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The adoption and rejection of innovations by dairymen in the Lower Fraser Valley Gubbels, Peter Martin

Abstract

This study analyses the adoption and rejection of some dairy farm innovations by Lower Fraser Valley dairymen. It also analyses use of information sources, length of time spent in the adoption process, reasons for delay in proceeding through the adoption process, reasons for rejection and discontinuance of innovations, and dairyman-district agriculturist contact. Data for the analysis were collected by interviewing a representative sample of the Lower Fraser Valley dairymen. There was a distinct tendency for the earlier adopters to have large farms, a high production per cow, less than 20 years farming experience, a high farm plus off-farm employment income, large numbers of dairy young stock, office visits with the district agriculturist, agriculture courses at vocational schools, and enjoyment from dairying. There were no significant differences between the earlier and later adopters regarding age, years of school completed, social participation, tenure, specialization, use of hired labour and place of birth. A number of the respondents had had no contact of any type with the district agriculturist in the year previous to the interview but on the average each respondent used 2.53 types of contact. When classified by the nature of the activity, the most used sources of information were personal, followed by individual instructional, mass and instructional group. When classified by origin, the most to least used sources were personal, commercial, government and farm organization. The proportions in which the information sources were used for the two groups of innovations differed. On the average each respondent was unaware of 2.19 of the 10 innovations and continuing in the adoption process for 1.57. Rejection had occurred for an average of 4.38, adoption for 1.66 and discontinuance for 0.20 of the 10 innovations. Almost half the decisions to reject innovations were made at the awareness stage in the adoption process. From the laggard to the early adopter-innovator category, unawareness and rejection decreased while continuation in the adoption process, adoption and discontinuance increased. Situational factors made up more than two-thirds the reasons for delay in proceeding through the adoption process but characteristics of the innovations made up more than two-thirds the reasons for rejection and discontinuance of innovations. The rate of rejection and discontinuance was higher and adoption lower when less than one year was spent than when one or more years was spent in the adoption process. An adoption tendency score was derived and compared with the adoption score but it could not be determined that use of one or the other was a more useful way of identifying differences among the respondents.

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