Primary Faculty Mentor Name

David Conner

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Food Systems

Primary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

Presentation Title

Student Perceptions of Humanely Raised Livestock

Time

11:00 AM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Food & Environmental Sciences

Abstract

This research studied student perceptions of humanely raised animal products. This focused on students at The University of Vermont (UVM). These opinions matter because student perceptions of animal products produced in a certain way influence the demand for those products at the institutional level, which greatly impacts on our food system. We anticipate that UVM Dining will use our findings to inform their purchasing and menu planning in coming years. We used observation, one-on-one interviews, and a survey on LimeSurvey to collect this data. Each of these steps informed the next. In total, we observed, interviewed, and surveyed more than one thousand (1000) UVM students, and collected data on which dining facilities students tend to eat at, which animal products they eat and how often, how important humanely raised products are to them, whether they would be willing to pay a premium for humanely raised products, and their demographics. We analyzed this data using SPSS Software. We deduced that 70.9% of students are willing to pay a premium of 5% or more for humanely raised foods on campus. The level of willingness was not significantly influenced by whether or not the student had a meal plan on campus. We found that significantly more off-campus students frequently consume poultry than on-campus students. These results, and more, are incredibly useful for UVM Dining. They can tell what students are and are not eating– but they generally don’t know why. Our research can be used to inform UVM Dining in how to use their available budget to make the most significant difference in students’ lives.

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Student Perceptions of Humanely Raised Livestock

This research studied student perceptions of humanely raised animal products. This focused on students at The University of Vermont (UVM). These opinions matter because student perceptions of animal products produced in a certain way influence the demand for those products at the institutional level, which greatly impacts on our food system. We anticipate that UVM Dining will use our findings to inform their purchasing and menu planning in coming years. We used observation, one-on-one interviews, and a survey on LimeSurvey to collect this data. Each of these steps informed the next. In total, we observed, interviewed, and surveyed more than one thousand (1000) UVM students, and collected data on which dining facilities students tend to eat at, which animal products they eat and how often, how important humanely raised products are to them, whether they would be willing to pay a premium for humanely raised products, and their demographics. We analyzed this data using SPSS Software. We deduced that 70.9% of students are willing to pay a premium of 5% or more for humanely raised foods on campus. The level of willingness was not significantly influenced by whether or not the student had a meal plan on campus. We found that significantly more off-campus students frequently consume poultry than on-campus students. These results, and more, are incredibly useful for UVM Dining. They can tell what students are and are not eating– but they generally don’t know why. Our research can be used to inform UVM Dining in how to use their available budget to make the most significant difference in students’ lives.