We Are Farmers … And We Want AM Radio


WASHINGTON, D.C. — A study from Katz Media Group recently used MRI-Simmons data to delve into the media habits of agricultural workers and, to little surprise, found a strong inclination of agricultural workers toward audio media.

And, as the National Association of Farm Broadcasters has been saying, both AM and FM radio have been found to be the farmer’s best friend, reinforcing the agricultural industry’s reliance on kHz-based signals in the most rural of America’s food-growing regions.

Approximately half of agricultural workers were categorized as heavy audio listeners, surpassing their engagement with other media forms such as the Internet and television, the Katz study shows.

This isn’t limited to time outside working, either. About half of agricultural workers were found to be light users of the Internet and TV, indicating that advertising campaigns focused solely on these mediums may not effectively reach this demographic. They are significantly more likely to listen to audio at work on weekdays and weekends compared to the average American adult.

With the AM For Every Vehicle Act among the key acts of legislation the NAB and radio broadcasters seek passage of before the end of the current Congress, AM/FM radio emerged as the most popular audio source among agricultural workers in the Katz study. In fact, 80% of agricultural workers tune into OTA radio, a preference that extends beyond streaming audio, podcasts, and satellite radio.

Farmer Radio Data

While approximately two-thirds of this group listen to streaming audio, including AM/FM streams and other services, more than half of these households subscribe to commercial-free services, emphasizing the importance of traditional radio, both over-the-air and station streams, for advertisers targeting this demographic.

In October, the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota, National Grange, the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas, Latino Farmers & Ranchers International, Livestock Marketing Association, National Farmers Union, North Dakota Farmers Union, and the Rural & Agriculture Council of America sent a joint letter to Congress urging the AM For Every Vehicle Act’s passage.

Then came this week’s 80th National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) convention in Kansas City, where the NAFB foundation raised $22,027 for student scholarships as attendees enjoyed insight from Joanna Guza on the benefits and opportunities of Trade Talk as a farm broadcaster.

— With reporting by Cameron Coats, in New York