Food and fiber system literacy levels of Bozeman's Community Food Co-Op's core consumer group
Miller, JoLynn Charlene.
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The purpose of this descriptive study was to assess the food and fiber system knowledge and perception levels of the core consumer group at the Community Food Co-op in Bozeman, MT. Data for this study were gathered through a survey mailed to the sample population. Of the 350 surveys mailed out, 120 useable surveys were returned for a 34.3% response rate. Data were collected in three sections: (1) food and fiber system knowledge, (2) food and fiber system perceptions, and (3) demographic information. The knowledge section consisted of 35 statements in which respondents answered True, False, or Don't Know to statements corresponding to the seven food and fiber system literacy concept areas. The perceptions section also included 35 statements to which respondents answered strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, and strongly disagree to statements corresponding to the seven food and fiber system literacy concept areas. SPSS was used to analyze the data by conducting Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and t-tests. Many conclusions were drawn from the data. The typical shopper in the core consumer group at the Community Food Co-op is a woman in her 50's with an annual household income of approximately $60,000. Males had a significantly higher knowledge score than females. Members who had taken an adult education class (formal or non-formal) related to agriculture had significantly higher knowledge scores than those who did not. The concept area titled Natural Resources and the Environment scored the highest in knowledge, lowest in perceptions, and highest in interest for future educational opportunities. Finally, the concept area titled Agricultural Policy received the lowest knowledge scores, but the highest perception scores. The data presented interesting implications and recommendations not only for the Community Food Co-op in Bozeman, MT, but for the agricultural education community as well. Researchers found that internet is the main source of food and fiber system news for most respondents, with newspapers as the second most used source. Future research should be conducted that examines the relationship between knowledge scores, perceptions scores, and interest levels.