E. coli, cattle producers, information sources, source credibility, preharvest control strategies
Escherichia Coli (E. Coli) contamination has been a long-existing concern for those engaged in cattle production, often causing negative public health and economic consequences. The existence of pre-harvest practices that help reduce E. coli contamination creates the opportunity to positively impact human health by focusing on modifying behaviors and management strategies carried out in cattle production. For efforts like this to be successful, it is vital to consider how the communication can be modified to best transfer information and persuade the audience. Persuasive communication is considered to have five broad attributes, including source, message, channel, receiver and target variables (McGuire, 1984). The source variable, specifically the idea of source credibility, has long been deemed an important attribute for sources of information and been the focus of persuasive communication research (Pornpitakpan, 2004; Perloff, 2010). This study used an online survey questionnaire delivered to a convenience sample of cattle producers to study information source preferences of cattle producers and the perceived source credibility of these information sources for receiving information related to E. coli pre-harvest controls strategies. Based on 112 completed questionnaires, the study found that these cattle producers were most likely to use veterinarians as a source of information and least likely to use government sources. Also, veterinarians were seen to be the most credible source for information and government sources were most likely to be seen as the least credible. The findings are important for making decisions on how to present messages in communication and education programs for cattle producers.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
"Credibility and Likelihood to Use Information Sources by Cattle Producers For Learning E. coli Control Strategies,"
Online Journal of Rural Research & Policy:
Blackstock, K. L., Ingram, J., Burton, R., Brown, K. M., & Slee, B. (2010). Understanding and influencing behaviour change by farmers to improve water quality. Science of the Total Environment, 408(23), 5631-5638. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.04.029
Breiner, S.J., Boone, K.M., Blasi, D.A., Grau, S.A., Schroeder, Barnhardt, B.B., Breiner, R.M., & Bryant, A.M. (2007, March). Veterinarians most popular source of information utilized by cow-calf producers. Paper presented at Cattlemen’s Day 2007, Manhattan, KS. Retrieved from http://krex.k-state.edu/dspace/handle/2097/2406.
Brunson, M., & Price, E. A. (2009). Information use and delivery preferences among small acreage owners in areas of rapid exurban population growth. Journal of Extension, 47(5), 5FEA4. Retrieved from http://www.joe.org/joe/2009october/a4.php.
Buchanan, R. L., & Doyle, M.P. (1997). Foodborne Disease Significance of Excherichia coli O157:H7 and Other Enterohemorrhagic E. coli. Food Technology, 51(10), 69-76.
Callison, C. (2001). Do PR practitioners have a PR problem?: The effect of associating a source with public relations and client-negative news on audience perception of credibility. Journal of Public Relations Research, 13(3), 219-234. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/S1532754XJPRR1303_2
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (2012). E. coli (Escherichia coli). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (2014). Multistate Outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 Infections Linked to Ground Beef. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2014/O157H7-05-14/index.html.
Cull, C.A., Paddock, Z.D., Nagaraja, T.G., Bello, N. M., Babcock, A. H., & Renter, D. G. (2012). Efficacy of a vaccine and a direct-fed microbial against fecal shedding of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in a randomized pen-level field trial of commercial feedlot cattle. Vaccine, 30(43), 6210-6215. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.05.080 .
Dargatz, D.A., Bai, J., Lubbers, B.V., Kopral, C.A., An, Baoyan, & Anderson, G.A. (2013). Prevalence of Escherichia coli O-Types and Shiga-Toxin Genes in Fecal Samples from Feedlot Cattle. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, 10(4), 392-396. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/fpd.2012.1289 .
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2011). Preventing E. coli in Food. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/agns/pdf/Preventing_Ecoli.pdf
Gansheroff, L.J.; O’Brien, A.D. (2000). Escherichia coli O157:H7 in beef cattle presented for slaughter in the U.S.: higher prevalence rates than previously estimated. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United State, 97(7), 2959-2961. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.97.7.2959.
Garnett, E. (2013). The effect of source on agricultural producers’ perceptions of credibility. (Masters project). Retrieved from https://mospace.umsystem.edu/xmlui/handle/10355/41122.
Hambright, A. (2014, October 7). BCI develops training modules in collaboration with $25 million research effort. K-State Research and Extension News. Retrieved from http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/news/story/BCI_training100714.aspx.
Heffernan, C., Nielsen, L., Thomson, K., & Gunn, G. (2008). An exploration of the drivers to bio-security collective action among a sample of UK cattle and sheep farmers. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 87(3–4), 358-372. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2008.05.007
Hovland, C. I., Janis, I. L., & Kelley, H. H. (1953). Communication and persuasion: Psychological studies of opinion change (8th ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press.
Jacob, M.E., Callaway, T.R., & Nagaraja, T.G. (2009). Dietary Interactions and Interventions Affecting Escherichia coli O157 Colonization and Shedding in Cattle. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, 6(7), 785-792. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/fpd.2009.0306.
Marquart, J., O'Keefe, G. J., & Gunther, A. C. (1995). Believing in biotech: Farmers' perceptions of the credibility of BGH information sources. Science Communication, 16(4), 388-402. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1075547095016004002.
McCroskey, J. C., & Young, T. J. (1981). Ethos and credibility: The construct and its measurement after three decades. Central States Speech Journal, 32(1), 24-34. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10510978109368075.
McGuire, W. J. (1984). Public communication as a strategy for inducing health promoting behavioral change. Preventive Medicine, 13(3), 299-319. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0091-7435(84)90086-0.
Meena, H., & Meena, K. (2012). Sources of information and knowledge of farmers about dairy farming. J.Rec Adv Agr, 1(2), 56-62.
Moser, D. (2012, January 23). UNL leads $25 million project targeting E. coli threat to food safety. UNL Announce. Retrieved from http://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/todayatunl/918/5534
Palmer, S., Sully, M., & Fozdar, F. (2009a). Farmers, animal disease reporting and the effect of trust: A study of west australian sheep and cattle farmers. Rural Society, 19(1), 32-48. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5172/rsj.322.214.171.124.
Palmer, S., Fozdar, F., & Sully, M. (2009b). The effect of trust on west Australian farmers' responses to infectious livestock diseases. Sociologia Ruralis, 49(4), 360-374. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9523.2009.00495.x.
Perloff, R. M. (2010). The dynamics of persuasion: Communication and attitudes in the twenty-first century (4th ed.) New York: Routledge.
Pornpitakpan, C. (2004). The persuasiveness of source credibility: A critical review of five decades' evidence. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34(2), 243-281. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2004.tb02547.x.
Prokopy, L. S., Floress, K., Klotthor-Weinkauf, D., & Baumgart-Getz, A. (2008). Determinants of agricultural best management practice adoption: Evidence from the literature. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 63(5), 300-311. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2489/jswc.63.5.300.
Russell, R. A., & Bewley, J. M. (2013). Characterization of Kentucky dairy producer decision-making behavior. Journal of Dairy Science, 96(7), 4751-4758. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2012-6538
Sinaga, S., & Callison, C. (2008). Credibility of PR practitioners: The impact of professional journalism background on trustworthiness, expertness, and homophily evaluations. Public Relations Review, 34(3), 291-293. doi:10.1016/j.pubrev.2008.04.002
Sligo, F. X., & Massey, C. (2007). Risk, trust and knowledge networks in farmers’ learning. Journal of Rural Studies, 23(2), 170-182. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2006.06.001
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). (2014a). Summery of Recall Cases in Calendar Year 2013. Retrieved from http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-summaries
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). (2014b). Pre-Harvest Management Controls and Intervention Options for Reducing Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Shedding in Cattle: An Overview of Current Research. Retrieved from http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/d5314cc7-1ef7-4586-bca2-f2ed86d9532f/Reducing-Ecoli-Shedding-in-Cattle.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.
Vergot III, P., Israel, G., & Mayo, D. E. (2005). Sources and channels of information used by beef cattle producers in 12 counties of the northwest Florida extension district. Journal of Extension, 43(2). Retrieved from http://www.joe.org/joe/2005april/rb6p.shtml