




3
On-Farm Trials as Tools for Extension
Conducting adaptive research on the farm is also the
beginning of the extension delivery process (Coughenour and Nazhat, 1985; Hildebrand, 1985). Involvement of farmer cooperators in the planting and management of on-farm trials is a potential learning experience for them as well as for the farming systems team. Ideally, as many local farmers as possible are invited to participate, or at least to observe the on-farm trial and its results. Price comunents, "An incidental feature of on-farm research is that farmers see, indeed participate in, experimental trials in their villages, and may adopt techniques before [formal] extension takes place" (1982, p. 107).
Because of close involvement by farmers, on-farm
trials can be an effective means of complementing other extension education methods such as meetings, newsletters, mass media, and demonstrations in getting the word out about new technologies and practices. In the farming systems approach, farmers' evaluations of technologies determine whether they are deemed appropriate and recommended for dissemination. Active participation by farmers in on-farm research ensures that the end product is appropriate for their situations and offers them an opportunity to test and observe new technologies before




4
deciding whether or not to adopt them (Hildebrand, 1985). Farmers who participate in on-farm technology trials are frequently among the first to adopt the technology being tested, assuming it was favorably evaluated (Hoque, 1984). From the perspective of extension education, farmer participatory on-farm trials which are conducted primarily for research purposes can also provide a unique educational forum for farmers.
On-Farm Trials and Farmer Communication
Numerous studies have underlined the importance of the "grapevine" or farmer-to-farmer communication and the vital role this exchange of information plays in adoption decisions farmers make about new technology (Rogers, 1983). It is likely that farmers who test technologies in on-farm trials also discuss them with neighbors and other farmer@. This exchange of information may be a useful alternate channel for spreading information about new technologies through a farming community. Through farmer participation and observation, on-farm trials in the farming systems research and extension process can become an important point of entry for new ideas and information into local communication networks. Since FSR/E on-farm trials are normally conducted on many farms throughout an area, they can be an important method of information dissemination.




5
Statement Of The Problem
In addition to fulfilling research objectives, a.
program of on-farm trials might also be managed to enhance distribution of information throughout an agricultural community. To have a significant extension function, information from on-farm trials must reach additional farmers above and beyond the cooperators and initial farmer participants and observers. To what extent do farmer cooperators pass on information to other farmers regarding the technologies they are testing in trials on their farms?
Empirical observations made by this writer tend-to
support the idea that individual on-farm trials vary widely in their effect on farmer awareness. To be able to optimally conduct a series of on-farm trials with an extension objective, as well as a research intent, one must first be cognizant of the characteristics of on-farm trials which tend to lead to greatest farmer awareness.
Purpose and Objectivres
The central purpose of this study was to examine the informational effects of five years of on-farm research trials of perennial peanut forage (Arachis glabra Benth.) among limited resource farmers in a two county area of




6
North Central Florida. A secondary purpose was to determine characteristics of on-farm trials which are related to enhanced awareness held by local farmers of the trials and technology being tested. The following objectives were developed to accomplish these purposes:
1. Examine the extent of awareness by local
limited resource farmers of specific on-farm
perennial peanut research trials.
2. Determine if there was an association between
farmers' awareness of on-farm trials and specific
site location characteristics of those trials.
3. Determine if there was an association between
farmers' awareness of on-farm trials and selected
attributes of the farmer cooperators who manage
those trials.
4. Determine if farmers who were unaware of the trials
were different from farmers who were aware of them.
Need For The Study
The farming systems approach has resulted in the
development of locally adapted, appropriate technologies for specified farmers in many worldwide settings. Even though it is recognized that farmer participatory on-farm research is the beginning of farming systems technology delivery efforts, this aspect has received scant attention.




7
Price (1982) notes that "the formalization of this direct flow of information" from on-farm trials to the farmer has not been carried out, and the role of on-farm research in imparting information to farmers is still imperfectly understood.
According to Lionberger (1986), the extension function in farming systems has been neglected. While noting the effectiveness of this approach in bringing together researchers and farmers, Lionberger cautions that decisionmakers will consider it as a costly venture unless special efforts are made to increase the number of people ultimately reached. Likewise, other writers have urged farming systems practitioners to place greater emphasis on improving delivery of adapted technologies so as to reach a large portion of the targeted farmer audience, and even other farmers with similar farming systems where the same technologies might also be useful (Kellogg, Butler, Compton, Swisher, and Johnson, 1984; Woeste, 1984).
Because on-farm trials are already an integral part of farming systems methodology, managing them to provide the additional benefit of enhanced technology delivery would be an efficient use of existing resources. By locating on-farm trials with respect to interpersonal communication networks in an area, farmer-to-farmer communication about trials and technology could potentially reach a great number of individuals. The efficiency and effectiveness of




8
the investment in research and extension could be improved by technology delivery efforts which begin by strengthening the link between interpersonal communication among farmers and local on-farm trials.
The use of on-farm trials is recognized as an
appropriate and useful method for the Cooperative Extension Service. As noted in the Agricultural Extension Agent Handbook, "appropriate use oE exploratory and adaptive tests can materially strength en most county extension programs." (Institute of Food' & Agricultural Sciences, 1985
Vol. 2, p. XVII-4).
This study of the informational effects of on-farm
research will be of value in refining the use of trials in research and extension programs, particularly for the North Florida Farming Systems Research and Extension Project, the Suwvannee and Columbia County Cooperative Extension Services, and other rural North Florida extension efforts. The findings of this study will enhance future, more comprehensive efforts made by extensionists and other farming systems practitioners to refine efficient and effective methodologies for technology delivery which begin during on-farm adaptive research activities.




9
Definition Of Terms
Awareness refers to recognition of the existence of an idea, object, practice or person. This study focuses on farmers' initial awareness of perennial peanut trials.
A technology, in the broad sense, is an object,
practice or idea which can be used to achieve a given end. A technology commonly consists of physical objects along with a conceptual idea and knowledge of how to use them. An innovation is a an object, practice or idea which is perceived as new by someone.
Researchers are investigators who employ the
scientific method to seek out new knowledge and ways of doing things. Basic researchers conduct their investigations with the sole purpose of acquiring new knowledge. Applied researchers use this knowledge to solve specific problems, often through the development of new technologies. Extensionists are educators and agents of change who use nonformal methods of instruction to teach and inform primarily rural audiences about improved practices and ideas.
A farming system is an interrelated and interacting
arrangement of farming enterprises that a household manages according to well defined practices in response to physical, biological and socioeconomic conditions in




10
accordance with household goals, and resources (Shaner, Philipp, and Schmehl, 1982).
Farming Systems Research and Extension (FSR/E) is an approach to technology generation, evaluation, and delivery. It is applied, farmer oriented, agro-biological research, supported by the socioeconomic sciences in a team effort including extension responsibilities (Hildebrand and Waugh, 1983).
Farmer-cooperators are persons actively participating in on-farm research on their own land. The research may be managed by the researcher, jointly managed by the researcher and farmer, or completely farmer-managed.
An on-farm trial is an experiment designed to test the response of an agricultural technology under actual farm conditions. For the sake of simplicity, on-farm trial is used here to denote an experiment, or part of an experiment, which is placed in a specific farmer's field. In an on-farm verification trial, the technology has been successfully tested under local conditions, and is being verified over a wider range of farms prior to being recommended.




CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
This chapter is devoted to a review of literature related to innovation diffusion and the use of demonstrations and on-farm research trials to disseminate farm information among farmers.
Technology Innovation Process
The technology innovation process is an "autonomous
social process" through which new technologies, practices, and ideas are developed and spread through a society (McDermott, 1984). As such, it is inherently found in all cultures, modern and primitive. The Land Grant agricultural research and extension system is an example of an organized institutional structure designed to facilitate the technology innovation process. Relating the conventional distinction of research and extension to the technology innovation model outlined below, it will be noted that -there is no clear-cut distinction between the responsibilities of the two. Indeed, McDermott notes that in the central stages of the technology innovation process,




12
"it is almost essential that research and extension blend so well that they are indistinguishable" (p. 6).
World Integrate Common
Stock Research--------------------> Diffusion Practice
of Develop Test Adapt
Knowledge
Figure. 1. Technology innovation process Source: McDermott, 1984
In actual practice the stages defined in the model are not static and clearly distinguishable from each other, although each is a component of the overall continuum. The focus of this study lies within both the technology adaptation and diffusion stages. on-farm trials, used to test, adapt, and verify technologies under actual farm conditions and constraints, are also likely to aid in diffusing those technologies to farmers.
Theory of Diffusion Of Innovations
A theoretical framework employing a communications approach to the "diffusion of innovations" concept has emerged largely within the last thirty years. Rogers (1962, 1983) and Rogers and Shoemaker (1971) have attempted
-to synthesize diffusion research and literatu re from




13
numerous disciplines into a common set of findings and concepts. In his latest effort (1983) Rogers has reviewed 3,085 diffusion publications, refining and adding to his "generalizations" and to this theory of diffusion.
As evidenced by the many changes and revisions between the 1962, 1971, and 1983 works, the theory of the diffusion of innovations still remains in a state of evolution and refinement. Concern and criticism about certain inadequacies of this diffusion paradigm and its sometimes adverse social effects when employed inappropriately have been voiced (Goss, 1979; Hepp, 1979; Rolinq. 1981; Valkonen. 1970). Suaaested modifications include olacina areater emphasis on the role of the characteristics of innovations in the adoption process, more precise delineation of target audiences and their differences, and additional attention placed on the consequences of adoption.
Rogers acknowledges these criticisms and note,
"Criticism is due in large part to the stereotyped and limited ways in which most diffusion scholars have come to define the scope and method of their field of study" (1983, p. xvii). Too frequently, the tendency has been to implicitly consider any innovation as good and not question its usefulness for varying situations and clientele. Much effort has been expended in studying the differences among individuals in their "innovativeness", yet relatively fewer




14
analyses of the characteristics of innovations as related to rates of adoption have been undertaken (Rogers, 1983). Undue emphasis has been placed upon individual-level factors such as innovativeness, age and traditionalism in the adoption process with insufficient attention paid to the effect of system-level factors, such as agricultural policies, market and supply infrastructure and geographical location (Brown, 1981). Feder, Just, and Zilberman stress that researchers must also provide "detailed information on attributes of the institutional, social, and cultural setting and their interactions with economic factors in studies of adoption (1982, p. iii). Finally, too often the end sought has been the adoption of innovations with much less attention placed on the consequences of that adoption
(Roling, 1981).
The diffusion of innovations paradigm remains dominant in rural sociology, extension education and various other fields. It will be utilized here as the theoretical frame of reference, keeping in mind its potential limitations and biases as presently conceptualized. Key components of the diffusion of innovations theory which are relevant to this study will be briefly reviewed.
"Diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among members of a social system" (Rogers, 1983, p. 5). The four main elements in diffusion are the innovation, the channel




15
of communication, the time involved, and the social system in which this process occurs. This process entails more than a simple unilinear transfer of a message from one individual to another. Diffusion can be considered as a "process of convergence whereby two or more individuals exchange informnation about an innovation in an interaction which continues through several cycles over time" (1983, pp. 5-6).
An innovation is an idea, practice, or object
perceived as new by an individual. The attributes of innovations as viewed by potential adopters largely influence their respective rates of adoption. Relative advantage refers to the degree to which an innovation is perceived as better than the idea or practice it replaces. Aspects of relative advantage include economic profitability, gain in social status, low initial cost, decrease in discomfort, savings in time, effort and cost, and immediacy of benefit. Compatibility is the degree to which an innovation is considered consistent with the potential adopters' values, beliefs, past experiences, and needs. Complexity refers to the degree to which an innovation is considered difficult to understand and use. Trialability refers to the degree to which a potential adopter is able to experiment with an innovation before adoption. Finally, observability is the degree to which




16
the results of adoption of an innovation are visible to others (Rogers, 1983).
Innovation-Decision Process
The innovation-decision process "consists of a series of actions and choices over time through which an individual evaluates a new idea and decides whether or not to incorporate it into ongoing practice" (Rogers, 1983, p. 163). A recent five stage model of this process postulated by Rogers is outlined in Figure 2.
KNOWLEDGE
Exposure to innovation and knowledge of how it works.
PERSUASION
Form favorable or unfavorable attitude about innovation.
DECISION
Engagement in activities leading to adoption or not.
IMPLEMENTATION
Innovation is put to use.
CONFIRMATION
Reinforcement of decision is sought.
Figure 2. Stages in the innovaltion-decision process Source: adapted from Rogers, 1983




17
This model of the innovation-decision process stems from an earlier conceptualization of the individual adoption process consisting of awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption stages which was widely used by rural sociologists (Lionberger, 1960; Lionberger and Gwin, 1982; Rogers and Beal, 1958). Rogers' model of this process is notable chiefly because it does not stop with adoption but recognizes a subsequent "confirmation" stage. In this study, the initial knowledge [or awareness] stage will be of most concern, although information transfer as a result of on-farm trial activities may be important at each of the stages.
Communication Channels
A communication source is an individual or entity that originates a message, and a communications channel is the means by which a message gets from a source to a receiver. Channels are often categorized in a general manner as either interpersonal or mas3 media depending upon whether the exchange of information is conducted face-to-face or transmitted unilaterally via radio, television or printed materials. Mass media channels have the advantage of being able to rapidly reach a large audience with information,




although because of the impersonal nature of mass media, only weak changes in attitudes are effected.
Interpersonal channels allow two-way exchange of information and have a stronger effect on attitude formation owing to their face-to-face nature. Unfortunately, because of time and travel limitations, a change agent emphasizing only interpersonal channels is only able to interact with a small audience. In discussing the relative importance of these two channels, Rogers sets forth the following generalization; "Mass media channels are typically more important at the knowledge stage and interpersonal channels are more important at the persuasion stage in the innovation-decision process" (1983, pp. 198-199).
On a contrary note, communication studies of small farmers in the United States have noted greater reliance upon interpersonal channels of information, even in the presence of mass media channels (Allen, 1985; Hepp, 1979; Hepp and Olson, 1980). Doughty and Schmidt, reflecting on their study of information communication among small farmers in Alachua County, Florida, state "the mass media role in dissemination of farm related information appears weak at best" (1981, p. 13).
Even some studies cited by Rogers (1983) in developing countries tend to show that interpersonal channels are more important than mass media at all stages in the




19
innovation-decision process. Rogers believes the reason for this is due to the relatively lesser presence of mass media in these settings. However, in a study of the use of information channels by Oregon farmers, Mason (1964) concluded that the usage of mass media was less than that of other channels at all stages in the adoption process.
Indeed, other authors have noted that studies which attempt to determine the relative significance of various communication channels at each stage of the innovation-decision process are frequently conflicting (McArthur, 1978). Allen (1985) found Thlat specific agricultural subgroups defined on the basis of sex, farm size and farm enterprise differ in their relative degree of reliance upon mass media and interpersonal channels for information acquisition just as they differ in their personal, social and farming characteristics. This implies that part of the reason for conflicting findings concerning the usage of communication channels might be because different population subgroups have differing communication behaviors, including their reliance upon particular channels.
Actually, mass media and interpersonal communication channels are complementary and both are necessary for effective communication. Mass media and other external channels such as extension Personnel and agricultural salesmen generally provide initial inputs of new




20
information which is then diffused within the local social system -through interpersonal exchanges among local people as well as by further mass media efforts. However, it is necessary to be aware of the varying use of different communication channels by subgroups within an agricultural social system. Effective change agents must use this knowledge to tailor information dissemination strategies for different types of farmers and non-farming clientele (Allen, 1985).
Communication Networks
Farmers typically back away from interaction with
outside change agents and discuss an innovation among
themselves before adopting or rejecting it. Such
farmers have communication networks among themselves that are based on interpersonal relationships .
The fact that farmers have an indigenous knowledge
system and communicative structures through which it
is spread suggests that extension workers might
do well to learn about them. (Compton, 1984, p. 82)
A communication network is defined by Rogers (1983) as consisting "of interconnected individuals who are linked by patterned flows of information" (p. 194). Interconnectedness refers to the degree to which individuals in a social system are linked by interpersonal networks. The more closely and regularly individuals in a communication network interact with one another, the more rapidly information will flow through the network. "Communication proximity is the degree to which two linked




21
individuals in a network have personal communication networks that overlap" (Rogers, 1983, pp. 295-296). This proximity is the basis for defining communication cliques, or subgroups of individuals who interact with each other relatively more than with other members of the communication system. Lionberger (1960) describes different social groups which may form the foci for exchange of information in different settings and circumstances. The local community, the neighborhood, social cliques, and formal groups are considered to be the most relevant types of social groupings related to communication networks.
Homophily, Heterophily and Information Flow
Rogers notes that optimal exchange of information
between two individuals is most likely to occur when thoseindividuals are alike or homophilous. Homophily is defined as the "degree to which pairs of individuals who interact are similar in certain attributes, such as beliefs, education, social status and the like" (1983, pp. 274-276). Homophily among members of a communication network tends to be the rule rather than the exception, especially among less mobile, traditional groups. Communication between individuals who share the same set of values and who use commonly defined words and expressions is more likely to be




22
effective than between individuals from two disparate social groups possessing differing beliefs and even spoken dialects. However, communication networks comprised mainly of linkages between similar individuals from a common local area lack inputs of new information which would generally enter through contacts with socially and spatially distant others.
Heterophily concerns the degree of dissimilarity
between individuals. Heterophilous communication occurs less frequently but is especially important as the link which brings new information into a communication system from outside. New ideas frequently enter a system through individuals of higher status who have more communication links with outside sources of information. In social systems with heterophilous tendencies, lower status individuals have more opportunities to communicate with higher status information sources, thus rapidly diffusing awareness and information through the system (Rogers, 1983). In social systems tending toward homophily, higher status individuals rarely interact on a regular basis with lower status individuals, thus imposing a potential barrier to communication.
The degree of homophily of a social system is an important consideration in planning communication strategies intended to reach all classes of that society. If a high degree of homophily is apparent internally among




23
the various groups in a community, and the groups are quite dissimilar to one another, it would be erroneous to consider that spread of information between them takes place at a rapid rate. A strategy of dealing directly with the elite, expecting information to trickle down to others would be inappropriate. "One implication of homophily as a barrier to diffusion is that change agents should work with different sets of opinion leaders throughout the social structures (Rogers, 1983, pp. 275-276).
Coughenour and Nazhat in a study of communication
among village farmers in North Kordofan, Sudan, have made some pertinent observations concerning barriers to communication;
Channels of informal communication between and within
villages do function to bring villagers information
about innovations and the system is
surprisingly efficient. However, there is evidence
that the system has gaps or barriers which
direct the flow of information to some groups and
away from others. It results in a patchy and
irregular distribution of information among villages
and to groups within villages. (1985, p. 72)
They identify a number of factors which contribute to these communication barriers, both personal and socio-cultural. Farmers suppress information about new grain varieties for personal gain and because of uncertainty about their appropriateness. Information normally flows well within individual kinship networks and tribal groups, but tends to flow much slower between the different groups. Information flow~ between males and




24
females was also found to be less than optimal. These authors recommend that extensionists look for these and other barriers to communication in local communities and develop dissemination strategies which target relevant groups separately.
Lionberger (1960) states that status differences
within a community may serve as barriers to communication. Status, as used by Lionberger, is defined by the perceptions of the population under study. Level of education, level of income, land tenure, participation in organizations, size of farm, and technical competency were noted among those factors which might jointly determine status in a given community.
If social distances attendant to status differences
are sufficiently great, communication on a
person-to-person basis may be slowed down or stopped.
This is likely to happen where class lines are clearly drawn and where association tends to be
confined within class lines. (Lionberger, 1960, p.
87)
Result Demonstrations
A commonly given objective of a result demonstration is to "furnish local proof of the recommended practice" to farmers as performing better than their current practices (Cook, 1966, p. 128). A result demonstration illustrates a known practice, method or fact. Demonstrations are not research oriented, but are carried out based on research




25
indicating that a given technology is appropriate (IFAS, 1985). Research recommendations are frequently made for the case of the "average" farmer and farm. These recommendations may not be appropriate for farmers with differing resources, available management time, and goals, which are but a few of the factors which may vary among farms. It is important tflat extension agents adequately question and evaluate the appropriateness of an innovation for a given clientele before initiating a demonstration of it.
A potential pitfall in the use of the demonstration technique is the "necessity" of proving to farmers that a recommended technology is superior to their current practice. When conducting a result demonstration one may be reluctant to have a failure in full view of the public. Therefore, the extensionist may unwittingly produce a superior environment in the demonstration plot which is unmatchable by farmers with lesser resources to apply to their considerably larger fields.
When using the demonstration technique, a change agent must be fully cognizant of these potential shortcomings to the approach. However, demonstrations when conducted with care are very useful in extension work. As noted in the Florida Agricultural Extension Agent Handbook, both demonstrations and field test plots (on-farm trials) are




26
appropriate methods for extension, each technique having its particular role (1985, pp. XVII:l-9).
In a recent study of small farms extension programs in the South, Ingram (1986) found that most information was currently being disseminated through publications, one-on-one contacts and through demonstration plots. Program administrators indicated that these three dissemination channels were the most effective methods of information delivery to all segments of the small farms audience. Bailey and Baird (1960) in their review of the history of result demonstrations from 1900 to 1960 note a number of successes, particularly the case of the Tennessee Valley Authority program of test demonstration farms. Experiences in the TVA program and elsewhere show that a complex of factors influence the outcome of this extension technique. Bailey (1964) specifies the characteristics of the demonstration itself, of the demonstrator, of the potential audience and of the community as important factors affecting the effectiveness of demonstrations.
On-Farm Trials
Cosmopolite channels are those from outside the
social system being investigated; localite channels
about new ideas reach individuals from sources inside
their social system. (Rogers, 1983, p. 200)




27
Seen in this context, on-far1m trials and
demonstrations fulfill the role of cosmopolite channels of information. Once the information is introduced into the social system through the trials, it is distributed through localite channels, such as farmers speaking to other farmers. Planned extension efforts such as field days, and use of mass media channels, such as extension newsletters, further enhance and complement this dissemination.
Not only do on-farm trials act to input new
information, ideas, and technology into a local area, they also facilitate the individual innovation-decision process of farmers. While a technology is being tested and adapted to an area through on-farm work, farmers become aware of it. Through direct participation and observation of the trials farmers gain information about an innovation and how it works (Hildebrand, 1985; Price, 1982). This combination of experiential and observational learning (Wake, 1984) gives farmers an opportunity to evaluate a technology, to decide whether or not to adopt it, and a chance to acquire the knowledge necessary to use it. By carefully monitoring this learning process, farming systems practitioners can gain valuable insights concerning the suitability of the innovation. If it is not accepted by the farmers, the innovation can be modified and further tested in on-farm trials, or it is abandoned for more fruitful solutions to the farm problems.




28
The farmer-cooperators who conduct trials on their
farm are purposely selected to represent different types of farms and farmers. This allows an estimate of the performance of technologies under widely varying conditions. From the perspective of information dissemination, Hildebrand states,
By conducting on-farm trials over a wide range of
environments and in all diffusion domains
(interpersonal communication networks] in a
community, FSR/E facilitates the process of obtaining information and of receiving hands-on experience with
a technology. While a farmer is gaining information
about a technology, the technology can also be in the
process of adaptation to community conditions.
(1985, p. 9)
On-farm trials are oriented toward applied
agricultural research. Three types of trials are generally recognized (see Figure 3). Exploratory trials are usually located on only a few farms and are managed by the researcher. These trials are used when searching for possible solutions to a problem, therefore a number of alternative technologies may be studied. These trials are more complex in design than subsequent types of trials.
RESEARCH> EXPLORATORY > REFINEMENT > VERIFICATION > FARM STATION TRIALS TRIALS TRIALS USE
Figure 3. Sequence for developing, evaluating and delivering technologies to farmers.
Source: adapted from FSSP, 1985




29
Refinement trials are placed on a larger number of farms to test and further adapt technologies which have been selected for their superior responses during the exploratory stage. In refinement trials, technologies are tested over a wider set of farm environments. These trials are generally implemented and managed jointly by the researcher and the farmer cooperator and are somewhat simpler in their design.
At the verification stage, trials are placed on an even larger number of farms. The focus is upon one or a few of the most promising technologies which have been largely adapted to local conditions in the previous stages. Verification trials are usually completely farmer-managed, and evaluation of the technology by the cooperators themselves determines whether it will be recommended, sent back to the refinement stage for further modifications, or abandoned. These trials are the simplest in design; each on-farm trial location may have as few as two treatments which consist of the farmer's current practice and the refined technology (Farming Systems Support Project, 1985).
When using the on-farm trial technique, researchers and extensionists move a technology through an iterative series of stages, adapting and refining it to local conditions until at the final stage the farmer-cooperators evaluate it. The technology is not assumed to be




30
appropriate until receiving a Positive evaluation by the cooperators and until it is finally adopted.
The emphasis of this study is upon the verification stage of the on-farm trial sequence. At this point, the technologies being tested are most adapted to local conditions, work is carried out on a relatively large number of farms, and the trials are managed by the farmers themselves.
Farmer Awareness And Site Characteristics
A 1962 study by Rogers and Leuthold of a fertilizer
demonstration program in Ohio and its effect upon diffusion of information in the surrounding farm community found that 70% (55 of 77) of the local farmers were aware of the program. 28% of the farmers first became aware of the demonstrations by seeing a road sign, 22% by talking directly to a demonstrator, and 16% by personally visiting the demonstration site. Members of the audience (other farmers in the same county) tended to communicate with demonstrators who lived within an average of 4 miles from their residence. A slight tendency was noted for farmers to be more aware of demonstrations located close to more frequently traveled roads.




31
Members of the farmer-audience gathered further information (after initial awareness) about the demonstrations through the following sources;
78% talked to the demonstrator
55% saw a sign by the road
23% talked to someone other than demonstrator
25% attended a meeting
16% visited a plot
(1962, p. 12)
These figures indicate an information effect upon local farmers much greater than that measured solely by the number of farmers participating in field days.
It can be inferred that several locational
characteristics of an on-farm trial might affect farmer awareness of it. Most obvious would be the presence of a sign denoting the trial. Related to this is visibility of the trial to passers-by from a public road. Bailey (1964) mentions that placement of a demonstration [or trial] along a heavily traveled road leading to a town would likely enhance its effect on farmer awareness.
Cooperating Farmers And Information Diffusion
Rogers and Leuthold noted that demonstrators,
(selected by the county agronomy committee), had higher social status, higher education, a greater tendency to participate in formal groups, and were generally more progressive than the general farmer population of the study




32
area. Farmers who communicated more with the demonstrators also tended to be of higher status and innovativeness than the average farmer in the county. They comment,
People generally tend to communicate and associate
with others of similar attitudes, values, and
characteristics High status farmers tended to
communicate with high status demonstrators ....
One obvious implication of the tendency for persons
to associate with others like themselves is the need
to secure demonstrators at each status level,
educational level, etc. (1962, p. 23)
According to Bailey (1964), demonstrators who were most effective in a study in Mississippi were also those who were most similar to their neighbors. Demonstrators of markedly higher or lower socioeconomic status than their neighbors tended to be least effective in influencing awareness and adoption.
On a contrary note, Westermarck (1981) found in
Finland that farmers do not look to similar farmers for agricultural information but to local farming "experts" of higher prestige and status. He explains, "Farmers are quite selective in choosing their farmer informants. They are ready to seek competent advice on farming decisions further away than their closest neighbors with whom they most often have discussions" (1981, p. 315). The informational effects of Finnish demonstration farmers were lowest among nearest neighbors, with greater effects further from their place of residence. However, in Mississippi, Bailey (1964) found demonstrators to be more




33
effective when they and their audience were members of the same community or locality. Cultural differences between the populations studied may contribute to the different results. These studies, although conflicting in their findings, suggest that the characteristics of demonstrators (or cooperators) influence which types of farmers receive the most informational benefit from an on-farm trial or a demonstration.




CHAPTER III
RESEARCH PROCEDURE
The central purpose of this study was to examine the informational effects of on-farm research trials among farmers and to determine what characteristics are associated with enhanced farmer awareness of the trials and the technologies being tested. This chapter reports the research procedures employed to accomplish this purpose.
Populations And Samples
one population of reference to this ex post facto
study consists of farm households in Columbia and Suwannee counties which are classified as "small" or "limited resource" using the criteria outlined by the North Florida Farming Systems Research/Extension Project. According to Swisher & Smith,
A small farmer in the context of the farming systems
program was defined as an in-county farm resident who
(1) owns 21 to 399 acres of land, (2) produces less than 15 acres of peanuts, (3) produces less than 10
acres of tobacco, and/or, (4) raises fewer than
75,000 chickens in a single batch (fewer than three
chicken houses). (1985, p. 2)
34




35
A sampling frame of the population of all potential small farmers in this two county area was developed based on information from tax assessors' records, lists of tobacco and peanut allotments and records of contract chicken farmers kept by local poultry agribusinesses.
A list of 1800 persons meeting the above criteria was compiled. An initial random sample of 300 was drawn from it. Many of these landowners, who were contacted by phone, were not actively farming or only had timber plantings. To achieve an acceptable number of interviews with active crop or livestock farmers, an additional random sample of 95 was drawn. In all, 395 farmers were sampled. Table 1 summarizes the results of those contacts. one hundred and thirty-eight limited resource farmers were contacted who were actively farming. of those, 78 were interviewed resulting in a 57% response rate. Using the formula for determining sample size outlined by Israel (1987), these 78 interviews provide a confidence level of 90% with a precision level of plus or minus 9 percentage points.
The second population of concern to this study
consists of farmers who cooperated with the program by planting and testing a relatively new forage crop called perennial peanut (Arachis glabata Benth.) on their farms. The North Florida program has conducted on-farm trials of this forage crop for the last 5 years.




36
Table 1
Results of contacts of limited resource landowners Category Frequency Percent
Not farming 203 52%
Timber only 54 14%
Farming* 138 35%
Total contacted 395 100%
Interviews were completed with 78 of these active
farmers and 60 declined to be interviewed.
Not including the recent 1986 season, 35 farmers
(hereafter referred to as "cooperators") conducted formal on-farm trials of perennial peanut. of those, 2 had moved away and 2 had quit farming. Twenty-nine (94%) of the remaining 31 cooperators were interviewed. This number of cooperators interviewed provides a 95% confidence level with plus or minus 5 percentage points.
Instrumentation
L
An interview instrument- (Appendix A) was developed,
based on a similar instrument used in the area in 1984 and was field tested in coordination with the IFAS Program Evaluation and Organizational Development Unit. Validity was reviewed by selected professionals in the Florida Cooperative Extension Service. This instrument was




37
used to interview limited resource farmers and cooperating farmers to gather information for conducting an impact evaluation of the North Florida project and to provide data for this study. A second instrument was also developed (Appendix B) to record characteristics of each cooperator's perennial peanut trials which were observed during on-site visits by the researcher.
Data Collection Procedure
Orientation of the researcher to the field setting took place through visits and collaboration with North Florida project members in the two county area during the fall of 1985 and spring of 1986. A two month internship with the Suwannee County Cooperative Extension Service during the summer of 1986 provided additional insight concerning constraints to local agriculture and the various strategies used by different types of farmers in combining enterprises, management, labor, and other resources to realize their goals.
Initial field work began in January, 1987. A field
test of the instrument was conducted. Interviewing for the purpose of this study was completed by this researcher and another interviewer by April, 1987.




38
Statistical Analysis
Item responses for the two survey instruments were entered and verified using Statistical Analysis System (SAS) software on a personal computer. Review of the data for errors and initial descriptive analysis was accomplished by deriving one way frequencies, cumulative frequencies, percents and cumulative percents for each item.
Pearson's chi-square test was selected as the most appropriate statistical test of association given the nominal nature of the data (Bailey, 1982). In cases of two by two contingency tables with smaller samples, where more than 25% of the expected cell counts were less than 5, Fisher's Exact Test was used in place of Pearson's chisquare to determine the existence of a statistically significant association. Fisher's Exact Test is a more conservative procedure which provides the exact p-value for a comparison '7ith small samples. Where a significant association was found, the strength of that association was measured by Cramer's V statistic (Kendall and Stuart, 1979).
In the case of making multiple comparisons to test a hypothesis, it is necessary to control for the chance that the results of one or more of the individual comparisons might be erroneous. This is done statistically by setting




39
an overall acceptable error level. Individual error levels are then calculated for each particular comparison which together comprise the overall error level.
In this analysis, the overall error level in the case of multiple chi-square comparisons was set at 0.10, resulting in individual error levels from 0.01 to 0.02. For all other -cases of individual comparisons, the error level used was 0.05.




CHAPTER IV
PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA
This chapter presents analyses of data which are
designed to fulfill the original objectives of this study and also attempt to answer certain other questions which are raised by the findings. Awareness of farmers concerning the perennial peanut trials is described and associations between farmer awareness and selected characteristics of the trials and of the farmer-cooperators are reported. Possible reasons for low farmer awareness of the trials are examined by additional analyses.
objective 1
The first objective of this study was -to examine the awareness of local limited resource farmers concerning specific on-farm perennial peanut research trials.
Awareness of Perennial Peanut
Of the limited resource farmers interviewed, 43.6%
(34 of 78) had heard of the name of this new forage crop. Twenty-eight farmers, who were aware of perennial peanut,
40




41
provided useful answers regarding the source of their awareness of perennial peanut. As indicated in Table 2, 32.1% (9) found out about this innovation from farmers with on-farm trials, 25.0% (7) first heard about it from extension personnel, 21.4% (6) from other farmers, 14.3% (4) from printed media and the remaining 2 cited other sources.
Table 2
Sources of farmer awareness of perennial peanut
Source of Awarene3s Number of Farmers Percent
of Perennial Peanut
Cooperators 9 32.1
Extension personnel 7 25.0
other farmers 6 21.4
Printed media 4 14.3
Other 2 7.1
Total 28 100.0
Awareness Of Perennial Peanut Trials
As can be determined in Table 3, only 11.5% (9) of the farmers interviewed were aware of at least one specific perennial peanut trial. Five and one-tenth percent (4) were aware of 2 or more trials. Awareness of specific trials appears to be quite low.




42
Table 3
Farmer awareness of specific perennial peanut trials Number of Trials Number of Farmers Percent
Aware Of
0 69 88.5
1 5 6.4
2 or more 4 5.1
Total 78 100.0
Only 5 of the 31 cooperators (16.1%) were recognized as having perennial peanut trials by the farmers who were interviewed. Farmers were aware of only a very few of the cooperating farmers who conducted perennial peanut trials on their farms.
Objective 2
The second objective of this study involved
determining if an association exists between farmers' awareness of on-farm trials and selected locational characteristics of those trials. Farmers were aware of 5 trials and unaware of 24 others. Are some specific site attributes related to whether or not local farmers are aware of these particular trials and unaware of the others? For each locational characteristic tested, Table 4 summarizes the number and percent of trials in each




43
category, the p-value resulting from a two-tailed Fisher's Exact Test for association and Cramer's V measure of the strength of the relationship.
Table 4
Summary of tests of association between farmer awareness of specific trials and selected trial locational characteristics
Trial Char- Response Known Unknown p-value* Cramer's
acteristic Category Trials Trials V
Present failure 1 (20.0%) 10 (41.7%) 0.622 0.186
status success 4 (80.0%) 14 (58.3%)
Duration short 1 (20.0%) 16 (66.7%) 0.130 -0.358
long 4 (80.0%) 8 (33.3%)
Road yes 2 (40.0%) 10 (41.7%) 1.000 -0.013
paved no 3 (60.0%) 14 (58.3%)
Main yes 1 (20.0%) 5 (20.8%) 1.000 -0.008
route no 4 (80.0%) 19 (79.2%)
Sign yes 2 (40.0%) 4 (16.7%) 0.269 0.218
no 3 (60.0%) 20 (83.3%)
Visible yes 2 (40.0%) 9 (37.5%) 1.000 0.019
from road no 3 (60.0%) 15 (62.5%)
Fence yes 4 (80.0%) 22 (91.7%) 0.446 -0.145
no 1 (20.0%) 2 ( 8.3%)
*Derived from two-tailed Fisher's Exact Test of association.
Whether or not the perennial peanut in a trial had been successfully established was not found to be associated with awareness of that trial by local farmers. No significant association was noted between trial duration in years and awareness. However, the percentages for this




44
variable in Table 4 indicate that farmers were somewhat more likely to be aware of trials which had been in place for more than three years than they for newer trials.
The "road paved" variable was included as a likely
indicator of the amount of travel on the road nearest the trial. Farmer awareness of a trial was not associated with whether or not the nearest road was paved. Another indicator of the amount of travel on the road nearest the trial was whether or not the road was a main, direct route between two local communities. No association was found between this variable and farmer awareness of trials.
Visibility of a trial was indicated by two variables included here. The current presence or absence of a sign placed along the road in front of farms with trials was the original intent of the variable "sign". Because no signs were currently found to be in place, the intent of this variable was changed to whether or not a sign had ever been erected to denote a particular trial. No association was found between this variable and farmer awareness of a particular trial. A second indicator of trial visibility was whether or not a trial could actually be seen from the road. No association was uncovered between visibility from the road and farmer awareness of a particular ICr 4 al.
The final variable included in Table 4 is the presence or absence of a fence between the trial and the road, an indicator of the ease of access to a particular trial.




45
This variable -was not significantly associated with farmer awareness of particular trials.
For Objective 2, it can be concluded that no
significant difference exists between the locational variables studied here and whether or not farmers were aware of particular perennial peanut trials.
Objective 3
The third objective was -to determine if an association exists between farmers' awareness of perennial peanut trials and selected characteristics of the cooperating farmers who manage those trials. Local farmers were aware of 5 cooperators and unaware of 24 others. Are the cooperators which farmers were aware of different from the rest of the cooperators? Table 5 summarizes the results of two-way contingency tables for each variable and provides the frequencies and percentages of cooperators in each category, the p-value resulting from a two-tailed Fisher's Exact Test for association and Cramer's V measure of the strength of the relationship.
Gross farm income of cooperating farmers was used as
an indicator of socioeconomic status and relative importance of farming to each household. Cooperating farmers with higher farm gross incomes (greater 'than $10,000) are less likely to be known as trial cooperators




46
than are those with lower gross farm incomes. Keeping written farm records and maintaining farm cash-flow statements, both indicators of a farmer's management intensity, are not associated with whether or not a cooperating farmer is recognized by local farmers as having trials.
At the 0.012 individual error level necessary to
maintain an overall error level of 0.10 for this series of multiple comparisons, off-farm employment is not significantly associated with whether or not cooperating farmers are known as having trials. However an apparent trend may be discerned in that a larger proportion of cooperators who are unknown by farmers tend to be engaged in off-farm employment. This suggests that cooperators who have off-farmi jobs have less time and opportunity for interaction with other farmers, which may limit their effectiveness in spreading information about a trial.
Farming experience is Partially indicated by the
length of time a farmer has been engaged in farming. No association was identified between years farming and whether or not a cooperator was known by local farmers. Cooperating farmers with more than 10 years farming experience were not any more likely to be known as cooperators than were those with fewer years experience.
The variable "years of residence" was not found to be significantly associated with local recognition as a




47
cooperator. However, cooperating farmers with more than 10 years of residence on their farms were slightly more likely to be known as cooperators than were those who were relative newcomers to the area.
Table 5
Summary of tests of association between farmer awareness of specific trials and selected cooperator attributes
Cooperator Response Known Unknown p-value* Cramer's
Attribute Category Cooperator Cooperator V
Gross farm low 4 (80.0%) 11 (45.8%) 0.330 0.258
income high 1 (20.0%) 13 (54.2%)
Written yes 4 (80.0%) 17 (73.9%) 1.000 0.054
records no 1 (20.0%) 6 (26.1%)
Cash flow yes 2 (40.0%) 6 (26.1%) 0.606 0.118
statement no 3 (60.0%) 17 (73.9%)
off-farm yes 1 (20.0%) 17 (70.8%) 0.054 -0.396
work no 4 (80.0%) 7 (29.2%)
Years few 1 (20.0%) 8 (33.3%) 1.000 -0.109
farming many 4 (80.0%) 16 (66.7$)
Residence short 1 (20.0%) 13 (54.2%) 0.330 -0.258
long 4 (80.0%) 11 (45.8%)
Age younger 1 (20.0%) 7 (29.2%) 1.000 -0.077
older 4 (80.0%) 17 (70.8%)
Local yes 2 (40.0%) 10 (41.7%) 1.000 -0.013
involvement no 3 (60.0%) 14 (58.3%)
Other yes 5 (100.0%) 11 (45.8%) 0.048 0.411
trials no 0 (00.0%) 13 (54.2%)
*Derived from two-tailed Fisher's Exact test for association.
Age of farmer-cooperators was not associated with
whether or not other farmers recognized them as conducting




48
trials. Cooperators with fewer than 40 years of age were just as likely to be recognized as such as were older cooperators.
Participation by farmers or their spouses in local agricultural organizations was used as an indicator of
-their degree of formal interaction in the local farming community. No association was noted between local involvement of cooperators and whether or not other farmers were aware that they were conducting perennial peanut trials.
At the 0.012 level necessary to maintain an overall error level of 0.10 for this multiple comparison, farmer awareness of individual cooperators was not significantly associated with whether or not the cooperating farmers conducted additional trials with other crops. However, it is apparent from the percentages given at the bottom of Table 5 that farmers who had other trials in addition to the perennial peanut trials were more likely to be recognized as cooperators. Local farmers were more likely to be aware of the perennial peanut trials managed by cooperators who conduct other trials as well. An obvious reason for t-his trend may be that farmers had a greater chance of finding out about at least one of the trials and then were exposed to the others while visiting or discussing the initial one. However, there may be some third factor responsible for why farmers were aware




49
of a certain cooperator, and why program personnel selected that cooperator for multiple trials.
Overall, it can be concluded that no statistically significant association exists between the cooperator characteristics included her-e and whether or not local farmers were aware of particular perennial peanut trials managed by those cooperators. No significant difference exists between cooperators known by local farmers and those not known on the basis of -the variables tested here. However, several apparent trends are noted; local farmers are more likely to know about trials conducted by cooperators who have more than one trial and who have resided locally for a longer period of time. Also, farmers are less likely to know about the trials conducted by cooperating farmers who have off-farm employment.
objective 4
The fourth objective was to determine whether farmers who were aware of the trials differed from farmers who were not aware. Nine farriers were aware of specific perennial peanuc trials and 69 were not. Table 6 shows results of two-way contingency tables for each variable and gives the frequencies and percentages of farmers in each category, the p-value from a two-tailed Fishert's Exact Test for




50
association and Cramer's V measure of the strength of the relationship.
At the 0.013 individual error level necessary to
maintain an overall error level of 0.10 for this group of comparisons, no significant differences were detected between the two groups of farmers, related to the variables tested here. Nevertheless, two apparent trends can be observed in Table 6.
Table '
Summary of tests of difference between -carmers who were aware of specific trials and farmers who were not aware
Farmer Response Aware Unaware P-value* Cramer's
Attribute Category Farmer Farmer V
Gross farm low 4 (44.4%) 46 (73.0%) 0.121 -0.205
income high 5 (55.6%) 17 (27.0%)
Written yes 6 (66.7%) 34 (49.3%) 0.482 0.111
records no 3 (33.3%) 35 (50.7%)
Cash flow yes 4 (44.4%) 8 (11.6%) 0.028 0.291
statement no 5 (55.6%) 61 (88.4%)
off-farm yes 5 (55.6%) 37 (55.2%) 1.000 0.002
work no 4 (44.4%) 30 (44.8%)
Years few 2 (22.2%) 13 (18.8%) 1.000 0.027
farming many 7 (77.8%) 56 (81.2%)
Residence short 4 (44.4%) 26 (37.7%) 0.727 0.044
long 5 (55.6%) 43 (62.3%)
Age younger 1 (11.1%) 12 (17.4%) 1.000 -0.054
older 8 (88.9%) 57 (82.6%)
Local yes 5 (59.6%) 12 (17.4%) 0.020 0.295
involvement no 4 (44.4%) 57 (82.6%)
* Derived from -two-tailed Fisher's Exact test for association.




51
Farmers who were unaware of the trials tended to be those who did not maintain cash flow statements for their farm. This relationship might be considered spurious. However, maintaining a cash flow statement can be considered as a partial indicator of a farmer's management intensity. Part of management entails seeking information for decision making. This trend could indicate that farmer s who invested greater time and effort in closely managing their farm activities were also more likely to actively search for farm information and new ideas which might be of use to them. This would probably lead to greater awareness of the perennial peanut trials as well as to knowledge of other farming innovations.
The other noticeable, though not statistically
significant, trend in Table 6 is related to farmer and spouse involvement in local agricultural organizations such as Farm Bureau, 4-H and various fair committees and support groups. A much larger proportion of farmers who were not aware of the perennial peanut trials were also not involved in any local agricultural organizations. This indicates that one local conduit through which agricultural information may flow among local farmers is tied to local farm organizations. This may be because the meetings of these organizations provide a setting for farmers to get together informally and exchange information, or because




52
the meetings provide a forum for extension personnel to reach farmers with new ideas, or both.
Additional Analyses
The four original objectives of this study have been covered in the preceding pages of this chapter. The following additional analyses were undertaken in an attempt to determine why there was such limited awareness of the trials among local farmers.
Cooperators and Unaware Farmers Compared
Why was awareness of the trials so low? Were the farmers who were not aware of the trials very different from the cooperating farmers, possibly resulting in limited communication between the two groups? There were 69 farmers who were not aware of the trials and 29 cooperating farmers. Table 7 summarizes the results of two-way contingency tables for each variable and provides the frequencies and percentages of farmers in each category, the p-value resulting from Pearson's chi-square test of association and Cramer's V measure of the strength of the relationship.
Clearly, no real differences are noted between the two groups related to ofE-farm employment, yeac: farming,




53
length of local residence and farmer age. A significant difference between cooperators and farmers who were unaware of the trials was detected in their patterns of involvement in local agricultural organizations. This is a moderately strong relationship as indicated by the Cramer's V value of 0.255. Cooperators were more likely to be involved in farm organizations than were farmers who were unaware of the perennial peanut trials. This suggests that cooperators may tend to be active seekers of farm information while farmers who were unaware of trials may be more passive in this respect.
Although, not statistically significant at the 0.013 individual error level necessary to maintain an overall error level of 0.10 for this group of comparisons, some differences between the two groups can also be observed in gross farm income, keeping written records and maintaining a farm cash flow statement. Proportionally more cooperators had higher gross farm incomes and kept written records and farm cash flow statements than did farmers who were unaware of the t1-rials.
Taken together, these trends could indicate that many farmers who were unaware of trials consider farming to be only a Secondary economic activiity, while more cooperators may consider their farm acLivities to be an important source of family income. Farmers who consider their farming activities to be of lesser importance are not




54
likely to place strong emphasis on changing or improving their techniques or upon acquiring the latest farm information to do so.
Table 7
Summary of -tests of difference between farmers who were not aware of trials and cooperating farmers
Farmer Resoonse Unaware p-value* Cramer 's
Attribute Category Cooperator Farmer V
Gross farm low 15 (51.7%) 46 (73.0%) 0.045 -0.209
income high 14 (48.3%) 17 (27.0%)
Written yes 21 (75.0%) 34 (49.3%) 0.021 0.235
records no 7 (25.0%) 35 (50.7%)
Cash flow yes 8 (28.6%) 8 (11.6%) 0.041 0.207
statement no 20 (71.4%) 61 (88.4%)
off-farm yes 18 (62.1%) 37 (55.2%) 0.534 0.064
work no 11 (37.9%) 30 (44.8%)
Years few 9 (31.0%) 13 (18.8%) 0.187 0.133
farming -many 20 (69.0%) 56 (81.2%)
Residence short 14 (48.3%) 26 (37.7%) 0.330 0.098
long 15 (51.7%) 43 (62.3%)
Age younger 8 (27.6%) 12 (17.4%) 0.253 0.115
older 12 (72.4%) 57 (82.6%)
Local yes 12 (41.4%) 12 (17.4%) 0.012 0.255
involvement no 17 (58.6%) 57 (82.6%)
*Derived from Pearson's chi-square test of association.
For this comparison, no strong differences were found which point to reasons for limited communication between the two types of farmers. However, farmers who were unaware of the trials tended to have limited involvement




55
in local farm groups. This suggests that they may not be active seekers of farm information which may partially account for their lack of awareness of the perennial peanut trials.
Promotion of Trials and Farmer Awareness
Why is awareness of the trials so low? To what extent were efforts made to actively promote farmer awareness of specific perennial peanut trials? Are 'these efforts associated with increased farmer awareness of the trials?
Farmer awareness of perennial peanut trials was
significantly associated wi-th contact with FSR/E program personnel and with other extension people as~ shown in Table 8. The Cramer's V value of 0.363 indicates a moderately strong positive relationship. Most of the farmers who were aware of the trials had contacted or been contacted by the extension service during the last year.
Table 8
Contact with extension by farmer awareness of trials Extension Aware Unaware p-value* Cramer's
Contact Farmers Farmers V
Yes 8 ( 88.9%) 23 ( 33.3%) 0.002 0.363
No 1 ( 11.1%) 46 ( 66.7%)
Total 9 (100.0%) 69 (100.0%)
*Derived from two-tailed Fisher's Exact Test.




56
However, a -full third of the farmers who were not
aware of the trials also had recent contact with extension. In Eact, only 8 of all 31 farmers who indicated they had any contact with extension were even aware of the perennial peanut trials. This suggests that the informational effect of on-farm trials might be improved by more frequently mentioning particular trials during contacts with farmers and by specifically inviting farmers to visit farms with trials.
A review of the program newsletter "Suwannee Valley
Farming" shows mentions of perennial peanut in almost every issue. Two special editions are devoted solely to perennial peanut. Readers are invited to visit the trial plots of this forage crop at the Live Oak AREC and at the local county extension offices, but no specific on-farm trials or farmers testing perennial peanut are mentioned. However, invitations to visit specific on-farm wheat grazing and overseeing trials are given along with directions to each cooperator's farm. Similar mentions would likely have enhanced farmer awareness of perennial peanut- trials. Table 9 shows no association between farmer awareness of trials and whether or not they received local extension newsletters.




57
Table 9
Receiving extension newsletters by awareness of trials Receive Aware Unaware p-value* Cramer's
Newsletter Farmers Farmers V
Yes 5 ( 55.6%) 30 ( 43.5%) 0.724 0.078
No 4 ( 44.4%) 39 ( 56.5%)
Total 9 (100.0%) 69 (100.0%)
*Derived from two-tailed Fisher's Exact Test of association.
Local newspaper articles written about the FSR/E
program from 1982 to 19806 mention perennial peanut five times and give the names of six cooperating farmers who have on-farm trials. Table 10 shows no association between farmer awareness of specific cooperators and the appearance of their names in these articles. The newspaper coverage may or may not have been successful in getting the word out about perennial peanut, but it made no difference in informing farmers about specific on-farm trials which they could visit for a first-hand look at this crop.
originally, signs were set up in front of many farms where perennial peanut was being tested to indicate the presence of a trial. One page handouts explaining the experiment at each location were also left at several sites for farmers to pick up. The handouts were discontinued soon afterward because of difficulties in protecting them from the weather. Recent visits to most of the perennial




58
peanut trials found no signs left standing. This may partially account for the finding of no significant association between the presence of a sign and farmers' awareness of particular trials (Table 4).
Table 10
Mention in newspaper by farmer awareness of specific cooperators
Newspaper Known Unknown p-vaiue* Cramer's
Mention Cooperator Cooperator V
Yes 1 ( 20.0%) 5 ( 20.8%) 1.000 -0.008
No 4 ( 80.0%) 19 ( 79.2%)
Total -5 (100.0%) 24 (100.0%)
*Derived from two-tailed Fisher's Exact Test ofassociation.
Records on perennial peanut field days were not available for review. One field day is noted in a newspaper article and it is known that several others were held. Two farmers who were interviewed indicated they had become aware of specific trials by participating in a field day.




CHAPTER V
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This chapter provides a review of the research
objectives and procedure followed in this study. The findings are then summarized and conclusions are derived concerning the limited resource farmers and trial cooperators who were interviewed. Recommendations are given for further research and for conducting on-farm trials with the additional purpose of increasing farmer awareness of innovations being tested.
Summary
The central purpose of this study was to examine the informational effects of five years of on-farm research trials of perennial peanut forage (Arachis glabra Benth.) among limited resource farmers in a two county area of North Central Florida. A secondary purpose was to determine characteristics of on-farm trials which are related to enhanced awareness held by local farmers of the trials and technology being tested. The following objectives were developed to accomplish these purposes: 59




60
1. Examine the extent of awareness by local limited
resource farmers of specific on-farm perennial
peanut research trials.
2. Determine if there was an association between
farmers' awareness and specific site location
attributes of the on-farm perennial peanut trials.
3. Determine if there was an association between
farmers' awareness of trials and specific
characteristics of the cooperating farmers.
4. Determine if farmers who were unaware of the trials
differed from farmers who were aware of then.
The information for this study was obtained through personal interviews of limited resource farmers and of cooperating farmers who conducted perennial peanut trials on their farms. The survey instrument was based on a similar instrument used in the area of study during 1984. It was field tested and resultant modifications were made. Interviews were completed with 29 (94%) of the 31 perennial peanut cooperators and with 78 (57%) of the 138 limited resource farmers who were contacted.
The data were analyzed for the first" objective using
frequencies and percentages. The remaining objectives were accomplished using two-way contingency tables and Fisher's Exact or Pearson's chi-square tests of association. The




61
analysis was conducted using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) software on a personal computer.
Findings
The statistical analysis yielded the following findings:
Objective 1
1. Only 9 (11.5%) of the 78 limited resource farmers
interviewed were aware of specific on-farm
perennial peanut trials. Farmer awareness of the
trials was minimal.
2. Only 5 (16.1%) of the 31 cooperators were known by
other farmers as having perennial peanut trials on
their farms. Very few cooperating farmers were recognized by other farmers as having perennial
peanut trials on their farms.
Objective 2
3. No significant association was detected between
farmer awareness of trials and the following trial locational variables: success or failure of trial, duration in years, presence of a sign, visibility




62
of the trial from the road, type of road surface,
whether or not the road directly connects two
communities, and presence of a fence between the
trial and the road.
4. Although not statistically significant, farmers
tended to be more aware of trials which had been in
place for a longer period of time.
Objective 3
5. No significant association was found between farmer
awareness of specific trials and the following characteristics of the cooperators who managed
those trials; gross farm income, keeping written
records, maintaining a cash flow statement, off
farm employment, years farming, length of
residence, age, local involvement and whether or
not the cooperator had additional trials with other
crops.
6. Although not statistically significant, a tendency
was observed for greater farmer awareness of
cooperators who did not have off-farm employment,
who had resided locally for longer periods of time




63
and who had other trials in addition to perennial
peanut.
Objective 4
7. No significant difference was noted between farmers
who were aware of the trials and farmers who were
not aware, on the basis of the following variables:
gross farm income, keeping written records, maintaining a cash flow statement, off-farm
employment, years farming, length of residence, age
and involvement in local farm groups.
8. Although not statistically significant, farmers who
were aware of the trials tended to be more involved
in local farm organizations and to more frequently
have cash flow statements for their farm operations
than did farmers who were unaware of the trials.
Additional Findings
9. Farmers who were unaware of the trials dilfEered
significantly from cooperators in their involvement
in local farm organizations. Unaware farmers were
less likely to participate in local farm
organizations.




64
10. Although not statistically significant, farmers who
were not aware of the trials tended to have lower
gross farm incomes and less frequently kept written
records or farm cash flow statements than did the
cooperators.
11. The two groups did not differ significantly on the
basis of off-farm employment, years farming, leng"Lh
of residence and age, nor were any clear trends
apparent among these variables.
12. Farmer awareness of specific trials was positively
associated with contact with extension personnel.
13. only a third of those farmers who indicated contact
with extension during the past year were aware OLC
specific perennial peanut trials.
14. Regularly receiving a local extension newsletter
was not associated with farmer awareness of
specific perennial peanut trials.
15. Local newspaper coverage of the perennial peanut
program had no effect on farmer awareness of
specific on-farm trials.




65
Conclusions
The following conclusions were drawn from the findings of this study:
Objective 1
1. Although the on-farm trials served their primary
research function, they were not effective in
increasing awareness of perennial peanut among
local farmers. The informational effect of the onfarm perennial peanut trials was limited at best.
Objective 2
2. Farmer awareness of the trials was not
significantly associated with any of the trial
locational variables included in this study. This contrasts with Rogers and Leuthold (1962), Bailey
(1964), and others who have found similar
locational characteristics of demonstrations to be
associated with farmer awareness of them.




66
Objective 3
3. Farmer awareness of the trials was not
significantly associated with any of the cooperator
characteristics included in this study. However, farmers appear more likely to be aware of trials where cooperators do not work off the farm, have
resided loCally for longer periods, and where they
conduct other trials in addition to perennial
peanut. The import-ance of length of residence in this setting is supported by the incorporation of this factor into a small farmer typology used in
the North Florida program (Schmidt, 1984).
4. Farmers who were aware of the trials tended to be
more involved in local farm groups and appear to
invest more time and effort in record-keeping
aspects of managing their farms. This agrees with
many diffusion studies which relate local
involvement with awareness, and level of management
with information-seeking behavior (Rogers, 1983).
5. An important channel for acquiring agricultural
information for some limited resource farmers may be through involvement in local farm groups. The
meetings may provide a setting for farmers to




67
informally exchange information as well as a way
for extension personnel and others to reach farmers
with new ideas.
objective 4
6. Farmers who were not aware of the trials were
significantly less involved in local farm
organizations than were the cooperating farmers.
7. Farmers who were not aware of the trials appeared
to spend less effort on record-keeping aspects of
farm management and to have lower gross farm
incomes than did the cooperators.
8. No strong differences were uncovered which might
indicate barriers to interpersonal communication between farmers who were not aware of the trials
and cooperators. Nevertheless, communication between these two groups concerning the trials
apparently was minimal.
Additional Conclusions
9. Farmer awareness of the trials was significantly
associated with contact with extension personnel.




68
10. Extension newsletters, newspaper coverage and trial
signs were not used to full advantage in increasing
farmer awareness of specific perennial peanut
trials.
11. On-farm trials were not actively used by the
program to increase farmers' awareness and
knowledge of perennial peanut. Much greater
emphasis was placed on 'the use of printed media and
other extension techniques to disseminate
information about this new forage crop.
Recommendations
Based on the findings and conclusions drawn from this study and upon impressions acquired by the researcher during the investigation, the following recommendations for managing on-farm trials, for extension efforts to promote trials and the technologies being tested, and for further research are set forth:
On-Farm Trials
1. To gain full benefits from the investment in onfarm research trials conducted to verify




69
technologies, field researchers and extensionists
should plan as carefully for the informational
effects of the trials as they do for the research
objectives.
2. Interpersonal communication between cooperators and
other farmers concerning the perennial peanut onfarm trials appears to have been minimal and
ineffective in getting the message out. In this
setting, interpersonal communication between
cooperators and other farmers cannotk be solely relied upon to spread information about trials.
Future management of the on-farm trial aspect of
the program should include active, coordinated
efforts to make farmers aware of the trials and
knowledgeable about their outcomes. Signs should
once again be placed by trials in view of the road.
Specific trials and cooperators should be mentioned
when possible in local newsletters and newspapers.
Additional field days and tours need to be held.
3. Trials should continue to be located with
cooperators who are similar to the intended
audience to ensure optimal interpersonal
communication (Rogers 1983), but cooperators who do
not work off-farm should be favored.




70
Extension Efforts
4. Much time and work has been invested in conducting
on-farm research trials throughout the area.
Extension efforts should take advantage of the onfarm trials as another technique, which if properly
managed, will contribute to improved farmer
awareness of innovations.
5. Limited resource farmers who know about perennial
peanut trials tend to be involved in local farm
groups. To increase their awareness of perennial peanut and of on-farm trials, expanded efforts to
work through these farm groups and organizations
should be made.
6. A substantial portion of the limited resource
farmer audience does not participate in local farm groups. Farm visits and other one-to-one extension
methods should be continued so as to reach these
farmers.
7. Although farmers' awareness of perennial peanut
trials is associated with their contact with
extension, a large number of those who were
contacted remain unaware of the trials. To further




71
enhance farmer awareness of the trials and of
perennial peanut and other innovations, additional
efforts should be made to mention specific trials
during contacts with farmers and to specifically
invite farmers Co visit the trials.
8. Mention of specific trials and cooperating farmers,
including directions to their farms, should be
placed in local extension newsletters and
appropriate mass media.
Further Research
9. The findings of this study should be verified by
additional research in a similar setting.
10. Further research concerning the communication of
agricultural information among these farmers might
aid extensionists in conducting their work.
Interpersonal communication of information about the perennial peanut trials was minimal. Is this
true for other trials? Does farmer-to-farmer
exchange of other types of agricultural information
take place? What kinds of farm information are
exchanged and under what circumstances?




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selection by farm families in two North Florida
counties. Doctoral dissertation, Florida State
University, Tallahassee.
Bailey, K. (1982). Methods of social research (2nd ed.).
New York: Free Press.
Bailey, W. C. (1964). Result demonstrations and education.
Journal of Cooperative Education, 2, 13-18.
Bailey, W. C., & Baird, A. W. (1960). Test demonstrations
and related areas: Review of literature. State College:
Mississippi Agricultural Experiment Station.
Brown, L. A. (1981). Innovation Diffusion: A new
perspective. London: Methuen.
Compton, J. L. (1984). Linking scientist and farmer:
Rethinking extension's role. In Center for the Analysis of World Food Issues (Ed.), World Food Issues (2nd ed.,
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Cook, D. (1966). Result demonstrations and result
demonstration meetings. In H. C. Sanders (Ed.), The
Cooperative Extension Service (pp. 128-136). Englewood
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Coughenour, C. M., & Nazhat, S. M. (1985). Recent change in
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Kordofan: Communication process and constraints
(INTSORMIL Report No. 4). Lexington: University of
Kentucky, Department of Sociology.
Doughty, P. L., & Schmidt, D. L. (1981). The communication
of information among farmers and gardeners in Alachua
County. Gainesville: University of Florida, Institute of
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72




73
Farming Systems Support Project (1985, July). Presentations
and handouts from the Workshop on Agronomic Experimental Design and Analysis. Gainesville: University of Florida.
Feder, G., Just, R., & Zilberman, D. (1982). Adoption of
agricultural innovation in developing countries: A
survey (World Bank Staff Working Paper 542).
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Gilbert, E. H., Norman, D. W., & Winch, F. E. (1980).
Farming systems research: A critical appraisal (MSU
Rural Development Paper No. 6). East Lansing: Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural Economics.
Goss, K. F. (1979). Consequences of diffusion of
innovations. Rural Sociology, 44, 754-772.
Hepp, R. E. (1979). Information dissemination to small farm
operators (Staff Paper 79-44). East Lansing: Michigan
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Hepp, R. E., & Olson, T. M. (1980). Information needs and
sources for Michigan small farm operators (Agricultural Economics Report No. 372). East Lansing: Michigan State
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Hildebrand, P. E. (1985, October). On-farm research:
Organized community adaptation, learning, and diffusion for efficient agricultural technology innovation. Paper presented at the International Multiple Cropping Systems
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Hildebrand, P. E., & Poey, F. (1985). On-farm agronomic
trials in farming systems research and development.
Boulder, CO: Rienner.
Hildebrand, P. E., & Waugh, R. K. (1983). Farming systems
research and development. Farming Systems Support
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Hildebrand, P. E., Ruano, S. R., Lopez Yoz, T., Samayoa,
E., & Duarte, R. (1977). Sistemas de cultivos para los
agricultores tradiccionales del occidente de Chimaltengo
[Cropping systems for traditional farmers in Western
Chimaltengol. Guatemala: Instituto de Ciencia y
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Hoque, M. Z. (1984). Cropping systems in Asia: On-farm
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Ingram, D. L. (1986). Small farms extension programs in
Southern states (draft copy). Gainesville: University
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(IFAS), Ornamental Horticulture Department.
Institute of Food & Agriculture Sciences (1985).
Agricultural extension agent handbook (Volume 2).
Gainesville: University of Florida, Institute of Food &
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Israel, G. D. (1987, February). Sampling the evidence of
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Kellogg, E., Butler, R. 0., Compton, J. L., Swisher, M. E.,
& Johnson, S. H., (1984, October). Role of extension in
farming systems research programs (moderated
discussion). In C. B. Flora (Ed.), Proceedings of the Kansas State University 1983 Farming Systems Research
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University.
Kendall, M. G. & Stuart, A. (1979). The advanced theory of
statistics (Vol. II). New York: Macmillan.
Lionberger, H. L. (1960). Adoption of new ideas and
practices. Ames: Iowa State University.
Lionberger, H. L. (1986). FSR/E in the world system for
agricultural research and extension (draft paper
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McDermott, J. K. (1984). Technology of technology
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Rogers, E. M. (1962). Diffusion of innovations. New York:
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Rogers, E. M. (1983). Diffusion of innovations (3rd ed.).
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76
Wake, J. L. (1984). The cost of learning by doing effect on
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APPENDIX A
INTERVIEW INSTRUMENT
ID Number Interviewer
County
HELLO, I am working with the County Extension offices in Suwannee and Columbia Counties which are a part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida. We are evaluating the development and testing of crops and farm practices for use by farmers in this area. I'd like to ask you some questions to see if you've heard about or tried them and some general questions about your farm and farming practices. The answers will be used to guide further research to develop practices tailored to farmers in this area.
All answers provided by farmers will be grouped
together and your name will not be associated with any answers you give. Also, if you don't wish to answer any questions, just -tell me and I'll go on to the next question.
1. Do you do most of the work on the farm? 1 YES 2 NO
If NO, who does?
2. Did you grow peanuts during the last 12 months?
1 YES 2 NO
Number of acres
3. Did you grow tobacco during the last 12 months?
1 YES 2 NO
Number of acres
4. How many acres do you have in your farm?
Number of acres
5. Do you rent/lease anv of the land in your farm?
1 YES 2 No
If YES, how many acres?
6. Of the land you own, about how many acres are in;
Pasture?
Crops?
Timber/woods?
77




78
7. Did you grow wheat, oats or rye during the past 12
months?
1 YES
2 NO (Go to question 14)
8. Did you grow wheat during the last year?
1 YES
2 NO (Go to question 10)
Variety Acres Bushels/Acre
Harvested
9. Did you graze your wheat last winter? 1 YES 2 NO
10. Did you grow rye during the last winter?
1 YES
2 NO (Go to question 12)
Variety Acres Bushels/Acre
Harvested
11. What did you use your rye for most?
(grazing, grain, straw)
12. Did you grow oats during the last winter?
1 YES
2 NO (Go to question 14)
Variety Acres Bushels/Acre
Harvested
13. What did you use your oats for most?
(grazing, grain, straw)




79
14. Did you grow corn during the last year?
1. YES 2. NO
Corn Variety Acres Bushels/Acre
Harvested
1
2
3
15. Did you grow soybeans during the last year?
1 YES 2 NO
Variety Acres Bushels/Acre
Harvested
1
2
3
16. Did you apply fertilizer to your wheat or soybeans last year?
1 YES 2 NO
Crop Fertilizer/Acre
17. Have you ever heard of perennial peanut?
1 YES 2 NO If YES, what did you hear about it?
Where or how did you hear about it?
Have you planted any during the last year? 1 YES 2 NO
If YES, how many acres?
What do you plan to use it for? (rhizoines, graze, hay)




80
18. Do you grow any; (indicate what kinds)
Fruits?
Nuts?
OrnamentalIs? ________________________Vegetables?_______________________19. of these crops, which is/are your most important market crops?
Most important market crop __________Second most important___________Third most important __________20. Did you take a soil test in 1986? 1 YES 2 No
If YES, where did you send it?
Did you follow the recommendations for liming? Why/why
not?
Did you follow the fertilizer recommendations? Why/why
not?
21. Did you fertilize your pastures differently this last year than you had previously? If YES, why?
22. Did you overseed any pasture land during the last year?
If YES,
Pasture Seeded Into Overseed Crop Acres
Did you hire a custom operator to overseed?
1 YES 2 NO




81
23. Have you had any problems with soil compaction on your farm? 1 YES 2 NO
Do you use a subsoiling tool? 1 YES 2 NO
24. Did you see or hear about the subsoiling demonstrations at the Live Oak research center and on local farms? 1 YES 2 NO
25. Do you raise any livestock?
Number Number
Owned Sold
Swine_____Beef_____Chickens_____Goats______26. Do you keep written records of your farming operation?
1 YES 2 NO
What type of written crop records?
What type of written livestock records?
Who records the information?
What do you use your records for?
27. Did you hear about the fEarm record-keeping school held last spring? Did you attend? Why/why not?
28. Have you consulted with anyone about your farm finances
during the last year? 1 YES 2 NO




82
29. Would you be interested in a confidential analysis of your farm business by an extension agent?
1 YES 2 NO
30. Have you developed a cash flow statement for your farm?
1 YES 2 NO
31. Do you have a computer? 1 YES 2 NO
32. Do you sell any farm products directly to customers on a regular basis? 1 YES 2 NO
If so, have your sales changed during the last year?
Why?
33. What was the approximate gross income from your farm in 1986? Which of the following broad categories is nearest to your gross farm income?
1 Less than $1,000 5 $20,001 to $30,000
2 $1,001 to $5,000 6 $30,001 to $40,000
3 $5,001 to $10,000 7 Over $40,000
4 $10,001 to $20,000
34. Do any of the dollars that run this farm come from offfarm sources such as outside work and/or loans?
1 YES 2 NO
If YES; Is a portion of the outside funds from loans?
1 YES 2 NO
Did you have difficulty obtaining operating loans last
year? 1 YES 2 NO
35. During the past year, did you or members of your family work off the farm? 1 YES 2 NO
If yes, did you work part-time or full-time off-farm?
What do you do?
If yes, did your spouse work part-time or full-time off
the farm? What does your spouse do?




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36. During the past year, was any of the labor on your farm done by hired help? 1 YES 2 NO
By other family members? 1 YES 2 NO
37. What are your plans for your farm during the next five years? What do you see happening with it?
38. Do you get farm information from listening to the radio or watching TV? 1 YES 2 NO
39. Do you receive any extension newsletters?
1 YES 2 NO
If YES, which ones?
40. Do you receive any farm magazines? 1 YES 2 NO
If yes, which ones?
41. Have you contacted or been contacted by anyone at IFAS concerning farm information during the past year? This includes the County Agent, the Home Economics and 4H Agents, Live Oak experiment station personnel and Extension specialists from the University of Florida.
1 YES 2 NO
Where and by whom was the contact?
How useful was the information you received?




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42. Have you seen or heard of the Suwannee Valley Retail Farm Directory? 1 YES 2 NO
43. Several farmers in Suwannee and Columbia Counties cooperate with the County Agent or other extension personnel in testing and demonstrating crops for this area. Have you seen the signs or visited any of these farms?
1 YES 2 NO
44. A number of farmers In this area work with the Live Oak Agricultural Research and Education Center by testing perennial peanut as a forage crop on their farms. Have you heard about or seen any of these on-farm tests?
1 YES 2 NO
If YES, which specific plots have you seen or heard
about?
(HAND LIST OF DEMONSTRATORS TO FARMER)
Demonstrator/Locality flow farmer found out ....
1
2
5
45. Did you see or visit any other on-farm trials for other crops? If yes, which?




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46. How long have you been farming? years.
How many years have you lived on this farm?
years
47. What is your age? years.
48. How much schooling have you and your spouse had?
Respondent Spouse
less than high school 1 1
graduated high school 2 2
some vocational or technical 3 3
some college 4 4
4 or more years of college 5 5
49. What local agricultural or civic groups, clubs or organizations are you or your spouse involved in?
50. Thanks very much for your time. Here's a sheet with names and addresses of persons to call if you have questions about farming problems or needs. Race
Gender




APPENDIX B
ON-F~kRM TRIAL DESCRIPTION FORM
Farmer: ___________________ID#:__Location: _______________________Year Established: ______Research Purpose:___________________Present Status:
1. FAILED 2. POOR 3. FAIR 4. GOOD 5. EXCELLENT
Did this cooperator have other trials? 1 YES 2 NO
Did the trial ever have a sign? 1 YES 2 NO
Is -there a fence between trial and road? 1 YES 2 NO
Can the trial be seen from the road? 1 YES 2 NO
Is the road paved? 1 YES 2 NO
Does it directly connect two communities? 1 YES 2 NO
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Peter Joseph Wotowiec Jr. was born on September 18,
1958, in Port Jervis, New York. Much of his childhood was spent on a small farm in Northern Ohio. He graduated from the Vocational Horticulture Program at the Medina County Vocational Center in 1976. He studied horticulture at the Ohio State University from 1976 until he received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree in 1979.
From 1980 until 1984 he was employed as a forester by the United States Peace Corps in Guatemala. His work duties included managing seedling nurseries, conducting applied fuelwood research and teaching soil and forest conservation to adults. During that time he met Sandra Binion, a nutritionist also working for the Peace Corps. They were married in 1983 and moved to Gainesville,
Florida, in 1984.
Peter is presently enrolled in the Department of
Agricultural and Extension Education at the University of Florida as a Master of Science candidate. Sandra is currently a biological scientist in the Pathology Department at the University of Florida.
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I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Master of Science.
Carl E. B hman, Chairman
Professor, Agricultural and Extension Education
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Master of Science.
Jimmy Cheek, Cochairman Issociat- Professor,
gricultural and Extension Education
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Ma -r of Science.
P Peter E. Hildebra
Professor, Food and Resource Economics




I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Master of Science.
Dr. H. Peter Warnock
Professor, Agricultural and Extension Education
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a thesis for the degree of Master of Science.
,,Dr. John T. Woeste
Professor, Agricultural and Extension Education
This thesis was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the College of Agriculture and to the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
August 1987 Dean, /College of Agrilc/iture
Dean, Graduate School




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