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Livestock Farming In Iowa

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  1. Livestock Farming In Iowa Dr. Stephen Sapp Department of Sociology Iowa State University Ames, IA 50011 (515) 294-1403 ssapp@iastate.edu

  2. Livestock Farming In Iowa • Some Facts About Livestock Farming • Livestock farming produces a large volume of safe, wholesome food. • Livestock farmers adhere to stringent standards of quality control and animal management.

  3. Livestock Farming In Iowa • Some Facts About Livestock Farming • Livestock production uses much food and water. • Livestock production creates environmental degradation. • Livestock farming…well, stinks! (But some would say it smells better than do cities.)

  4. Livestock Farming In Iowa • Social Issues Regarding Livestock Farming • Most persons express concerns about the envirnoment. • Neighbors complain about odors. • Some persons express concerns about control by very powerful multinational corporations.

  5. Livestock Farming In Iowa • Sociological Issues Regarding Livestock Farming • What structures, policies, and programs are best suited to addressing social issues? • What are the effects of livestock farming on people and communities? • What is the quality of the social fabric within the context of debates about social issues?

  6. Livestock Farming In Iowa • Livestock Farming and Small Towns • Livestock Farmers and Small Towns

  7. Livestock Farming And Small Towns • Research Questions • Does large-scale livestock farming harm the social and economic structure of small communities? • Does large-scale livestock farming harm residents’ attachment to their community?

  8. Livestock Farming And Small Towns • Previous Research • A review of about 50 studies shows that in some regions, the larger the scale of agriculture, the lower the objective and subjective evaluations of the community. • What about Iowa?

  9. Livestock Farming And Small Towns • The Iowa State Studies • 99 small, rural towns, one in each county. • 1994 and 2004. • 150 survey interviews in each town. • Census data combined with interview data.

  10. Livestock Farming And Small Towns • The Iowa State Studies: Objective Data • Median Household Income • Poverty Rates • Infant Death Rates • Rates of Violent Crime • Retail Pull Factor • Unemployment Rates • Total Population • Income Inequality

  11. Livestock Farming And Small Towns • The Iowa State Studies: Subjective Data • Social Cohesion • Neighboring • Trustworthiness • Caring • Attachment

  12. Livestock Farming And Small Towns • The Iowa State Studies: Subjective Data • Community Services • Medical • Public Schools • Shopping Facilities • Housing • Recreation • Child Care and Programs for Youth • Senior Services

  13. Livestock Farming And Small Towns • The Iowa State Studies: Subjective Data • Government Services • Police Protection • Fire Protection • Condition of Streets • Water Quantity and Quality • Garbage Collection • Emergency Response Services

  14. Livestock Farming And Small Towns • The Iowa State Studies: Subjective Data • Civic Engagement • Service and Fraternal Organizations • Recreational Groups • Political Groups • Civic Groups • Job-Related Organizations • Church-Related Groups and Organizations

  15. Livestock Farming And Small Towns • The Iowa State Studies: Findings • In Iowa, the larger the scale of agriculture the better the objective and subjective evaluations of the community. • This effect is not uniform within or across years. • This effect is small in size.

  16. Livestock Farming And Small Towns • The Iowa State Studies: Conclusions • Large-scale farming has a modest, favorable effect on the structure and functioning of small, rural towns in Iowa.

  17. Livestock Farmers And Small Towns • The Good Farmer • We were asked to learn about the good farmer. • We chose to learn about the good neighbor. • We learned that their interests are about the same.

  18. Livestock Farmers And Small Towns • The Iowa State Studies • 16 small, rural towns, one each in 8 counties. • 2006. • 150 survey interviews in each town. • 20 in-depth interviews combined with the survey interviews.

  19. Livestock Farmers And Small Towns • The Iowa State Studies: The Surveys • We asked the same questions as the community surveys: Citizenship, Caring, Trustworthiness, Fairness. • Then, we asked residents to rate pork producers on those same issues!

  20. Livestock Farmers And Small Towns • The Iowa State Studies: Survey Findings • Pork producers were rated by town residents as below, but nearly equal to fellow town residents in caring, citizenship, and fairness. • Pork producers were rated by town residents as above, but nearly equal to fellow town residents in trustworthiness.

  21. Livestock Farmers And Small Towns • The Iowa State Studies: The Interviews • We asked pork producers to tell us what citizens can do better to build good relationships with pork producers. • We asked producers how citizens view them. • We asked producers how they view citizens.

  22. Livestock Farmers And Small Towns • The Iowa State Studies: Interview Findings • Pork producers take pride in adding jobs and helping the local economy. • Pork producers take pride in their civic engagement. • Pork producers feel well-informed about how to be a good neighbor.

  23. Livestock Farmers And Small Towns • The Iowa State Studies: Interview Findings • Pork producers struggle with urban and other rural residents regarding odor issues. • Pork producers struggle with urban and other rural residents regarding what constitutes humane treatment of animals.

  24. Livestock Farmers And Small Towns • The Iowa State Studies: Conclusions • The ability of Iowans to develop policies, programs, and relationships that can mitigate concerns about odors and treatment of animals will be critical in defining the quality of the social fabric in rural areas and small towns.

  25. Livestock Farming And Farmers • Overall Conclusions • The Iowa State studies evaluated the effects of large-scale farming on the objective and subjective quality of life in small towns. • We found no reason for concern thus far that large-scale farming is detrimental to quality of life in Iowa’s small towns.

  26. Livestock Farming And Farmers • Overall Conclusions • The Iowa State studies evaluated the quality of the social fabric binding livestock producers to other rural and urban residents of small towns. • We found no reason for concern thus far that debates about livestock farming are eroding the quality of the social fabric among farmers and small town residents.

  27. Livestock Farming In Iowa Thank You!