Volume 36 - Number 4 - 1995 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.1995.04064



Some of the most controversial issues currently being debated in society are related to agriculture. Discussions and decisions about topics concerning the environment, food safety, animal welfare, and health, all impact the processes used in the food and fiber industries. As these issues become more prominent in society, it is important for citizens to understand how these industries affect their way of life. Generally speaking, Americans have low levels of awareness and inaccurate perceptions about agriculture and its impact upon society and the environment. Contributing to this situation is a flood of misinformation about agriculture and agricultural products currently being promoted. Such ignorance and misconceptions are a concern because of the influence Americans have upon the decision-making process through our political system. This research investigated the perceptions of university students concerning issues related to agriculture. Over all, students were found to have favorable perceptions about the safety of food and the impact of agriculture upon the economy and environment. Males tended to be more positive about animal welfare and methods used in production agriculture. Gender, college major, and hometown were also related to perceptions about other issues related to agriculture.

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