DETERMINING EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND BEST METHODS OF DELIVERY FOR CONFINED ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS

Open Access
Author:
Connelly, Keri Eileen
Graduate Program:
Agricultural and Extension Education
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
None
Committee Members:
  • Nicole Sheree Webster, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • insurance
  • delivery methods
  • confined animal feeding operations
  • education
Abstract:
Agriculture is one of the most complex and hazardous industries within the United States, annually ranking within the top two for fatal injuries among workers (NIOSH, 2007). Confined Animal Feeding Operations, commonly known as CAFO’s, are complex and hazardous as well. Insurance companies are interested in finding the best way to educate their CAFO clients to take preventative steps in lowering loss on farms. This study worked with a single insurance company in Pennsylvania. The goal of the study was to examine six problematic areas among their CAFO clients. These topics included Manure and Odor Management, Bio-Security, the Pennsylvania Right to Farm Law, Animal Rights Activism, Construction Issues, and Worker Safety. The first objective was to examine which of the six common problem areas CAFO’s required the most attention and increased awareness. The second objective was to identify which of the six common problem areas clients wanted further information and assistance. The third objective was to identify the most preferred methods of delivery for information. Both qualitative and quantitative methods of research were used to examine the three objectives listed above. A quantitative knowledge assessment survey was sent out to 116 CAFO owners and operators. Thirty-three surveys were completed and returned. Of those 33 respondents, 15 were successfully contacted and interviewed about their experiences owning and operating a CAFO, any loss or problems within the six common areas they experienced on their farm, and the preventative measures that they had taken to prevent a reoccurrence. Analyses have shown that Worker Safety and Construction Issues were the two topics most in need of education by the participants. Participants in the study scored the lowest on those sections during the knowledge assessment survey. Manure and Odor Management and Animal Rights Activism were the two topics participants were most interested in receiving information on. Manure and Odor Management and Animal Rights Activism were also the two topics that participants had the highest score on during the knowledge assessment. Finally, an overwhelming majority of interviewee’s stated that they preferred a less intrusive form of informational delivery such as the mail, as opposed to a personal visit from educators.