The internet is one of the fastest-spreading innovations in the history of humankind. The World Wide Web has the potential to be an effective tool of communication and outreach for the dissemination of range-related information. However, little is known about the extent and patterns of use of the internet by ranchers, and more information is needed for outreach personnel to best determine how to use the internet to provide ranchers with timely information. This study uses data from a mail survey to describe and analyze internet use patterns by ranchers in Colorado and Wyoming. Our research addresses four primary questions: How many ranchers use the internet to inform their ranch management decisions; what types of information are ranchers most likely to seek online; what are the primary obstacles to ranchers' use of the internet; and how important is the internet for the day-to-day management of ranches in Colorado and Wyoming? We hypothesize that ranchers with greater numbers of livestock, more education, and younger ranchers will rely on the internet most heavily. We also hypothesize that a lack of internet access, lack of time, and the difficulty of determining which websites are trustworthy will be the most prevalent obstacles to use of the internet by ranchers. By examining these questions and hypotheses, we hope the research will aid in planning future outreach and information dissemination efforts in Colorado and Wyoming.
Oral presentation and poster titles, abstracts, and authors from the Society for Range Management (SRM) Annual Meetings and Tradeshows, from 2013 forward.