The Ag Needs survey helps guide U of I’s extension education material
By Diego Flammini
University of Illinois (U of I) Extension is looking for members of the ag community to participate in an important survey.
Katie Bell, a U of I Extension local foods small farms educator, and other ag educators from the school, put together the Ag Needs survey to help identify areas where farmers and industry reps want more education.
The survey is open to farmers, crop advisors, and other members of the ag community.
It is completely anonymous and the U of I won’t share its findings.
“We want to have a better gauge of what agriculture looks like in our respective communities and provide education and programs that are geared to those areas,” Bell told Farms.com.
The survey, which takes between 10 and 20 minutes to complete, asks multiple questions including crops individual farmers grow and areas of interest individuals want to learn more about.
These topics include soil health, pest control techniques and field production practices.
Providing a thorough survey ensures the U of I receives ample information to move forward with extension delivery, Bell said.
“Any information people are willing to share will help us understand what they’re looking for and put us on a path to bring those ideas and education to them,” she said.
Past surveys have led to tangible results.
A similar U of I survey asked farmers to identify research ideas, which led to a project about wintergreens, Bell said.
“Some wintergreen research was done and completed over the last two years in high-tunnel production systems at the Dixon Springs Ag Center,” Bell said. “That work came directly from people telling us they wanted more information on this particular subject.”
Members of the Illinois ag community have until March to participate in the survey.
Anyone looking for more information can contact Bell at (618) 687-1727 or firstname.lastname@example.org.