AS  Vol.7 No.4 , April 2016
Exploring Agritourism Experience and Perceptions of Pork Production
Abstract: The interest of consumers in farming activities is evident and agricultural producers have responded to this increasing interest in a number of ways, including inviting visitors to farm operations through tourism or farm visits. Livestock industries, in particular, are interacting with the public in numerous ways, including via marketing channels for their products, interacting with community leaders and community members in regard to location siting and regulations, and inviting people onto their operations via agritourism. An improved understanding of who visits agricultural locations (particularly livestock operations) and consumers’ perceptions about livestock agriculture is needed in order to begin to understand the possible relationships between on-farm experiences and consumers’ perceptions. Thus, it is important to gain a deeper understanding in consumers’ interests, including their levels of concern for production process attributes, such as animal welfare, relative to product attributes like price and taste. This analysis investigates the demographics of consumers who have (and have not) visited various agritourism operations, studies differences in preferences for (or perceptions of) animal welfare relative to other pork attributes between consumers who have or have not visited a livestock operation, as well as amongst consumers with varying levels of involvement in household food production. Indeed the relationships explored are between having visited a livestock operation and the perceptions. This study found that 69% of participants had visited a livestock operation (pig farm, dairy farm, and/or horse farm) at some point. The majority of respondents agreed that agriculture was an important industry, yet, those who had visited livestock operations were more likely to note concerns about the impact of livestock operations on water quality in their county.
Cite this paper: Cummins, A. , Olynk Widmar, N. , C. Croney, C. and Fulton, J. (2016) Exploring Agritourism Experience and Perceptions of Pork Production. Agricultural Sciences, 7, 239-249. doi: 10.4236/as.2016.74024.

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