Exciting day today. Simon Greenland-Smith has headed to Truro to test our new Marginal Land Management survey with farmers and farm extension workers at the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. This survey is a great partnership (see logos), which will reduce the number of surveys Nova Scotia farmers receive this year with a multi-purpose design, while getting a better response rate through multiple reminders. Trialing surveys is critical to ensure a survey is well-designed for the audience.
First, the survey is taken in ‘exam conditions’, except it is not the participants being tested, but rather the survey itself. This allows us to estimate how long it will take farmers at home, and shorten it if necessary. Then a free lunch, to fuel thinking for the focus group discussion. This is where we discuss the design of the survey instrument, from minor issues like wording to bigger issues like the relevance of the various topics to the target audience. I look forward to hearing how it went and reflecting on that feedback.