Ohio Survey Of Food, Agriculture, And Environmental Issues
This survey was conducted to measure Ohioans attitudes on topics related to food, agriculture and the environment; the demographics of the survey respondents were quite similar to the 2000 census statistics for the state, although the sample was slightly more educated, reported slightly higher home values, and included a smaller proportion of African Americans compared to the state. The most significant difference between the sample and state was that a larger proportion of the sample lived in owner-occupied housing units compared to the state population.
More than 23% of all respondents reported their parents had/have a farm, over 49% reported their grandparents had/have a farm. Younger respondents were much less likely to report a parent or grandparent who had/has a farm.
41% of total respondents do not know any farmers, 20% know five or more farmers, 20% visited with a member of a farm family 5 or more times per month, while 51% have no conversations with members of a farm family in an average month.
80% agree that the state’s economy will suffer if Ohio continues to lose farmers.
59% trust Ohio farmers to protect the environment.
20% frequently purchase farm produce or other food items at a farmers market or roadside stand, 49% occasionally make similar purchases. 81% specified they prefer to buy locally produced foods, if given a choice.
39% agree or strongly agree that food is not as safe as it was 10 years ago. 62% believe that imported foods are not as safe as foods produced in the U.S. 37% thought organic foods are safer than conventionally produced foods, while 22% disagreed and 41% were undecided on the topic.
51% felt humans have too little respect for the quality of life of animals, while 34% disagreed. 48% felt that an increase in regulation of the treatment of farm animals is needed, although 23% disagreed. 40% agreed or strongly agreed that hunting is an acceptable form of recreation, while 43% disagreed.
59% of respondents familiar with the issues associated with large-scale animal farming thought this type of development was a threat to rural quality of life. 57% felt there should be increased regulation of livestock production in Ohio to protect the environment. 71% agreed or strongly agreed that these facilities pose a serious threat to water and stream quality in the state.
62% were undecided if biotechnology in agriculture is having a positive impact on the environment. 59% were also undecided as to whether biotechnology is having a negative impact on the safety of the food supply.