Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Farmers Choose Cell Phones over Social Media

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Farmers Choose Cell Phones over Social Media

Article excerpt

When Scotty Herriman goes online, it's probably not to chat or network with friends through Facebook or Twitter, the South Coffeyville farmer said.

"Don't have any interest at all. And don't have time to," said Herriman, a commissioner on the Oklahoma Soybean Board. "I don't dwell on Facebook or Twitter at all because I just don't need to get into that area of someone's life. I've got so much going on in my own. ... So I'm looking for weather reports and market reports mostly."

Herriman's perspective would seem to be true of most of his peers in the industry, according to the recently released Agriculture New Media Usage Study conducted by Kansas-based Nicholson Kovac Inc. marketing communications agency.

The telephone survey, with a 6-percent margin of error, focused on soybean and corn farmers with large operations. Most of the respondents were Iowa residents, but Oklahoma producers were included, too.

The survey found that respondents are fairly savvy with their cell phones, with a higher rate of text message usage than the average U.S. adult. More than 60 percent of farmers take photos and send or receive text messages with their phones, while 26 percent said they access the Internet with their phones.

They are texting their friends most often and their spouses second, at 44 percent and 37 percent, respectively. And 28 percent said they are sharing messages with business associates.

Herriman said, "I don't know what we did without cell phones. We even use them as walkie-talkies when we're combining, sending trucks to different ends of the field or whatever."

Computer Internet use has its place in the ag business, said Blackwell farmer Steve Wooderson, also a Soybean Board commissioner, but it's driven by practicality.

"I use it when I need to. It's how I get most of my correspondence," he said. "My wife does the social media, but not me. ... I'm probably pretty typical. Most farmers use Internet, but they don't have time for social networking. …

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