Bridging Water Issue Knowledge Gaps Between the General Public and Opinion Leaders


  • Kevan W. Lamm University of Florida
  • Alexa J. Lamm University of Florida
  • Jnnah S. Carter University of Florida



water, opinion leaders, public pinion, knowledge gap


Global conflicts have rapidly made water the most contentious issue in the world today. Considering water drives health, industry, recreation, and the agricultural food system it is no surprise that it has become such a hot topic. As a result, the general public has an increased interest in water-focused policy; policy that can have a large impact on the agriculture industry. Agricultural and natural resource opinion leaders may differ or agree with the general public on water related issues, as well as perceptions of government influence. Identifying similarities and differences will allow agricultural educators to identify ways to resolve disagreements through improved education, communication and messaging, and leadership development of agricultural and natural resource opinion leaders. The findings indicated there are significant differences between agricultural and natural resource opinion leaders and the general public as it related to their knowledge of water issues and perceptions of government support for individual decision- making regarding environmental issues. Based on these findings it is suggested agricultural educators establish a common language that can be used with all audiences to discuss water issues, develop educational programming to assist opinion leaders when addressing observed knowledge gaps, and create educational coalitions to provide source credibility across audiences.


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How to Cite

Lamm, K. W., Lamm, A. J., & Carter, J. S. (2015). Bridging Water Issue Knowledge Gaps Between the General Public and Opinion Leaders. Journal of Agricultural Education, 56(3), 146–161.




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