A recent study conducted by the UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education shows that Southwest Florida residents are hungry for more information about agriculture.  The study include coordinating focus groups of area residents.  According to a blog article published in December, participants in six focus groups in a five-county region said they valued agriculture’s economic, nutritious and historical impacts on the area but need more information to address concerns over environmental and labor issues.

An excerpt from the blog article reads, “As the final installment of a two-part collaboration with the Gulf Citrus Growers Association, PIE Center researchers asked residents about their attitudes and perceptions of the region’s agriculture, as well as their opinions on the formation of an agricultural organization in southwest Florida and specific messages about the agricultural industry.

PIE Center Director Tracy Irani said the attitudes expressed in the focus groups mirrored the results in the PIE Center’s survey, conducted earlier this year. Respondents in Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties shared a positive outlook on the region’s agriculture but more than three-fourths of respondents said their opinions would improve if they had more information.”

The Florida Department of Agriculture actively conducts consumer outreach with a goal of educating consumers about the agriculture industry and all of its benefits. The department has rebranded the industry as the Fresh from Florida.

We are interested to know your perception of Florida agriculture. How familiar are you with what Florida offers? What kind of information would you find helpful?

Reach out to us in the comments below.