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Source: Iowa Food & Family Project news release

Iowans are keenly interested in their food and how it's grown, find claims made on food labels confusing and give farmers high marks for their ethical approach to animal care and environmental

The results are courtesy of polling commissioned by the Iowa Food & Family Project (Iowa FFP). The annual Iowa consumer pulse survey, conducted recently by CampaignHQ of Brooklyn, queried 500 Iowans who are involved in health and fitness activities. Respondents were primarily female, highly affluent and educated and make the majority of their household's food purchasing decisions. The survey's margin of error was 4.3 percent. The survey findings included:

Interest In Food Among Iowans Continues To Spike, Mirroring National Trends.

85 percent of respondents said they think "often" or "sometimes" about how the food they eat is grown. While that percentage was nearly identical to Iowa FFP's 2012 consumer pulse survey, intensity of interest increased substantially.

53 percent responded "often think about," compared to 45 percent the previous year.

Iowans Overwhelmingly Approve Of The Job Farmers Do.

60 percent had a favorable impression of how farmers care for their cattle, hogs and poultry compared to just 8 percent unfavorable (32 percent were neutral/unsure).

48 percent had a positive impression about farmers as environmental stewards compared to 16 percent unfavorable and 36 percent were neutral or unsure.

As Farming Continues To Evolve And Change, So Can Perceptions, Particularly When Only 2 Percent Of Iowans Are Directly Involved In The Business Of Growing Food.

73 percent of respondents said farmers balance doing the right thing with financial considerations while another 9 percent said farmers do the right thing regardless of the financial benefit. Just 18 percent believe farmers make decisions based solely on the bottom line.

Yet 39 percent say changes that have occurred in farming make them less trusting of how food is grown. 43 percent were unsure, while just 17 percent said the changes in farming made them more trusting of the business.

Aaron Putze, ISA communications director and Iowa FFP coordinator, says the findings affirm the Iowa FFP's purpose and goals.

"Iowans want to be confident that the food and food ingredients they purchase are wholesome and safe, don't harm the environment and are good for the local communities where they originate," he said.

"The Iowa Food & Family Project is a trusted resource, dedicated to increasing familiarity and confidence in how food is grown. We'll act on these results by providing unique opportunities for farm families and their urban neighbors to become better acquainted," said Putze.

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