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Technology Use and Information Preferences of Digitally Engaged American Quarter Horse Association Members

Turk, Jessie
The purpose of this study was to assess AQHA members' preferences for obtaining equine industry information via digital media and give AQHA more knowledge about its digitally engaged membership, as it relates to members' needs and improvements for an expansion of the organization's mobile application. The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) is the largest equine breed registry and member organization in the world. Survey research was used in this study. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected from a 26-question instrument developed by the researcher. Approximately 100,000 instruments were distributed and 5,707 responses were complete and usable. The response rate was 5.7%; however, a follow-up instrument was distributed to allow for generalization. Results revealed the typical respondent to be a white female, who is 42.5 years old and a general membership holder with AQHA. Most respondents earned a high school education, with many obtaining at least one college degree. The typical respondent resides in Texas, has a total household income of $100,000 or more per year, and does not rely on involvement within the equine industry for income. Results also revealed the typical respondent owns a smart phone and accesses the Internet several times a day, from home, via broadband technology. The typical respondent accesses mobile applications and would access a new AQHA-sponsored application. In regard to digital media use, the typical respondent accesses a variety of sources for information and believes digital media is an educational tool; however, the typical respondent is neutral in their opinion of social media and its uses. When considering a potential new AQHA-sponsored mobile application, the typical respondent expects to see AQHA news provided within it and expects to pay for pedigree and records research. It is recommended that AQHA consider the findings from this study in developing a mobile application. The demographic information, as well as the digital media use and mobile application information will be useful in creating an application to be used by the organization's members. It is recommended that further research be conducted on equine enthusiasts' needs and preferences related to obtaining industry information via a variety of platforms.