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Perceptions of animal agricultural technologies related to college freshmen demographics

King, Lindsay V.

In today's society the consumers determine the demand of products produced by farmers and ranchers. The science behind the practice is used to increase production and is essential to feeding the growing world, now and in the future. There is a huge disconnect between consumers, producers and researchers that need to be breached to prevent this disconnection and inaccurate perceptions. With groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals spreading heir perceptions about how the agricultural industry is operating, people are quickly loosing trust in the ability of the farmer to provide a safe, viable product for them to consume.

This leads us to cultivating communicators who have the ability to understand the language of the science and effectively communicate it in a way that is both easy to understand and entirely accurate. Agriculturalists understand there is a disconnection between consumers and producers, the problem we currently face is finding exactly where this actually happens. This project is intended to begin the process of finding the starting point for better communication between consumers and producers. By conducting this research with OSU freshmen we are looking at the very next generation of consumers. These are the individuals who have been raised by one of the first generations completely removed from the farm. Their perceptions, knowledge and understanding of the agricultural industry were formed differently than almost all previous generations. This is extremely important information to gather as this will potentially reveal where the bridge building can begin to strong communication between consumers and producers.