Producers maintain competitiveness in the global marketplace by strategically using technology, land, labor, capital, and on-going business and production management education. The Minnesota Farm Business Management Education has delivered business management education to producers for over 60 years. Recent changes in increased program delivery costs and availability of new digital instructional technologies contributed to the college and system leaders’ decision to investigate the preferences of producers for instructional media and technologies, use of vendors, and desired methods of instruction.
This presentation will summarize the findings of the study which involved responses from 404 of the 2800 producers enrolled in the Minnesota FBM Program. Findings revealed producers preferred that FBM education programming be delivered in their business setting, on the farm of other producers, at farm organization meetings, and through blended learning strategies. Though open to hybrid delivery options, complete delivery of business management education programs using the internet was the least preferred option for learning.
The most preferred instructional methods used for teaching the FBM farmers were: individualized in-person instruction with an instructor, hands-on learning activities, demonstrations and instruction from FBM instructors with specialty knowledge.
The producers most preferred printed materials, communication with the instructor by telephone, farm demonstration plots, email communications from the instructor, informative newspaper articles prepared by the instructor, sample programs and simulations, and use of the internet for instruction and information.
Findings from additional analyses will be presented. They will reveal differences in these measures due, in part, to the level of annual gross sales and type of farms.