Survey shows Iowans trust farmers are caring for livestock and the land

Iowa grocery shoppers place a great deal of trust in Iowa farmers and according to the latest Iowa Farm Bureau Food and Farm Index, large majorities are confident that Iowa farmers take care of their animals and the environment responsibly. The news is detailed in the latest Iowa Farm Bureau Food and Farm Index, an annual survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Iowa Farm Bureau Federation to shed light on what Iowa grocery shoppers are putting in their carts, as well as the issues and factors that may influence their choices in the new year.

Iowans trust farmers to care for the land and animals

The latest survey of over 500 Iowa grocery shoppers shows nearly nine in 10 (87 percent) are confident Iowa farmers are caring for their animals responsibly, with a third (33 percent) saying they are very confident.

“This is encouraging news for farmers who look for ways to improve the environments and efficiencies of livestock in their care. There are so many ways that farmers raise animals today and this survey also shows consumers want and expect that flexibility to bring them more choices and nutritional options at the grocery store. In fact, 84 percent of Iowans say it is important that farmers have the flexibility to use a variety of farming practices to provide them with different choices and price options at the grocery store and over a quarter (27 percent) say that farmer flexibility is very important to them,” says IFBF President Craig Hill.

The good news for farming innovation and flexibility is also apparent when it comes to farmers embracing conservation practices that work best for their farms. According to the 2017 survey, over three-fourths (77 percent) of Iowa grocery shoppers are confident Iowa farmers are caring for the environment responsibly, with one in four (24 percent) being very confident. Asked unaided, nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) Iowa grocery shoppers say they are confident that Iowa farmers are taking on the challenge of improving water quality and they like to learn more about those efforts. For example, hearing how farmers are installing cover crops, wetlands and bioreactors, which is keeping more than 3.8 million pounds of nitrogen from reaching Iowa’s water (source: 2015-2016 Iowa Water Quality Initiative Annual Progress Report) makes over four in five (84 percent) more confident that farmers are taking on the challenge of improving water quality, with 33 percent saying they are much more confident.


The July 24 to Aug. 8, 2017, Iowa Farm Bureau Food and Farm Index was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of the IFBF among 507 adults aged 20 to 60, residing in Iowa who have primary or shared responsibility for household grocery shopping. For a complete methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Laurie Johns at [email protected].