Farmers and the food we deliver to our fellow Americans are valued more than ever. While it took a pandemic to propel farming and agriculture to the top of the business and industry rating scale, farmers have long stood out among the most trusted voices in all of America.
With food scarcity levels not seen since the Great Depression and World War II, farming and agriculture achieved an impressive 69% positivity rating among the 25 industries ranked in a nationwide Gallup poll during the summer of 2020. The 63% and 61% scores for the grocery and restaurant sectors echoed the sincere appreciation for three dedicated groups that delivered vital goods, services, and nourishment to their fellow Americans when they needed it most during the height of the pandemic. No other profession outranked this trio. At the other end of the spectrum, sports tumbled to the bottom of the heap, joining the federal government with strong negative views by the American society as tracked by Gallup.
In the same poll taken one year later, our fellow countrymen and countrywomen became slightly more jaded given the nation’s deep political divide. While all 25 business sectors averaged a 45% positive rating in the 2020 summertime poll, that number slid to just 39% the very next year. That also was the lowest rating since the all-time low of 34% was posted during the Great Recession.
With negative views prevailing in 2021, just four industries earned favorable ratings out of the 25 sectors tracked by Gallup. Farming and agriculture once again topped the list at 59%. Just like 2020, restaurants and grocers were a close second and third, even though the two groups flip-flopped spots this year. The only other group to earn a mark above the 50% threshold was the computer sector. Found at the bottom of the barrel with scores under 32% were lawyers, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and, once again, the bottom-ranked federal government at 26%.
We encourage everyone to keep these snapshots of public opinion in mind when sharing your story with others. While no one agrees with everyone in a free society, farmers and those who work with us throughout agriculture to grow and deliver food have the highest credibility in the land. Consumers want to hear from us, and they trust us to do the right thing. Indeed, we have a valued voice despite what some naysayers might claim.