This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Evaluations of the Current Use of Digital Media to Generate Agricultural Education and Impact Among Target Audiences




Bennett, Samantha

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Animal Sciences


The media landscape has experienced a thorough reinvention over the course of the last four decades. Media was once thought to consist of only print and television news, due to the widespread use of the internet it has now expanded to included digital media such as: podcasts, social media, blogs, and more. With the U.S. Census Bureau (n.d.) and the USDA Census of Agriculture (2017) reportings showing that roughly 1% of people in the United States play a role in food production, those that do not experience agriculture regularly are questioning how the food they consume is produced. Additionally, over time the widely baby boomer run agricultural industry will continue to experience turnover into the hands of a whole new generation: Millennials. Problems faced today include the need to discover what platforms best reach young, concerned consumers on social media and the need to determine how to best inform new, young producers about the latest technological discoveries in production agriculture. Because of these challenges, the following research studies have been conducted to evaluate the use of podcasts as CES tool and to measure the means of influence that agricultural social media influencers can have on young adults using Instagram. Researchers utilized a mixed methods approach where both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. Data were collected through surveys on the platform Qualtrics, participation was voluntary, and participants were anonymous.