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How Images Shape Consumer’s Perceptions of Ag

Images such as a red barn can influence how consumers view agriculture and it’s not always for the better.

Agriculture is an evolving and changing industry. Over the past century a lot has changed in how ag operates, and while some consumers are aware of that, other consumers are still holding onto outdated views.

One image in particular that consumers often think of when it comes to agriculture is that of a farmer in overalls standing next to a red barn with his cow and horse. This picture and the thoughts around it are commonly referred to as the red barn myth.

“The perception in that picture is exactly the view I think a lot of people have in the back of their mind about agriculture. And so, they’re not very surprised when something reinforces that, like an ad for something that comes from an agricultural origin. But it’s really important that we leave that picture behind,” Ellen Goddard, professor in the department of resource economics and environmental sociology at the University of Alberta, says on the Nov. 30 episode of Seed Speaks.

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