I live in a small hamlet north of
At the OII we are interested in the use of the Internet for everyday life. Since I have moved to a rural location I have gotten interested in the advantages of being online for farmers. Now that the necessary infrastructure is available all over the country farmers can log on and use the Internet for both their everyday life and managing their farming operation. Nevertheless, a study by
There is an online wealth of information for farmers from governmental sites to forums and agricultural magazines such as the ‘Farmers Weekly Interactive’. My guess is that most of the active users of these websites are relatively young. None of the middle-aged and older farmers in my community seem to use the Internet themselves, but this is nothing more than an anecdotal observation. Normally not shy of new technology, and gratefully making use of the latest farming equipment such as state-of-the-art harvest combiners, balers and tractors, using a computer poses somewhat of a problem for the older generation of farmers. I know that many have difficulties with reading and writing and would find using the Internet rather daunting and time-consuming. This brings me to the definition of ‘Internet user’. Is that a person who actually sits down at the computer and clicks around? Or does that also include my 70-year-old neighbour who specifically asks me to find him a DEFRA update on the latest bluetongue situation? Or who wants to know the precise regulations and specifications for building stiles? I am now subscribed to the Animal Health Disease Alert, have a login for the EBLEX Beef and Lamb Sector Company website and receive the Farmers Weekly Newsletter, all on his behalf.
A great help for my neighbour is to know what the daily average