Volume 54(3) - 2013 - DOI: 10.5032/jae.2013.03084
Over the past decade, Cooperative Extension and 4-H professionals have been faced with the decision of whether to adopt new communication technologies such as social media. Research on social media and Cooperative Extension has identified risks and barriers to adoption; however, many Cooperative Extension professionals believe that social media usage could be very beneficial for Cooperative Extension and/or 4-H usage. In order to increase the body of knowledge on this subject, a quantitative study was conducted to determine the diffusion of social media among country 4-H programs in Tennessee. The study was conducted via an online questionnaire distributed to all 4-H program leaders in Tennessee, and a 49% (n = 196) response rate was obtained. Eight-four percent of county 4-H program leaders utilized social media for their county program. A majority of program leaders had a positive view of social media usage and felt that it was an efficient and effective way to communicate information. Overall, the study determined that social media is gaining widespread usage throughout rural and urban county 4-H programs in Tennessee, and that increased efforts toward training and research in this area is warranted.