Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Agribusiness




College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Sean Hurley

Advisor Department


Advisor College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


As consumers have become increasingly interested in where their food comes from and how it is grown, the cattle and beef industry is without exception. Many consumers are beginning to question traditional animal husbandry practices and on-farm animal welfare protocol. It is essential that the food system meets new demands and understands consumer views. In order to address these concerns, the industry has rallied around the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program to set the standard for cattle welfare and beef quality, with the explicit goal of improving consumer confidence. The goal of this research is to determine if cattle producers would be willing to participate in animal welfare verification programs based on BQA to ensure that cattle are being raised in accordance with industry standards. Data were collected through an online survey sent to a national sample of cattle producers. The survey was designed to determine specific producer demographics that would be inclined to participate, their opinions of the BQA program, and using fractional factorial design to assess what components of a program would most likely encourage producer participation.