Volume 48 - Number 4 - 2007 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2007.04043

 

Abstract:

Are state FFA officers' awareness levels of agricultural topics reported in mass media superior to those who do not serve in leadership roles? The purpose of this study was to determine elected state FFA officers' awareness of biotechnology, and their confidence and trust of biotechnology information sources. Descriptive survey methods were used to obtain data from all elected state FFA officers for the 2004-2005 academic year. More than 52% (N = 177) of the accessible population responded, representing 44 states andPuerto Rico. Respondents were most aware of how agricultural biotechnology practices will affect their food, followed by its effects on environment and health. State FFA officers' awareness levels of agricultural biotechnology were superior to previously studied college of agriculture students. Respondents had somewhat high confidence in biotechnology statements made by seven of nine sources, with university scientists/researchers receiving the greatest amount of confidence. Significant, moderate positive relationships existed between respondents' confidence and trustworthiness of biotechnology statements made by cooperative extension specialists, food companies, government agencies, and farm/ranch groups. Additional studies are needed to determine the "definitive differences" in communication skill sets between state FFA officers and all other agricultural education students in high school and college.

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