- Nutrien’s study quantifies the perception gaps between North American farmers and consumers.
- Both groups see agriculture as pivotal for a sustainable future, yet differ on environmental and technological views.
- The largest gaps exist in opinions on environmental stewardship and industry advancement.
- There is a significant opportunity to educate and align consumer understanding with farming realities.
Uncovering Perception Gaps
Nutrien Ltd. has released a comprehensive study titled “Bridging the Agricultural Perception Divide,” which sheds light on the differing perceptions between farmers and consumers in North America. The research, involving 604 crop farmers and 3,003 consumers, explores attitudes toward sustainability, technology use, and agricultural land management.
Environmental and Technological Discrepancies
The study identified four areas with notable perception differences: environmental stewardship, industry advancement, social responsibility, and societal support for farmers. Farmers strongly agreed on responsible crop input use and soil quality, while consumers held varied views, particularly younger demographics with the slightest interest and trust in agricultural practices.
Societal Support and Education
Conversely, the study found more agreement on societal support for farmers, indicating a shared understanding of the challenges farmers face. Interestingly, 60% of consumers desired to learn more about agriculture, signaling a significant opportunity for educational initiatives.
Bridging the Gap
Nutrien’s President and CEO, Ken Seitz, emphasizes the need for a common understanding to support farmers in feeding the future sustainably and safely. The study suggests that addressing misinformation and enhancing consumer knowledge could narrow the perception gap.
The Role of Youth and Innovation
Jeff Tarsi, EVP and President of Global Retail at Nutrien points out the potential to engage younger generations by highlighting agriculture’s role in sustainability and innovation. The study indicates that by correcting misconceptions and promoting agriculture’s global impact, there is an opportunity to inspire youth to pursue careers in this vital industry.