, AgWeb Business & Crops Online Editor
The general public's impressions of farmers are improving, according to a survey of consumer views funded by the United Soybean Board. This survey, officially called the 2009 National Agricultural Image Survey, was recently released to the public.
Key report findings include:
- Individuals who are somewhat or very favorable toward U.S. poultry and livestock producers rose from 69% in 2008 to 78% in 2009.
- Top positive farmer attributes among consumers are that farm families know about protecting air and water quality and that most farmers take good care of their animals.
- Nearly 90% of consumers do not see farmers as a major reason for increases in food prices.
- Most consumers agree that it's important to subsidize farmers to ensure a safe food supply.
- After hearing that anti-confinement legislation could force Americans to get their milk, eggs and meat from foreign producers, 78% of consumers are against the legislation.
- Consumers see energy security as the most important benefit of biobased products.
Overall, the survey looked into seven main issues: the image of U.S. poultry and livestock producers; a farmer attribute analysis; and consumer attitudes on confinement, food prices, confinement legislation, biobased products and biodiesel.
The survey took place in February and surveyed a random sample of 1,000 registered voters with characteristics representative of the U.S. population.