Kansas State University


Department of Communications and Agricultural Education

Audrey King to Defend Master’s Thesis

Audrey King will defend her master’s thesis this Friday the 22nd at 2:00pm in Umberger Hall room 313.

Her thesis, entitled Communicating Towards Resiliency: Identifying the Barriers and Social Constraints Related to Grazing Best Management Practices in Kansas and Oklahoma, seeks to understand why producers do not adopt BMPs.

The presentation is open to the public and we would like to invite our alumni and friends to attend!

For more information about King’s thesis, see the following abstract:

Kansas and Oklahoma are in the top five cattle producing states in the country. Beef cattle producers across Kansas and Oklahoma have access to best management practices (BMPs) for proper grazing land management, but are still under utilize these practices. This study seeks to understand why producers do not adopt grazing BMPs suggested by Extension professionals and to identify opportunities to improve communication and adoption. If BMPs were communicated to producers in a way that persuaded them to adopt BMPs, the resiliency of the entire beef cattle grazing system, would increase. This study was guided by CBSM and ELM. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 43 producers in north central Oklahoma and south central Kansas during the summer of 2015. Participants were recruited using a purposive sampling method initiated through Extension contacts. These interviews were transcribed by a professional transcription service. These interviews were analyzed using Glaser’s constant comparative method. Producers in the study were aware of BMPs like rotational grazing, prescribed burning, and the usage of alternative forages. Producers had varying definition of both rotational grazing and cover crops. Producer used each other as information sources. Extension and university information were also a source. The practices that producers used were determined by visual observations and past experiences. Barriers to the adoption of BMPs included: water availability and quality, land leases, time and labor, land lords, generational gaps, and skilled employees are social constraints associated with the adoption of BMPs. Producers saw the benefits of burning practices and rotational grazing. Drought tested the resiliency of producer’s operations. This study offers several recommendations for Extension professionals and research. This research should be expanded to other regions and other agricultural sectors. A continuum of adoption should be developed. The way that BMPS are currently being communicated by Extension agents should be researched and analyzed. The implementation of CBSM by Extension professionals could increase the adoption of BMPs in grazing systems.

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