Many farmers say they’re less likely to attend live events this year, citing risks associated with the new coronavirus and social distancing restrictions.
A May 2020 Farm Journal survey explored farmers’ sentiments on attending live events into the fall. Data revealed farmers were less comfortable with in-person events, and some anticipated changing their behaviors and plans. For example, while 48% of respondents said they’ve previously attended the Farm Progress Show, only 14% said they were planning to attend the show this year.
Farmers also rated their top alternatives to in-person attendance, selecting all that applied:
Thirty-one percent said they would engage with virtual field days with product and technology exhibits, while 29% were interested in virtual agronomic educational sessions. Interest in virtual commodity marketing education sessions was also cited by 29% of respondents, and 17% said they would engage with VIP equipment demonstrations with ride and drives.
When asked about their technology adoption about 54% of farmers said they have engaged in online platforms such as Zoom, Go-to-Meeting and other phone and computer software.
The survey asked which, if any, of the following have farmers used either for personal or farm purposes within the last 60 days. Respondents marked all that applied.
While 38% reported using webinars, 48% said they’ve used Zoom, Go-to-Meeting or similar phone and computer meeting platforms. About 37% used Facetime or its equivalent, and 24% used another electronic virtual tool.
As state fairs and live events continue to announce postponements and cancelations, farmers are looking for ways to connect online, including options like virtual livestock shows and virtual field days.