Public Opinion of Technology Revolutions in Animal Agriculture

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Public Opinion of Technology Revolutions in Animal Agriculture is a segment of the multi-institution Water Agriculture Food Energy Research Nexus (WAFERx) research project. WAFERx is evaluating the impact of adopting Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage in the Upper Missouri River Basin (UMRB). Animal agriculture is currently the largest land use in the UMRB, and extensive production of bioenergy crops would likely come at the expense of agricultural land. The purpose of my research was to explore psychological factors that could play a role in the willingness of UMRB residents to consume new meat products whose production is less land-intensive. The two meat products that I evaluated were laboratory-grown and plant-based meat. I developed and deployed a ~50 question survey that was administered ~300 residents of South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming (the states comprising the UMRB) electronically. Preliminary analyses of the data suggest that the majority of the participants would be willing to eat laboratory-grown meat and after learning about the benefits agreed that it is ecological and sustainable. In conclusion, while agriculture is the dominant industry in the region many of the residents are open to trying ecological food options such as plant-based and laboratory-grown meat.

First Advisor

Meghann Jarchow

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