In my last Industry Insightspost, we talked about the “Crate Debate.” This is just one of a handful of animal welfare debates facing our industry, and recent research from Purdue University yielded some “red flag” results for pork producers. Dr. Nicole Olynk Widmar (Agricultural Economics), Dr. Candace Croney (Animal Science) and Melissa McKendree (Agricultural Economics) conducted a survey of U.S. consumers related to perceptions of livestock – specifically pork – production. What they found may come as a shock.
Of the 798 survey participants, nearly one-third had never been to a farm that raised animals for the food system, and only 31 percent had visited such a farm within the last five years – which is representative of the nearly 98 percent of Americans who are not directly involved in agricultural production.These researchers also looked at the consumers’ sources of information regarding animal welfare issues. This chart breaks down the [ … ]
Most of the year, I call my home Madison, Wis. In the heart of the University of Wisconsin campus, cresting Bascom Hill, sits a statue honoring a man most Americans would agree was a visionary leader – Abraham Lincoln.
He is not emblazoned at the University of Wisconsin for his role in holding together a divided country through what was arguably one of its most tumultuous eras, though he could be. The reason he’s honored there is for his role in shaping not only our university, but modern agriculture.
During the dark days of the Civil War, 150 years ago this month, Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, legislation that created the land-grant university system, into law. The act granted 30,000 acres of land to each state for each member of Congress that state had. The money raised from the sale of the land, a combined $7.5 million nationwide, was to [ … ]