"The survey is an important tool that helps the checkoff develop effective messaging to promote soy-based, environmentally safe products and the importance of maintaining animal agriculture," says Vanessa Kummer, a USB director and soybean farmer from Colfax, N.D.
The study, which took place in February, surveyed a random sample of 1,000 registered voters with characteristics representative of the U.S. population. The results provide insights into seven main issues, including: 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.
Some of the key findings from the study include:
Individuals who are somewhat or very favorable toward U.S. poultry and livestock producers rose from 69 percent in 2008 to 78 percent 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 percent 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 percent of consumers are against the legislation.
Consumers see energy security as the most important benefit of biobased products.
Source for survey: National Agricultural Image Survey, February 2009, conducted on behalf of Foley and Lardner LLP by Wilson Research Strategies. United Soybean Board