A Multiple Stakeholder View of the Potential for Hoop Structures in Iowa Swine Production
A survey of Iowa farmers and nonfarmers was conducted to determine public perceptions about the potential impacts of hoop structures on Iowa swine production and support for public research on hoop structures. Stakeholder groups included hog farmers using hoop structures; hog farmers not using hoop structures, farmers not raising hogs; veterinarians, vocational agricultural teachers, and agricultural lenders; and Iowa State University Extension personnel. Of the groups, hoop users most consistently saw favorable impacts on farm profits, public concern about animal welfare, farm quality of life, risk of water pollution, and odor reduction. Of the impact areas, all groups were most likely to see favorable impacts of hoop structures in reducing the risk water pollution problems. Except for ISU extension personnel, less than half of each stakeholder group, including hoop users themselves, said taxpayer money should be used for hoop structures research. This study indicates generally favorable assessments about the impacts of hoop structures, especially in the environmental area, but no strong position on the part of these stakeholder groups that public agricultural research should be dedicated to hoop structures.