I thought it might be pretty significant, at first glance. A headline touting a new Gallup poll result showing Agriculture and Farming as having advanced 10 points over this past year, in terms of the general public’s attitude toward those associated with Agriculture and Farming. I was a little disappointed in the three and a half lines devoted to that part of the report on the poll. The whole story is, a Work and Education Poll shows what Americans think of seven industries showing significant improvement over the past year. Banking, travel and real estate showed the most improvement. Farming and agriculture also made the list as the report shows, coming in at Number Six posting a 10-point improvement from a 32 rating last year, to a 2013 rating of 42.
By comparison, healthcare is the only industry surveyed to see a decline of at least ten points, although retail, computer, and pharmaceutical industries were close to that threshold. Banking scored the biggest change, +18, but did it coming from -28 last year, to a -10 this year.
Here’s how the Gallup folks say they calculate the ratings, based on polling data. Americans are asked to rate 25 different business sectors and industries on a five-point scale ranging from “very positive”, to “very negative”. The net ratings - Agriculture’s 10-point improvement - is an example of that differentiation.
There’s a good deal more information on this issue, which I skipped over after taking what I wanted from the Gallup website, and the subset called Work and Education Poll.
As you may very well know, not all those who think of us, think well of us. And we can return the consideration, as in the case of the Humane Society of the United States. Michigan Farm Bureau is among those, including various conservation organizations worried about the most recent efforts of HSUS, this time to, as the magazine OUTDOOR LIFE puts it, that organization’s campaign to protect wolves in Michigan is financed by non-Michigan money, endorsed for the most part by people other than Michigan residents, and is loaded with lies, innuendo, and pseudoscientific facts that are neither scientific or fact. But, that’s the way HSUS operates, and that’s why Farm Bureau, Conservation organizations, and independent hunters and other sportsmen are worried. HSUS, I hope you know, is not the Humane Society, although it borrows the name. The Humane Society - -the real one, at least the Kalamazoo chapter, began in 1897 as the Kalamazoo Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Children; in 1937, it became the Kalamazoo County Humane Society, and that’s what it is today.
HSUS claims to be “more than 50 years old”. It’s certainly not the Humane Society we grew up with; or, to paraphrase an old automobile ad, “It’s not your grandfather’s Humane Society!”