Residential development in many parts of the nation is bringing non-farmers in closer proximity to livestock farms, increasing the potential for conflicts over agricultural production. Understanding rural residents' perceptions of animal agriculture is important, because such knowledge can help farmers and the agricultural community reduce the potential for farm-nonfarm conflicts. This study used a survey of residents of five rural townships in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to examine neighbors' perceptions of animal agriculture. Responses were received from 416 of the 1500 randomly selected residents for a response rate of 28.8%. The survey included questions about how close they lived to a variety of farm types, and their concerns about those farm types. About one-third of the respondents had at least one complaint about a nearby livestock farm. Fifty-seven percent of these concerns were odor-related, and 18% were fly-related. Not surprisingly, respondents living closest to a farm were more likely to complain about that type of farm than were respondents living at other distances. Although many respondents had concerns about the livestock farms, they also perceived livestock farms as being very important to the economic well-being of their community. Respondents also generally viewed the farms as adding significantly to the aesthetic and amenity values of their communities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology