We saw a need for independently owned rural businesses to learn how to capitalize on new-media technologies in order to advance business goals. We set out to conduct a pilot study with a local garden center, and then pursued and secured competitive USDA funding.
The funded project’s purpose was to investigate how rural and urban garden centers currently use and implement new-media technologies and to explore how small businesses can effectively implement these technologies to improve economic success.
Based on results of this research, the team realized a national need existed, with local implications, that was not being met with current research and outreach efforts. We sought funding and support, and in 2012, officially opened our doors at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.
What started as a research effort to fill an existing gap, evolved into an outlet for research, teaching, and extension that supports the mission and vision of the College of Agriculture.
We are now housed in the Department of Communications and Agricultural Education. Our home is in the heart of agriculture country – keeping us connected to those that we serve.
This team leads the nation in establishing a reputation for new-media technology research for the betterment of small, rural enterprises.