A recently released survey conducted by the American Farm Bureau suggests that a majority of Americans believe farmers are feeding the world in a sustainable way.
John Newton, chief economist for the Farm Bureau, says the survey was positive for farmers on a topic important to many Americans.
“We recently conducted a survey to gauge the public’s perceptions of farmers and ranchers and their sustainability practices, and what we found is more than half the adults, 58 percent, rate the sustainability practices of farmers positively,” Newton explained. “We have broad agreement on that from a majority of adults across demographic groups that trust farmers.”
He says nine in ten adults trust farmers, which is four percent higher than the last survey that AFBF took in June. While farmers can always improve their sustainability, Newton says the poll shows that Americans don’t think farmers should have to bear the cost of doing so by themselves.
“The public doesn’t believe that we need to go it alone. I think they recognize that climate smart technology adoption is a public good. Seven in ten adults say that government incentives to encourage farmers to adopt additional sustainable ag practices would be effective in improving environmental sustainability in agriculture.”
Newton also says Americans understand farms must be economically sustainable as well as environmentally sustainable, with four in five adults understanding the importance of feeding the world. But they also understand the importance of farmers being able to pass their farm down to future generations and to keep that farm in the family.