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At the 2005 convention, NAFB unveiled the results of the first wave of the Rural Lifestyle Research Project that was commissioned with Ag Media Research. Now the second (and more comprehensive) wave of this research is complete. Shortly after the conclusion of Trade Talk on Thursday its results will be presented.

More than 2,000 telephone interviews were conducted in 48 states for this research. It is believed to be the first and most comprehensive national research study available on the rural lifestyle segment in the country. Approximately 63 million U.S. residents are reported by the government to be in rural communities, and perhaps 4 million to 20 million of those could be considered "rural lifestyle" property owners with little or no farm income.

The research focuses on defining demographics, category buying power, and their broadcast information interests. The study, among other useful data, identifies:

• Marketing hot buttons to reach and serve a diverse marketplace with sizable disposable income.

• Key information needs and interests, and under-served opportunities for products and/or key services that serve the rural lifestyle.

• The "equity" in property ownership longevity and income, of rural lifestyle residents.

Since the 2005 research was completed, NAFB has begun focusing on how members are developing programming for this segment and what NAFB can do to support this and add value for its membership.

A recent survey of users of the NAFB News Service indicates that three of four farm broadcasters are currently airing at least some programming aimed at the rural lifestyle audience. The survey represented close to 30% of total NAFB Broadcast Council membership.

It is a must-attend event at the NAFB Convention! AM

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