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Perceptions of and Motivations for Purchasing Exhibition Livestock Through Online Auctions

Wendt, Kari Lynne
The purpose of this study was to assess the perceptions of and motivations for purchasing exhibition livestock through online auctions. Furthermore, the study obtained preferred characteristics of exhibition livestock auction presented on the Internet. The study's population consisted of all agricultural education teachers teaching for the 2013-2014 academic school year in Oklahoma (N = 428). Using a non-experimental descriptive research study, data were collected to describe the perceptions and motivations for purchasing exhibition livestock through online auctions. Based on the findings, the typical agricultural education teacher in Oklahoma is a 40-year-old male who has taught an average of 14.40 years. The average size of an Oklahoma FFA chapter is 92 members; however, the most frequent chapter size is 62. Agricultural education teachers in Oklahoma use their smart phones and access their email accounts frequently for work related purposes. However, the teachers either use social media frequently or not at all. All teachers have viewed and purchased students' exhibition livestock via an online auction but rarely, if ever, purchase without evaluating the animal in person. Leading motivators for purchasing livestock online were the variety in the choice of sellers, availability of more livestock to view, or their beliefs that buying online is the only option available for some breeders' livestock. Additionally, the majority of Oklahoma agricultural educational teachers prefer to see both pictures and videos when purchasing exhibition livestock through online auctions.Time management plays a critical role the agricultural education teachers' decisions to purchase students' livestock via online auctions. These teachers do not consider online livestock purchasing as more cost effective; however, they perceived a difference in the quality of livestock sold through online auctions as compared to traditional auctions. Exhibition livestock sellers should evaluate how they promote their livestock to this audience and include appropriate technologies. Exhibition livestock breeders who sell through online auctions should allow buyers to evaluate the livestock in person before the online auction begins, and they should integrate video into their existing online auction sites. The instrument should be revised to conduct research with additional populations, such as online auction managers, livestock breeders, and livestock buyers.