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Transcript of Ramona Nitz
Lonesome Pines Farms
-Cherokee County SWCD Commissioner
-Region 1 Director
2-year cover crop grower
National Wildlife Federation's
COVER CROP CHAMPIONS
Why do farmers listen to other farmers?
Innovators and Early-Adopters
Middle- and Late-Adopters
NWF and Resource Media
Des Moines, Iowa
-identify main barriers
-develop potential message strategies
Characteristics of Middle-
-Do not typically develop same level of knowledge
-Want to relieve concerns about "newness or risk"
-Attempt to awkwardly fit new practice into existing practices
What are the problems
most expressed by those
reluctant to try cover crops?
Cost Concerns / Delayed Benefits
Reframe the Conversation to put cover crops on the same playing field as status quo farming
Fear of Change / Need for Conformity
Cover crops are a well-established
farming practice. Emphasize the
widespread adoption of cover crops.
Fear of Failure. . .
Again, put the use of cover
crops on an even playing
field with all of agriculture.
"Data" on cover crops
is mainly anecdotal.
Cultural Inertia and
Knowing the Audience
Set expectations with
affirmative and optimistic qualifiers
Renter / Tennant
Landowners and renters willing to
make a trade-off of some income
in order to meet sustainability values
ALWAYS be aware
of your Audience!
-get middle-adopters to talk to other middle-adopters
-get audience to rethink what a healthy, beautiful field is
-National Agricultural Statistics Services, Quickstats (accessed 26 Oct 2015)
-Rodgers, E. M. 2003.
Diffusion of Innovations
. New York, Free Press.
-Atwell, R., Schultye, L., & Westphal, L. 2009. Linking Resilience Theory and Diffusion of Innovations Theory to Understand the Potential for Perennials in the U.S. Corn Belt, Ecology and Society.
-Daloglu, I., Nassauer, R., Riolo, R., & Scavia, D. 2015. Development of a Farmer Typology and Agricultural Conservation Behavior in the American Corn Belt.