Iowa grocery shoppers place trust in Iowa farmers, with 66 percent placing a great deal of trust in them, according to the latest Iowa Farm Bureau Food and Farm Index® conducted in late summer.

Nearly nine in 10 (89 percent)of shoppers surveyed say they are confident Iowa farmers care for their animals responsibly, and a strong majority of Iowa grocery shoppers, 84 percent, say they are confident that Iowa farmers care for the environment.

 Learning more about farmers only boosts Iowans’ trust. According to the 2014 “Iowa Ag Contribution Analysis,” Iowa is home to 88,637 farms, and knowing that nearly 98 percent of those farms are family owned makes 75 percent of grocery-shopping Iowans even more trusting of farmers.  

A strong majority of Iowa grocery shoppers (84 percent) also say it is important that farmers have the flexibility to use a variety of farming practices to provide the choices and price options they want.

“This is good news, especially in a downturned ag economy, that Iowans are supportive of the many methods and practices Iowa farmers use to grow food and protect the land and livestock,” said Craig Hill, Iowa Farm Bureau president.

“This survey also shows us that despite what some of headlines may indicate, Iowans want to meet farmers, learn more about agriculture and make up their own minds about innovation in farming practices,” Hill said

The Iowa Farm Bureau Food and Farm Index® also showed that fewer Iowans are paying attention to food labels when they buy their groceries this year (76 percent) than last year (82 percent).

While Iowans’ interest in labels like “raised organically” (29 percent in 2015, 19 percent  in 2016) and “raised locally” (40 percent  in 2015, 28 percent in 2016) yo-yos back and forth, taste and price remain the dominant factors driving both meat and dairy selections of Iowa grocery shoppers, the survey showed.

The most recent survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of the Iowa Farm Bureau between July 24 to Aug. 5 among 505 U.S. adults age 20 to 60, residing in Iowa who have primary or shared responsibility for household grocery shopping.