Survey Shows Consumers Trust Farmers
Article submitted by Carol Balvanz, Director of Policy for the Iowa Soybean Association.
A recent survey of non-farm residents by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) shows that consumers trust Iowa’s farmers to supply safe, abundant food – and to do it while taking good care of their animals.
Iowa is a top pork, egg, chicken, turkey and beef state. It has a growing dairy industry. Some might think that all this production would lead to disgruntled neighbors and consumers susceptible to animal rights organization horror stories. But it may be that all this familiarity with livestock production and with the farmers who raise the livestock help Iowans see through the radical rhetoric from groups whose main goal is to eliminate livestock production in the U.S.
One clue to Iowans’ perception of livestock agriculture was found in the survey question which asked, “Can there be a difference between what is considered humane treatment of farm animals and humane treatment of household pets?”
Polling showed 83% of survey participants agreed there is a difference between pets and farm animals, leading the Iowa Soybean Association to believe that the education efforts of individual farmers and groups such as the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers have made an impact on those Iowans who have no remaining connection to the farm. Those consumers trust Iowa’s farmers to supply safe, abundant food, and to do it while taking good care of their animals.
Iowa consumers seem to have no illusions that pigs are pets. Instead, they see value in housing systems that keep those pigs warm, dry, comfortable and gaining weight quickly so that they can reach their destiny of becoming part of the food supply.