Impacts of Livestock at Fairs on Public Perception of Animal Agriculture
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Due to increased removal from the agricultural industry, the non-farming publics’ ability to gain firsthand experiences with agriculture may be limited. The knowledge gained from firsthand experiences may be restricted to encounters at fairs across the country. Consequently, agriculturalists interaction with the non-farming public regarding animal agriculture may be reduced to these experiences. Few studies exist about the impact of livestock exhibits at fairs on public perception. This study was a two-phase, sequential mixed methods study, with the first phase being qualitative in nature and the second a quantitative approach using social cognitive theory. Fairgoers, who attended the livestock exhibits at Rodeo Austin, San Diego County Fair, and State Fair of Texas, were asked to describe their response to engagement strategies used by fairs. Residents in Colorado, California, and Texas, were asked to describe to the their perceptions of fairs, the environment at fairs, and educational information being presented at fairs through a self completed questionnaire. Overall, findings indicate fairgoer attitudes of the livestock exhibits were positive, the public enjoys interaction with agriculturalists, and that sign usage may not be the best way to deliver educational information.
Johnston, Jessica Nichole (2015). Impacts of Livestock at Fairs on Public Perception of Animal Agriculture. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from