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Influence of Agri-Palooza on Participant Perceptions of Agriculture
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American citizens have little understanding of the value of agriculture and its vital role in our society. Additionally, there has been an increase in public interest and concern about food safety, animal welfare, and the environmental impacts of agriculture. As a means to better educate the public about modern farming practices, on-farm educational events have been established. These events aim to increase consumer trust in and positive impressions of agriculture as a whole. Our descriptive study was completed to quantify the influence of Agri-Palooza, an on-farm dairy educational event, on participant perceptions of agriculture. Retrospective pre- and post-tests were used to measure participants’ level of trust in farmers. Participants’ trust was evaluated regarding the role of farmers in food safety, animal welfare, and environmental stewardship. A paper exit survey yielded 137 responses used in data analysis. Quantitative results indicated a statistically significant increase in participants’ post-trust scores in relation to their pre-trust scores. Furthermore, a positive correlation was found between the reported number of prior visits to a dairy farm with pre-trust scores, and a negative correlation existed between the reported number of prior visits to a dairy farm with change in post-trust scores. Eighty-seven percent of participants strongly agreed that Agri-Palooza was a good way to connect the public with modern food production. Additionally, 75% of participants strongly agreed that their general impression about modern dairy farming improved as a result of attending. Findings revealed that Agri-Palooza was influential at increasing participants’ positive perceptions of the dairy industry. Therefore, it was recommended that farmers, as well as agricultural extension services, consider the role of on-farm educational events in educating and connecting the public with modern agriculture.
Gowan, Carole Marie (2016). Influence of Agri-Palooza on Participant Perceptions of Agriculture. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from