Farming best viewed U.S. business and industry sector

Gallup poll finds farming and agriculture has a 69% positive rating.

Jacqui Fatka, Policy editor

December 1, 2020

1 Min Read
Farming best viewed U.S. business and industry sector

For the first time since Gallup began tracking views on business sectors,  Americans regard farming and agriculture workers more favorably than any other industry, with the sports industry taking a nose dive. The former top-ranking industries -- restaurants and computers -- remain in the top four, with the grocery industry rounding out the group. 

Every type of business and industry has been affected in some way by the coronavirus pandemic. However, Americans' views haven't changed toward most of the 25 major business and industry sectors Gallup tracks. But, the public is expressing greater appreciation for the work of three industries that are crucial to people's wellbeing: farming and agriculture, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals.

Farming and agriculture were already among the top-rated industries before 2020, but it has now moved to No. 1 with a 69% positive rating -- an 11-percentage-point increase.

The grocery industry had a total positive rating of 63%, up from 58% the year prior. The restaurant industry had a total positive rate of 61%, down from 66% in 2019 and a high of 72% in 2017.

The Gallup results are based on telephone interviews conducted July 30-August 12, 2020 with a random sample of 1,031 adults, ages 18+, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on this sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

The Gallup poll’s findings mirror similar findings from a national public opinion poll released by the American Farm Bureau Federation which found that 88% of U.S. adults trust farmers, a 4% increase from AFBF’s June 2020 polling.

About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

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