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What Ohioans Think About Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Issues. Presentation by Jeff S. Sharp and Mark Tucker Communications and Technology College of FAES Columbus and Wooster April 29, 2003. Jeff S. Sharp 311 Ag. Admin. Bldg. 2120 Fyffe Road Columbus, OH 43210

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What ohioans think about food agriculture and environmental issues

What Ohioans Think About Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Issues

Presentation by Jeff S. Sharp and Mark Tucker

Communications and Technology

College of FAES

Columbus and Wooster

April 29, 2003


Contact information

Jeff S. Sharp Environmental Issues

311 Ag. Admin. Bldg.

2120 Fyffe Road

Columbus, OH 43210

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: 614-292-9410

Mark Tucker

203 Ag. Admin. Bldg.

2120 Fyffe Road

Columbus, OH 43210

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone:614-292-4624

Contact Information


Project background
Project Background Environmental Issues

  • Funded by OSU Extension, OARDC and the College of FAES

  • Leadership from Rural Sociology Program, Department of Human and Community Resource Development


Project team
Project Team Environmental Issues

  • Department of HCRD/Rural Sociology Program

    • Jeff Sharp, Molly Bean Smith, Bill Flinn, Mark Tucker, Sherrie Whaley

  • OSU Extension

    • Greg Davis, Jerry Thomas, Denny Hall


Methodology
Methodology Environmental Issues

  • A stratified sample of 7,976 Ohioans was selected

    • Stratified by 5 extension districts and metro core county status

  • Dillman’s TDM utilized with 5 contacts

  • Response rate = 56.4% (4,014 respondents)


Sample vs state population 2000 census
Sample vs. State Population (2000 Census) Environmental Issues

  • Close match: gender, age (over 24), households w/ kids, employment status and household incomes

  • Limitations

    • sample had lower proportion of renters, lower # of 18-24 year olds, and lower proportion of African Americans than expected compared to state population statistics


Outline of presentation
Outline of Presentation Environmental Issues

  • Ohioans links to agriculture

  • Views of Agriculture & the Environment

  • Views of large scale livestock and poultry

  • Food topics (safety, local foods, organics, biotechnology)

  • Discussion


General rural related findings

General Rural Related Findings Environmental Issues




Number of farmers known
Number of farmers known Environmental Issues


Farmers and the environment

Farmers and the Environment Environmental Issues


Overall farming positively contributes to the quality of life in ohio
Overall, farming positively contributes to the quality of life in Ohio

  • 1% Strongly Disagreed or Disagreed

  • 7% Undecided

  • 92% Agreed or Strongly Agreed


Ohio s economy will suffer if it continues to lose farmers
Ohio’s economy will suffer if it continues to lose farmers life in Ohio

  • 5% Strongly Disagreed or Disagreed

  • 15% Undecided

  • 80% Agreed or Strongly Agreed


Q ohio s most productive farmland should be preserved for agriculture
Q. Ohio’s most productive farmland should be preserved for agriculture.

  • 2% Strongly Disagreed or Disagreed

  • 6% Undecided

  • 92% Agreed or Strongly Agreed


Q i trust ohio farmers to protect the environment
Q. I trust Ohio farmers to protect the environment. for agriculture.

  • 12% Strongly Disagreed or Disagreed

  • 29% Undecided

  • 59% Agreed or Strongly Agreed


Q ohio farmers are generally sensitive to the concerns of nonfarm neighbors
Q. Ohio farmers are generally sensitive to the concerns of nonfarm neighbors.

  • 11% Strongly Disagreed or Disagreed

  • 45% Undecided

  • 44% Agreed or Strongly Agreed


Q environmental protection laws regulating farming practices are too strict
Q. Environmental protection laws regulating farming practices are too strict.

  • 19% Strongly Disagreed or Disagreed

  • 59% Undecided

  • 22% Agreed or Strongly Agreed



Large scale livestock and poultry

Large-scale livestock and poultry practices are too strict.


Familiarity with issues
Familiarity with Issues practices are too strict.

  • Respondents were asked: Are you familiar with the issues associated with large-scale poultry and livestock facilities?

    • 33 percent of respondents indicated “yes”

    • 67 percent indicated “no”


Familiarity by region of the state
Familiarity by region of the state practices are too strict.


Concern about livestock
Concern about livestock practices are too strict.

  • Respondents were asked: How concerned are you about the development of large-scale poultry and livestock production facilities in Ohio?

    • 21 percent very concerned

    • 51 percent somewhat concerned

    • 28 percent not at all concerned


Concern among those familiar with the issues
Concern among those familiar with the issues practices are too strict.

  • Concern was higher among those indicating they were familiar with the issues

    • 34 percent very concerned

    • 51 percent somewhat concerned

    • 15 percent not at all concerned




Q. Large-scale poultry and livestock production facilities in rural areas are a threat to rural quality of life.

  • 22% Strongly Disagreed or Disagreed

  • 19% Undecided

  • 59% Agreed or Strongly Agreed


Q there needs to be increased regulation of livestock production in ohio to protect the environment
Q. There needs to be increased regulation of livestock production in Ohio to protect the environment.

  • 17% Strongly Disagreed or Disagreed

  • 26% Undecided

  • 57% Agreed or Strongly Agreed


Q. Large-scale poultry and livestock facilities pose a serious threat to water and stream quality in Ohio

  • 11% Strongly Disagreed or Disagreed

  • 18% Undecided

  • 71% Agreed or Strongly Agreed


Q large scale livestock facilities positively contribute to the economy of ohio
Q. Large-scale livestock facilities positively contribute to the economy of Ohio.

  • 13% Strongly Disagreed or Disagreed

  • 27% Undecided

  • 60% Agreed or Strongly Agreed


Q animal agriculture raises serious ethical questions about the treatment of animals
Q. Animal agriculture raises serious ethical questions about the treatment of animals

  • 37% Strongly Disagreed or Disagreed

  • 29% Undecided

  • 34% Agreed or Strongly Agreed


Ohioans and food

Ohioans and Food about the treatment of animals


Q food is not as safe as it was 10 years ago
Q. Food is not as safe as it was 10 years ago. about the treatment of animals

  • 35% Disagreed or Strongly Disagreed

  • 26% Undecided

  • 39% Agreed or Strongly Agreed


Perceived risks to food safety scaling 1 no risk 7 serious risk
Perceived risks to food safety about the treatment of animals (scaling 1=no risk; 7=serious risk)


Q organic foods are safer than conventionally produced foods
Q. Organic foods are safer than conventionally produced foods?

  • 22% Disagreed or Strongly Disagreed

  • 41% Undecided

  • 37% Agreed or Strongly Agreed


Q biotechnology is having a negative impact on the safety of our food supply
Q. Biotechnology is having a negative impact on the safety of our food supply

  • 20% Disagreed or Strongly Disagreed

  • 59% Undecided

  • 21% Agreed or Strongly Agreed


Q when given a choice prefer to buy foods produced locally
Q. When given a choice, prefer to buy foods produced locally.

  • 7% Disagreed or Strongly Disagreed

  • 13% Undecided

  • 80% Agreed or Strongly Agreed


Considerations in communication research
Considerations in communication research locally.

  • “Media use” is not measured in a consistent manner – difficult to define and operationalize

  • Communication sources and channels often measured haphazardly

  • We need your input!


Trust in sources of environmental and food safety information scaling 1 no trust 5 high trust
Trust in Sources of Environmental and Food Safety Information(Scaling: 1 = no trust; 5 = High trust)


Perceived helpfulness of media
Perceived helpfulness of media Information

Not Level of helpfulness Very

(1 = not helpful; 5 = very helpful)

Newspapers (3.3)

Television news (3.2)

Magazines (2.8)

Radio (2.8)

World wide web (2.6)

Television talk shows (2.3)


Wrap up

Wrap-up Information


Future plans
Future plans Information

  • Additional analysis and associated Extension and research manuscripts to be generated through mid-2003

  • Willingness to do customized analysis for interested parties

  • Explore possibility of repeating study in 2004 examining these and other emerging FAE issues


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