Michael J. Martin, Rebecca L. Hill, Anders Van Sandt, and Dawn D. Thilmany
Colorado State University
This research examines the trusted sources for information related to agriculture, biotechnology, and food quality, nutrition, and safety. We use correlation analysis and differences in means tests to explore trust levels using a survey of Coloradans’ public attitudes toward agriculture, food, and the environment. Results indicate that individuals trust information they receive about agriculture and food quality, nutrition, and safety from a variety of sources, though not all sources are trusted equally. In addition, individuals’ average trust differed for information related to agriculture and information related to food quality nutrition and safety. Demographics also played a significant role on the sources individuals trusted, particularly in regards to age and income. Additionally, individuals who were skeptical of controversial issues related to biotechnology trusted all sources of information less, except for the universities and research organizations, which remained neutral. The implications of the results to agricultural literacy work are discussed.
Key words: Agricultural literacy, agriculture information, biotechnology, information consumers, food information, trusted sources of information.