Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Animal and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Joao H.C. Costa


To remain sustainable, the dairy industry must demonstrate commitment to addressing concerns from the public, such as sustainability and animal welfare. Precision dairy technologies (PDT) are a potential solution to ameliorate this issue, but public perceptions towards PDT are currently underinvestigated. This thesis aims to describe public perceptions towards PDT. Specifically, the objectives are to 1) describe baseline perceptions of the U.S. public towards PDT, 2) determine the effects of framing information about human-animal bond, data transparency, and animal welfare on PDT perceptions, and 3) evaluate how demographic characteristics mediate these perceptions. An online survey was used to measure baseline perceptions towards PDT and the effects of information framing vignettes on changing those perceptions. Baseline PDT perceptions were generally positive prior to the provision of additional information. More positive baseline perceptions were associated with being from a rural background, higher income, consuming dairy, and expressing less concern regarding animal welfare. Negative information about animal welfare and human-animal bond resulted in more negative perceptions, while positive information led to more positive perceptions. Knowing how the public perceives technology use, and how to engage society in conversations about technology use on farms, is integral to improving social sustainability of the dairy industry.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This study was supported by the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (no: 2021-68014-34139)

Public_Perceptions_of_PDT_Qualtrics_Survey.pdf (369 kB)
Exact survey language used in the investigation of public perceptions of precision dairy technology