2 Minute Farmer is undergoing a range of research activities which aim to improve knowledge exchange in agriculture

The Information in Farming Survey

2 Minute Farmer’s Information in farming survey has been open since August 2019. We have collected 70 survey responses in this time from across Cornwall and Devon. The survey aims to increase our understanding about how South West Farmers like to learn and what determines if advice is taken.

 

The infographics on the left show some of the results so far. We are hoping to get over 100 responses. So if you are a farmer and haven’t yet completed the survey, please complete it online now. It only takes 5 minutes!

 

Where is the first place farmers go for advice?

 

The survey found there is a lot of variation in where farmers go for advice first. The first place for many farmers was the internet (24%). However, it is not always easy to locate suitable and/or reliable advice online. This goes some way to explain why 43% of farmers said they implement advice found on search engines less than 50% of the time.

 

What resources do farmers engage with?

 

The infographics to the left show that conversations are very important to farmers. For many, it is a favoured way of learning and will regularly take advice from professionals, friends, family and other farmers. From this, you could see how the old adage “It’s Not What You Know. It’s Who You Know” affects farm performance.

 

As experts are unable to have one on one conversations with every farmer in the South West, it is important to consider the other resources farmers engage with. Pictures and diagrams was a close third in favourite ways to learn (49% of farmers surveyed). Therefore, it appears that including high-quality diagrams on farming websites would be a good way to share advice and information with a wide farming audience.

 

Take home messages to farmers.

 

Farmers who believed they had high performing farms tended to take advice from a broader array of sources. This shows that is can be beneficial to go to many different places for information and to keep an open mind when doing so.

 

How will this affect 2MF farmer?

 

The results of this survey has helped shape 2MF’s plans for the future. We are going to start looking into tools that can aid difficult conversations. These will likely have a web and paper version, due to varied responses to one of the survey’s questions on ICT literacy. 2MF are also starting to summarise important information and statistics into formats that are easy to digest quickly, such as pictures and diagrams.

Research at 2 Minute Farmer events

2 Minute Farmer has hosted several events around Cornwall called “Cornwall’s Farming Community Get Togethers”. These successful events started late September and continued into 2020. They give attendees the chance to hear talks; access 2 Minute Farmer resources; and take a step back from the farm to analyse what they are doing. We are also using it as a space to trial new 2 Minute Farmer tools and ask research questions. This means they have provided valuable feedback and research which has helped to shape the project.

 

If you would like to find out if there is a Cornwall Farming Community Get Together happening near you then go to our Eventbrite or Facebook events page.