Date of Graduation

12-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology

Advisor

Edgar, Leslie D

Reader

Johnson, Donald M. (Donald Mack), 1959-

Second Reader

Goodwin, Harold L

Third Reader

Anthony, Nicholas B

Abstract

Poultry production holds an important place in Arkansas economically and as a food source. The importance of poultry production ultimately hinges on the demands of the consumers and the perceptions that drive their purchases. With this in mind, this study surveyed consumers to assess their perceptions of poultry production in Arkansas. The instrument used to survey consumers was created by the researcher and an expert committee at the University of Arkansas. Consumers were interviewed through direct communication at grocery stores in northwest Arkansas. Data gathered from the study were analyzed for descriptive and correlational statistics. Data showed that consumers were less knowledgeable regarding the use of hormones in poultry production, the healthiness of conventionally produced poultry, and the presence of factory farms for poultry production in Arkansas. Consumers were more knowledgeable regarding the affordability of poultry as compared to other meats, the use of antibiotics in poultry production methods, and poultry as a source of food-borne illness. Based on these descriptive and correlational statistics, recommendations were made to maintain the viability of poultry production in Arkansas, including marketing and educational efforts tailored to improve consumer understanding of conventional production practices and the need for further research to better understand the causes of negative perceptions of poultry production.

Keywords

northwest Arkansas, poultry, hormones, production methods

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