Background Experience Affects Student Perceptions of the Livestock Industry

By Adams, A. L.; Holub, G. A. et al. | NACTA Journal, March 2015 | Go to article overview

Background Experience Affects Student Perceptions of the Livestock Industry


Adams, A. L., Holub, G. A., Ramsey, W. S., Friend, T. H., NACTA Journal


Introduction

Instructors of introductory animal science courses are faced with the challenge of adapting their course content as the demographics and background experiences of their students differ each semester, with more students having less agricultural experience as the years progress. These differences in student demographics and background experiences may affect students' perceptions of agriculture, which may include common misconceptions perceived by the public. The lack of knowledge about, or exposure to, agriculture production may be responsible for these misconceptions. For example, agriculture illiteracy has been documented in consumers (as reviewed in Terry et al., 1992), high school students (Smith et al., 2009), and elementary school teachers (as reviewed in Terry et al., 1992). Besides a lack of agricultural education, introductory animal science student perceptions may be influenced by student background experiences.

Differences in student perceptions of agriculture may be impacted by background factors that include each student's hometown, experience (or lack of experience) with an agriculturally-related organization, and home environment. For example, Frick et al. (1995b) showed that rural and urban inner-city high school students were more knowledgeable about topics in natural resources than agriculture, but the two groups differed as rural students had the least knowledge of agricultural plants and urban inner-city students had the least knowledge of agricultural policy. Furthermore, high school students who lived on a farm have been found to be more positive about farming than students who did not live on a farm (Smith et al., 2009) and urban elementary students who did not have gardening experience lacked an understanding of crop pests and their control in plant growth (Trexler, 2000). At the university level, Talbert and Larke (1995) noticed that minority students in introductory agriscience courses at one university tended to be from non-farm, non-rural areas and had more negative perceptions of agriculture and agriculture education. While it appears that a student's hometown and home environment may have a significant impact on the student's perception of agriculture, a student's involvement in agriculturally-related organizations may also play a role in how the student perceives the field.

While participating in agriculturally-related organizations such as 4-H or FFA, students may be exposed to a wide array of agricultural issues and presented with opportunities to raise or handle livestock animals. Frick et al. (1995a) demonstrated that 4-H members who lived on a farm had more knowledge about agriculture than 4-H members who did not live on a farm. Also, 4H H who lived on a farm and were enrolled in high school agriculture education classes had the most positive perceptions of agriculture. With the various background experiences of university students in introductory animal science courses, instructors of these courses would benefit from acquiring a better understanding of how different experiences alter student perceptions of agricultural practices. The objectives of this study were to document the demographics of two introductory animal science classes and determine if student background experiences correlate with student perceptions of livestock production.

Materials and Methods

The Texas A&M Institutional Review Board Committee approved this study (Protocol #2011-0652). Participation in this study was voluntary and students did not receive an incentive for participation. The introductory animal science course was chosen for this study because the student population is more diverse in this course than upper-level courses and it is typically the first exposure students have to livestock production issues in the animal science curriculum at Texas A&M University. While the two sections (section A and section B) used in this study during the fall 2011 semester were instructed by two different professors, the course material for both sections was mutually agreed upon by both instructors. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Background Experience Affects Student Perceptions of the Livestock Industry
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.