Sustainability is an important topic to many Americans in 2020. John Newton, chief economist for the Farm Bureau, says a recent survey found a majority of Americans trust farmers to use sustainable practices.
"We recently conducted a survey to gauge the public’s perceptions of farmers and ranchers and their sustainability practices, and what we found is more than half the adults, 58 percent, rate the sustainability practices of farmers positively," Newton said. "We have broad agreement on that from a majority of adults across demographic groups that trust farmers."
Newton said nine in ten adults trust farmers, which is four percent higher than the last survey that AFBF took in June. While farmers can always improve their sustainability, Newton says the poll shows that Americans don’t think farmers should have to bear the cost of doing so by themselves.
"The public doesn’t believe that we need to go it alone. I think they recognize that climate smart technology adoption is a public good,"Newton said. "Seven in ten adults say that government incentives to encourage farmers to adopt additional sustainable ag practices would be effective in improving environmental sustainability in agriculture."
Newton also said Americans understand farms must be economically sustainable as well as environmentally sustainable.
"Four in five adults, they understand the importance of feeding the world, and then they also understand the importance of farmers being able to pass their farm down to future generations and keeping that farm in the family," Newton said.