IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/nddaae/23541.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Societal Perceptions Of Agriculture

Author

Listed:
  • Wachenheim, Cheryl J.
  • Rathge, Richard W.

Abstract

Tension between farm operators and their surrounding neighbors within rural communities continues to escalate as residents become increasingly removed from production agriculture. An expanding gap exists between public perceptions of the effects of the structure and production practices of modern agriculture, and reality. Combined with a shrinking farm population and support base, misperceptions may have important consequences for farm legislation and regulations. Obtaining knowledge about how the public views agriculture is a necessary step in correcting misperceptions and may help the industry and policy makers understand the beliefs and values of the populace. Collecting information about perceptions of agriculture among residents of the North Central Region of the United States was the goal of this study. Data came from a two-stage random sample of households in the North Central Region. Counties in the region were first stratified by location relative to a metropolitan center and by population change between 1980 and 1998. Next, 50 households within each of 5 counties in a strata were surveyed by telephone. The survey included 13 questions eliciting perceptions regarding the impact of agriculture on the local economy, environmental concerns, appropriateness of current farming regulations, and consequences of farm structure. In general, respondents had a favorable view of agriculture. They overwhelmingly agreed that farmers have a positive impact on their local economy. Three-fourths agreed that a loss of farmers in the region would greatly hurt the local economy; respondents living near small towns were the most likely to agree. Overall, farmers were considered good environmental stewards and existing environmental regulations were perceived as appropriate. A majority of respondents agreed that noise, odor, and other environmental issues associated with farming in their area are minimal. Respondents had strong negative opinions about how the consolidating structure of agriculture will influence the environment, society, and local economies, and a majority agreed the government should do more to help farmers in their area stay in business. Perceptions of those who are or have associates who are economically dependent on livestock differed from those held by other respondents. Respondents themselves receiving or with associates who receive income from or work with livestock were less likely than other respondents to agree that there exist environmental issues associated with farming and that additional environmental legislation is needed. Place of residence also influenced perception. In general, farm residents expressed greater concern about the impact of farm consolidation, perceived there to be less of an environmental concern associated with farming, and more strongly agreed existing legislation regulating agriculture is appropriate than either rural non-farm or city residents.

Suggested Citation

  • Wachenheim, Cheryl J. & Rathge, Richard W., 2000. "Societal Perceptions Of Agriculture," Agribusiness & Applied Economics Report 23541, North Dakota State University, Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:nddaae:23541
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/23541
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Eberle, Phillip R. & Rendleman, C. Matthew & Peterson, William C., 2006. "Who is Willing to Pay to Keep Livestock Production Away?," 2006 Annual Meeting, February 5-8, 2006, Orlando, Florida 35301, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:nddaae:23541. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dandsus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.