Poultry production holds an important place in Arkansas economically and as a food source. The viability of poultry production ultimately hinges on consumer demand and the perceptions that drive their purchases. With this in mind, this study surveyed consumers to assess their perceptions of poultry production in Arkansas. The instrument used to survey consumers was created by the researcher and an expert committee at the University of Arkansas. Consumers were surveyed through direct communication at grocery stores in Northwest Arkansas. Data gathered from the study were analyzed using descriptive and correlational statistics. Consumers were uncertain as to whether or not conventionally produced poultry possessed unsafe levels of antibiotics and hormones (M = 3.68, SD = 1.45). Consumers also thought the majority of poultry farms in Arkansas were factory farms (M = 4.15, SD = 1.37). Consumers perceived organic poultry as a more healthy food than conventionally produced poultry (M = 4.47, SD = 1.39). Based on these results, specific recommendations were made to maintain the viability of poultry production in Arkansas. Marketing and communication efforts should be tailored to improve consumer understanding of antibiotic and hormone use in poultry production and the healthiness of conventionally produced poultry. Messaging and marketing should depict the reality of conventional poultry production, and agricultural communicators should work to improve logic and reason for combatting campaigns that misinform the public about agriculture. This research also highlights the need for further research to better understand the ways consumers develop perceptions of poultry production.
Estes, Stuart; Edgar, Leslie D.; and Johnson, Donald M.
"Consumer Perceptions of Poultry Production: A Focus on Arkansas,"
Journal of Applied Communications:
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