Those who grow crops and livestock preferred to be called farmers

AMES — The latest “Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll” answers the question of what we should call the men and women who grow the crops and livestock in our state. 

J. Arbuckle runs the ISU Extension poll and says he noticed that people who work with those in agriculture tend to call them growers or producers. He put a question in the poll and the result was pretty clear, with 75 percent preferring the term “farmer.”  Ten percent said they want to be called farm operator, eight percent preferred producer, while rancher and grower each received two percent of the vote.

Arbuckle says it’s not surprising, as farmer is an all-encompassing term that indicates more of a lifestyle than a profession, but he says he didn’t anticipate that it would be as big percentage. He says everyone should know what farmers think to be able to communicating effectively with them. “It’s important for people across the private and public sectors, you know stakeholders who work with farmers, to recognize that and to use the kinds of terminologies that farmers prefer,” Arbuckle says.

He says no one seemed to ask the question before. “It’s just very interesting to me that the terminology that we at the university and then some of the private sector firms, and even the public sector, like the conservation agencies and stuff, often times use the term grower or producer,” he says. “And these are actually the least popular terms that the farmers think about when they when they think about terms that they would like to when they think about themselves, I guess.”

You can see more about the Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll on the I-S-U Extension website.