Consumers Care Deeply About Farmers, Pesticides, Water, Waste & Soil

When asked about the importance of certain attributes in their purchases with relation to agricultural practices, many consumers rated fair payments to farmers/ranchers, elimination of toxic pesticides, improved water conservation, and runoff, animal waste management, as well as soil and microbial health as extremely important to them.

The highest-ranked items (7 on a 7-point scale) were:

  • gives fair payment to farmers and ranchers

  • eliminates toxic pesticides

  • promotes water conservation and clean water run-off

  • animal waste and nutrients are managed properly to minimize environmental impact

  • encourages soil and microbial health

“I appreciate companies that see the connection between cause and effect. I think it is one of the most important aspects of humans within nature. We have the power to stop destroying and polluting the waters and soil around us. I respect and admire companies who strive to minimize their negative impact. I reward companies who take the time and effort to think about the process they use to obtain their resources and products.” — Male, 25-34, North Carolina

Methodology Data based on a nationally representative survey of 3,000 American adults, aged 18 and older. The survey was conducted February 21 — March 4, 2019, and repeated January 10, 2020. All questionnaires were self-administered by respondents in a web-based environment. The survey took, on average, 27 minutes to complete and was entirely text-based with no visual imagery.


The sample was drawn using probability sampling methods from a proprietary recruitment system to recruit, screen, survey, message, re-target, and compensate participants in the United States. The sample, therefore, includes a representative cross-section of American adults. Key demographic variables were designed to match U.S. Census Bureau norms. All data and open-ended responses (7,754 in total) provide the raw data that led to analysis, conclusions, and recommendations.

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