It has been said that print media is a dying art. That newspapers and magazine sales are dwindling and they will soon disappear completely because they are outdated like dinosaurs, and cannot keep up with the new species, social media. Pew Research Center says that only 23% of people who read newspapers read print copies. Does this statement go for all print media? All people everywhere? Even farmers?
The 2014 Media Chanel Study shows that in agriculture, the standard doesn’t hold up. The Agri Media Council sent out 3,700 surveys and received 1,029 responses from farmers and ranchers. The study shows that out of the farmers and ranchers who replied 81% say that they use ag magazines/newspapers each week compared to only 12% using ag social media each week.
Now, those who aren’t involved in ag may say this is due to farmers being “old school” and “not technologically inclined”, but I think anyone involved in ag knows better. For instance, how often do farmers switch varieties of corn or beans just to gain a higher yield? That’s a form of technology. How many farmers have the newest combine with auto steer or planters with precision planting sitting in their fields or barns? Those are very EXPENSIVE forms of technology.
In the dairy industry written media holds strong, although online media is beginning to hold a higher standard of information. In my house, the day that Holstein World, Illinois Holstein Harold (which reaches Holstein breeders throughout the Midwest, including South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois), or Hoards Dairyman comes in the mail is an exciting day. They are automatically opened and skimmed through and many times are read multiple times before getting stored away for later. There is all sorts of new information to learn about innovative ways to feed or treat illness in cattle, or who the hot new young sire inside these publications. In the dairy industry there is ALWAYS more to learn, and these print subscriptions are a great way to share the knowledge.
The love I’ve gained for reading dairy magazines and learning more about what it is that my family does is a blessing. I find myself checking Holstein World daily, and looking through sale books at pedigrees to see what new bulls there are that impact our herd in the best way possible.