Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Nicole J Olynk Widmar

Committee Member 1

Candace C Croney

Committee Member 2

Joan R Fulton


Consumers have an increasing amount of information available to them while make purchasing decisions for livestock products. This information increasingly includes both production and product components. It is evident that along with this increasing amount of available information consumers also have an increased interest in farming practices associated with the rearing of livestock. Therefore, it is important to have an increased understanding in consumer’s perceptions and level of concern for production attributes, such as animal welfare, relative to product attributes such as taste and price. This analysis examines United States residents’ demographics, knowledge, sources of information, and perceptions on livestock rearing practices. This analysis reveals that the majority believe that the agriculture industry is important in the state they reside. This analysis also shows that production practices for the rearing of pigs that are of concern to consumers include the housing practices at different stages of production, particularly in crates. In addition, this analysis examines people’s choices when making forced tradeoffs between pork attributes (which include both production attributes, such as animal welfare, and product attributes, such as price and taste). Correlations were used to