Citation
Florida Collegiate Millennials' Perceptions of Locally Produced Beef

Material Information

Title:
Florida Collegiate Millennials' Perceptions of Locally Produced Beef
Creator:
Oesterreicher, Shelby L
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
Florida
Publisher:
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Language:
english
Physical Description:
1 online resource (121 p.)

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( M.S.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Agricultural Education and Communication
Committee Chair:
LUNDY,LISA KATHERINE
Committee Co-Chair:
TELG,RICKY W
Committee Members:
RUMBLE,JOY N

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
beef -- cattle -- characteristics -- communication -- florida -- local -- millennials -- perceptions
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
born-digital ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.

Notes

Abstract:
Millennial consumers are the next generation of decision makers and consumers. A knowledge and communication gap exist between producers this knowledge seeking generation. An emerging organization, the Florida Cattle Ranchers, LLC (FCR) was formed to produce and market Florida produced beef to Florida consumers. This study focused on Florida millennials perceptions of locally produced beef. This study also examined their thoughts and opinions about the national beef industry, the Florida beef industry, and communication material created by and for FCR. The purpose was to use focus groups to describe Florida millennial consumers perceptions of locally produced beef. To achieve this purpose, focus group discussions addressed the following objectives: 1. Determine which characteristics and features of the beef industry are most important when purchasing beef according to the millennial generation, 2. Determine which characteristics and features of beef products are most important when purchasing beef according to the millennial generation, 3. Determine Florida millennial consumer perceptions of the Florida beef industry and Florida raised beef, 4. Determine millennial consumer preferences of information provided by current communication pieces by and for the Florida Cattle Ranchers. The research design was qualitative in nature. Participants associated the beef industry and beef products with the environment, management practices, treatment of animals, human health concerns, retail, experience with the Florida beef industry, experience with Florida beef, and transparency. Participants were particularly asked about their experience with the Florida beef industry and Florida beef products and had little to no knowledge of the either topic. Results of this study showed participants had minimal knowledge of the industry and relatively negative perceptions of the industry and beef products. Participants viewed the communication material with both positive and negative perceptions. Participants mostly viewed cattle ranching to have a negative effect on the environment and human health. In general, the participants associated management practices with the quality of the beef product. Participants discussion of the treatment of animals revealed negative perceptions of rancher practices. Overall, participants recognized the treatment of animals effected the ultimate beef product. Participants revealed a knowledge and communication gap between producers and consumers. ( en )
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2017.
Local:
Adviser: LUNDY,LISA KATHERINE.
Local:
Co-adviser: TELG,RICKY W.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Shelby L Oesterreicher.

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Classification:
LD1780 2017 ( lcc )

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FLORIDA COLLEGIATE MILLENNIALS PERCEPTIONS OF LOCALLY PRODUCED BEEF By SHELBY LYNN OESTERREICHER A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2017

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2017 Shelby Lynn Oesterreicher

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my committee members for their valuable insight and advice throughout this process and my time as a student at the University of Florida. I thank Dr. Lundy for her unwavering support in every endeavor I attempted and for steering me i n the right direction. I thank Dr. Telg for his guidance and mentorship over the years and for teaching me to write and write well. I thank Dr. Rumble for lending me her knowledge on qualitative methods and encouragement. I would like to thank Mrs. Emerso n for all of her guidance in work and in life. Because of you, I was able to learn more about myself and become a stronger individual. You have been there every step of the way and now I could not imagine doing any of it without you. I would like to thank Sandra Anderson for her guidance in all matters of data analysis. You were instrumental in not only this thesis, but my undergraduate thesis data analysis. You are a wizard when it comes to data and I would have been lost without you. I would like to than k my friends and peers who have encouraged, pushed and loved me throughout this entire process. I thank Brie Bird, Peyton Beattie, Jessica Harsh, Brittani Kirkland and Shelby Hart. You women have given me advice, hugs and more joy than I deserve. I would n ot have made it through the last year and a half without the four of you. I would like to thank Mrs. Marie Fussell and her husband, Mr. Mike Fussell for helping to foster my interest in the beef industry and encouraging me in every aspect of my life. The two of you have been instrumental in helping me find my passion.

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5 I would like to thank Mr. Gene Lollis for teaching me about the beef industry and pushing me to make connections. Because of you, I was able to dig into my passion and find avenues to learn more about the industry and better communicate about beef. I thank you for teaching me to be a cowgirl. To the CALS Ambassadors and CALS LI students I have encountered throughout my time as a graduate student, you have made my assistantship so meaningful and fun. You are incredible people and will do amazing things and I thank you for letting me play a role in your lives. Finally, I would like to thank my family, Mom, Dad and Daun Marie, for being there for me financially and emotionally throughout my li fe and particularly this stressful part of my life. You have all made sacrifices for me and supported my dreams no matter how crazy they seemed. The three of you are the rock I lean on and I love you very much. I also thank both of my Grandmothers for thei r financial support and love throughout my college career.

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 10 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 11 C H A P T E R 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 13 Consumer Connection ................................ ................................ ............................ 13 FCR Description ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 14 Beef Consump tion Patterns/Purchasing Behavior ................................ .................. 15 Communication Strategies in the Beef Industry ................................ ...................... 16 Product Labeling ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 18 Product Branding Programs ................................ ................................ ............. 18 Consumer Connection ................................ ................................ ...................... 20 Local Food ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 20 Significance and Problem Statement ................................ ................................ ...... 21 Purpose and Objectives ................................ ................................ .......................... 23 Definition of Terms ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 23 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 24 Assumptions ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 24 Chapter Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 24 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 26 History of the U.S. Beef Industry ................................ ................................ ............. 26 History of the Florida Beef Industry ................................ ................................ ......... 28 Attitudes ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 29 Persuasive Communication ................................ ................................ .................... 31 Elaboration Likelihood Model ................................ ................................ .................. 33 Central Processing Route ................................ ................................ ................. 35 Peripheral Processing Route ................................ ................................ ............ 36 Motivation and Ability ................................ ................................ ....................... 37 Prior Knowledge ................................ ................................ ............................... 37 Personal Relevance ................................ ................................ ......................... 38 ELM Research: Agriculture ................................ ................................ ............... 39 ELM Research with Beef Perceptions ................................ ................................ ..... 42 The Millennial Generation ................................ ................................ ................. 42 Co nsumer Perceptions of Beef ................................ ................................ ......... 43 Millennial Perceptions of Beef: Industry Research ................................ ........... 44 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ............................... 45 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 46

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7 3 METHODS ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 47 Rationale for Qualitative Approach ................................ ................................ ......... 47 Instrumentation ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 48 Population and Participants ................................ ................................ .................... 49 Sampling Procedure ................................ ................................ ............................... 50 Focus Group Descriptions ................................ ................................ ...................... 51 Focus Group 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 51 Focus Group 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 51 Focus Group 3 ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 51 Validity ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 52 Reliability ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 52 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 53 Communication Material ................................ ................................ ......................... 54 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 54 Subjectivity S tatement ................................ ................................ ............................ 55 Chapter Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 56 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 57 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 57 Important Characteristics and Features of the Beef Industry ................................ .. 59 Beef Industry and the Environment ................................ ................................ .. 59 Water ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 60 Sustainability ................................ ................................ .............................. 60 Beef Industry and Management Practices ................................ ........................ 61 Beef Industry and the Treatment of Animals ................................ .................... 62 Animal h ealth ................................ ................................ ............................. 62 Corporate f arming ................................ ................................ ...................... 63 Beef ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 64 Important Characteristics and Features of Beef Products ................................ ....... 64 Beef and Human Health Concerns ................................ ................................ ... 65 Fat c ontent ................................ ................................ ................................ 65 Food s afety ................................ ................................ ................................ 66 Diseases ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 67 Beef and Retail ................................ ................................ ................................ 68 Cost ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 68 Labels ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 69 Trust ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 69 Perceptions of the Florida Beef Industry and Florida Beef ................................ ...... 70 Experience with the Florida Beef Industry ................................ ........................ 71 Experience with Florida Beef ................................ ................................ ............ 72 Preferences of Information ................................ ................................ ...................... 72 Transparency/ trust ................................ ................................ .......................... 73 Information Desired from the Beef Industry/Florida Cattle Ranchers ............... 73 Communication Pieces ................................ ................................ ........................... 74 Video ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 74

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8 Website ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 75 Social Media ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 76 Logo/Label ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 77 Recipe Card ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 78 Blog Post ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 78 Rack Card ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 78 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 79 5 CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS ................................ ................................ ... 80 Key Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 80 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 81 Elaboration Likelihood Model ................................ ................................ ........... 81 Central r oute ................................ ................................ .............................. 81 Prior k nowledge ................................ ................................ ......................... 82 Personal r elevance ................................ ................................ .................... 82 Peripheral ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 83 Important Characteristics and Features of the Beef Industry ............................ 83 Important Characteristics and Features of Beef Products ................................ 84 Perceptions of the Florida Beef Industry and Florida Raised Beef ................... 84 Preferences of Information ................................ ................................ ............... 85 Implications ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 86 The Beef Industry ................................ ................................ ............................. 86 Millennials ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 86 Knowledge g ap ................................ ................................ .......................... 87 The Florida Beef Industry ................................ ................................ ................. 87 Kn owledge g ap ................................ ................................ .......................... 87 Environmental ................................ ................................ ............................ 87 Local ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 88 Cost ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 89 Recommendations for Researchers ................................ ................................ ....... 89 Recommendations for Industry Representatives ................................ .................... 90 Recommendations for Florida Cattle Ranchers ................................ ...................... 91 Florida Cattle Ranchers, LLC ................................ ................................ ........... 91 Communication Pieces ................................ ................................ ..................... 9 2 Video ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 92 Website ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 92 Social m edia ................................ ................................ .............................. 92 Logo/ l abel ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 93 Recipe c ard ................................ ................................ ................................ 93 Blog p ost ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 93 Rack c ard ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 94 Summary of Conclusions, Implications, and Recommendations ............................ 94 APPENDIX A IRB APPROVAL ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 96

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9 B RECRUITMENT SCRIPT ................................ ................................ ........................ 98 C RECRUITMENT EMAIL ................................ ................................ .......................... 99 D MODERATOR GUIDE AND QUESTIONING ROUTE ................................ .......... 100 E DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION ................................ ................................ ......... 104 F FCR MATERIAL ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 105 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 113 BIOGRAPH ICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 121

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10 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 Participant demographics ................................ ................................ ................... 58

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11 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science FLORIDA COLLEGIATE MILLENNIALS PERCEPTIONS OF LOCALLY PRODUCED BEEF By Shelby Lynn Oesterreicher December 2017 Chair: Lisa Lundy Major: Agricultural Education and Communication Millennial consumers are the next generation of decision makers and consumers. A knowledge and communication gap exist s between cattle producers and consumers this knowledge seeking generation. An emerging organization, the Florida Cattle R anchers, LLC (FCR) was forme d to produce and market Florida produced beef to produced beef. This study also examined their thoughts and opinions about the national beef industry, the Florida beef industry and c ommunication material created by and for FCR. perceptions of locally produced beef. To achieve this purpose, focus group discussions addressed the following objectives: 1) Deter mine which characteristics and features of the beef industry the millennial generation finds impor tant when purchasing beef 2) Determine which characteristics and features of beef products the millennial generation finds most impor tant when purchasing bee f 3) Determi perceptions of the Fl orida beef industry and Florida raised beef, 4) Determine millennial

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12 and for the Florida Cattle Ranchers. The research design was qualitative in nature. Participants associated the beef industry and beef products with the environment, management practices, treatment of animals, human health concerns, retail, experience with the Florida beef industry, experienc e with Florida beef, and transparency. Participants were particularly asked about their experience with the Florida beef industry and Florida beef products and had little to no knowledge of the either topic. Results of this study showed participants had m inimal knowledge of the industry and relatively negative perceptions of the industry and beef products. Participants viewed the communication material with both positive and negative perceptions. Participants mostly viewed cattle ranching to have a negati ve effect on the environment and human health. In general, the participants associated management rall, participants recognized the treatment of animals affected the ultimate beef product. Participants revealed a knowledge and communication gap between producers and consumers.

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13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The purpose of this research was to analyze the perceptions of Florida collegiate millennial consumers regarding locally produced beef products. This study was specifically interested in the perceptions of consumers as it pertains to the Florida Cattle Ranchers, LLC ( FCR) communications, values and practices. Chapter 1 describes the history of the beef industry in the state Florida, the background of FCR, the background of communication in the beef industry, product labeling, and consumer perceptions of local food. Co nsumer Connection United States consumers are changing the way they define and view beef quality (Lovelace, 2016). Consumers are beginning to consider beef labeled with distinctions, such as local, natural, or certified, to be of greater quality than beef without those distinctions (Lovelace, 2016). In recent years, an increase has been seen in consumer interest in purchasing locally grown produce and animal products (Carpio & Isegildina Massa, 2009). The rise in consumer interest in local agricultural prod ucts has correlated with the number of state departments of agriculture and branding programs participating in promotion of locally grown food (Carpio & Isegildina Massa, 2009). Consumers have perceived purchasing local food as supporting the economy and e ncouraging environmental benefits (Zepeda & Leviten Reid, 2004). beef industry to be able to meet the needs of those buying beef products. Consumers prefer local and national fo od to imported products, which researchers attribute to their belief in the idea that local and national foods are of higher quality and fresher than their

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14 imported counterparts (Becot, Conner, Nelson, Buckwalter, & Erickson, 2014; Cha mbers, Lobb, Butler, Harvey, & Traill 2007 ; Jefferson Moore, Robbins, Johnson, &Bradford, 2014 ). While consumers prefer to purchase local food, studies have shown that their behavior does not always match this mindset (Chambers, et al., 2 007; Yue & Tong 2 009; Zepeda & Levitan Reid 2 004) Discovering what is important to consumers when purchasing beef products will aid in the marketing of the product. In 2015 cattle production accounted for about $861 million in cash receipts for the state of Florida (USDA, 2015). Flo rida is a unique state in that it specializes in cow calf operations (Florida Cattle Ranchers, 2016). According to the Florida Beef Council (2017), Florida ranks ninth overall for cattle numbers nationwide. Over one million head of cattle are located in th e state of Florida and about 15,000 beef producers across the state (Florida Beef Council, 2017). Florida cattle producers care for thousands of acres of native range and pastureland (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services [FDACS], 2012). plant life, aquifer recharge, and carbon recovery and can be considered to aid in protecting the native Florida environment (FDACS, 2012). According to FDACS (2012), biologists concluded that bird and wildlife populations survive and thrive on cattle operations. FCR Description In 2015, Florida Cattle Ranchers, LLC was formed by a group of Florida cattle specifically for Florida residents (Florida Cattle Ranchers, 2016). FCR intends to produce beef born and raised in the state of Florida to be sold in Florida grocery stores (Florida Cattle

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15 Ranchers, 2016). The products are currently sold in select Publix S upermarkets. FCR has established protocols and bes t management practices for its ranchers to aid in the production of quality cattle (Florida Cattle Ranchers, 2016). According to FCR (2016), the organization focuses on reducing the carbon footprint, making environmental strides, increasing safety, reducing costs, sustaining the economy, protecting family ranchers, humanely treating animals, conserving land, protecting green space, e Florida wildlife corridor, and conserving water supply. The beef produced by FCR is certified by the USDA to assure the integrity of the beef program (Florida Cattle Ranchers, 2016). al product (Florida Cattle Ranchers, 2016). Florida has over 47,000 agricultural producers who are small farmers and do not have the funding to be able to market their products individually (FDACS, 2017). Once producers join the Florida Agricultural Promot ional 2017). The program focuses on marketing Florida agricultural products. The FDACS program helps identify food considered local to the state of Florida by labeling the prod Beef Consumption Patterns/Purchasing Behavior Understanding the beef consumption trends and habits of consumers is essential to effectively marketing beef to the right audiences. According to t he United States Department of Agriculture, Americans ate an average of 55.6 pounds of beef in 2016 which is an increase from 54 pounds in 2015 meaning that consumer s beef consumption is slightly increasing (2017). In the U.S., meat is consumed at a rate of three times more than the global average (Daniel, Cross, Koebnick, & Sinha, 2011).

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16 According to Technomic (2014), beef consumption among 18 to 34 year old consumers is higher than that of those over the age of 35. The target audience for beef marketi ng is the group of about 80 million consumers born between 1980 and 2000, also known as the millennial generation (Beef Checkoff, 2014). According to Beef Checkoff (2014), the millennial generation consumes the most beef in both the home and restaurants of any generation, and will be the next influencers of demand for the next several decades. While 54% of millennials say they would rather cook a meal at home than go out to eat, 54% also say it is hard to know which cuts of meat to choose (Beef Board, 2015) Fifty percent of millennials say they would buy more beef if they knew more about the cuts they were purchasing (Beef Board, 2015). The average U.S. household consumes 3.8 home cooked meals a week that include meat (Food Marketing Institute and American Meat Institute [FMI & AMI], 2014). The differences between higher and lower income households are significant. Lower income households, on average, prepare 3.2 meals that include meat where as higher income households prepare, on average, 4.2 (FMI & AMI, 2014). Throughout all income groups, consumers who prepare meat at least once weekly was steady during the 2007 to 2009 recession. The number of consumers preparing meat at least three to six times a week has decreased from 2010 to 2017 (FMI & AMI, 2014). Price is one major fact or that affects consumer trends; however, others include nutrition and health, natural and organic trends; and socia l conscience concerns (Harsh & VanOverbeke, 2014). Communication Strategies in the Beef Industry Within the agricult ural communications field, it has been suggested that U.S. citizens do not have accurate knowledge or proper perceptions of the agricultural

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17 industry as a whole, including the beef industry. According to Rumble and Buck (2009), the public is somewhat knowl edgeable about livestock production; however, a knowledge gap exists between producers and consumers. Their study suggested that while consumers have some knowledge, their perceptions and justifications for their beliefs are sometimes inaccurate (Rumble & Buck, 2009). It is the responsibility of agricultural communicators and producers within the industry to bridge this knowledge gap. Organizations within the beef industry are interested in and working to better communicate with consumers, particularly th e millennial generation, as they will be the driving force for demand of beef in the next several decades. The millennial generation has more access to technology and information than any generation before them. According to the Beef Board (2015), more tha n 86% of millennials own a smart phone. The technology is used to make shopping lists, look for coupons, find recipes, and post pictures of meals (Beef Board, 2015). Forty four percent of millennials reported posting a picture of food or drinks on social m edia (Beef Board, 2015). The use of this technology points to the need to connect with this generation via digital technology and encourage with educational information regarding the beef industry (Beef Board, 2015). The beef industry communicates interna lly with producers and other commodity organizations; however, communicating with the general public can often present challenges One way to accomplish could be through social media. According to the Pew Research Center (2017) in 2016 68 percent of Unite d States adults use Facebook; 28 percent of U.S. adults use Instagram; 21 percent of U.S. adults use Twitter. Of U.S. adults ranging from 18 to 29 years old, 86 percent of them use at least one form of

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18 social media, more than any other age range (Pew Rese arch Center, 2017). Social media has been a platform for communication for some time now and is an avenue to bridge the farm to plate gap between producers and consumers. One way beef producers are working to communicate with consumers is by funding the B eef Checkoff Program that aids in the education of the general public and helps to increase the demand of U.S. beef. Along with the passage of the 1985 Farm Progra (Cattleme communicate and educate consumers on the beef industry. The programs are funded with producer dollars and aim to increase public awareness of the beef industry in their respective states. Th e efforts of the checkoff programs include, but are not limited to, promoting U.S. beef in foreign countries to grow the beef demand, investing in beef safety and product technology research, and identifying management practices through Beef Quality Assura nce (BQA) to strengthen consumer confidence in beef products Product Labeling Product Branding Programs Product branding programs have become an increasingly popular way market select beef to consumers. Those in the beef industry reco gnized the importance of providing the consumer with what they are looking for in order to increase their consumption of beef products. The realization of consumer eating satisfaction ensuring future sales growth, led to the development of branded beef pro grams (Harsh & VanOverbeke, 2014).

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19 Certified Angus Beef (CAB), created in 1978, was the first USDA certified beef program and gave way to the 91 other branding programs, which are increasing in popularity (Harsh & VanOverbeke, 2014). Zimmerman and Schroed er (2013) found CAB demand held steady through the downturn of the stock market in 2002 and has even doubled since then. Seventy percent of the branded programs are classified as eding programs of ranchers and cattle genetics over the years causing an increase in Angus production (Harsh & VanOverbeke, 2014). According to Jekanowski, Williams, and Schiek (2000), state funded programs aimed at promoting or identifying agricultural pr oducts produced within the state are increasingly desirable in the consumer market. The programs are expected to grow in popularity as agricultural markets become increasingly global, and as U.S. producers face greater competition from foreign markets (Jek anowski et al., 2000). State promotion programs are becoming increasingly popular, and are aimed at building consumer awareness surrounding local agricultural commodities (Jekanowski et al., 2000). Quality and consistency are two major factors associated w ith the beef branding programs and encourages brand loyalty from consumers (Harsh & VanOverbeke, 2014). According to Harsh and VanOverbeke (2014), brand loyalty for these programs has increased since the US recession for both fresh and processed meat produ cts. Product branding programs have also been utilized for other commodities. According to a study conducted by Howlett, Burton, Newman and Faupel (2012), there was a significant decrease in fruit and vegetable consumption between the years of

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20 2000 and 2005 coinciding with the absence of a marketing and branding campaign. However, in states with fruit and vegetable commodity marketing campaigns the consumption levels remained the same or increased (Howlett et al., 2012). In particular state spon sored agricultural branding programs had positive effects on the consumption of both fruits and vegetables (Howlett et al., 2012). Consumer Connection Consumers look to packaging to help them decide which products to purchase. ct as a stimulus; the packaging will sometimes visually stand out to the consumer or show that the product will provide what the consumer including display size, color scheme, familiarity with the label and the labels location on the package (Lovelace, 2016). Bialkova and Van Trijp (2010), as cited in Lovelace (2016), found that the number of labels, the location of the labels, and the color scheme of the labels had an effect o n consumer purchasing decisions. For instance, participants recognized the label faster when it was larger and placed in the top right corner of the front of the package (Lovelace, 2016). Participants also recognized labels quicker when the logos were pres ented in a monochromatic color scheme rather than a polychromatic color scheme; meaning they identified labels that consisted of hues of the same color rather than a label with multiple colors (Lovelace, 2016). Local Food The idea of purchasing and consuming locally grown food has become appealing to consumers (Giovannuccie, Barham, & Pirog, 2010). While consumers indicate a (Conner, Colasan ti, Ross, & Smalley, 2010). Depending on the product, consumers

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21 s no universal definition, consumers prefer to purchase food produced as close to their location as possible (Rumble & Roper, 2014). The federal and state governments also support the idea of buying local (USDA AMS, 2013). The state of Florida has recogni zed the consumer interest in buying local and begun to capitalize on engaging the public to buy local products (Holt, 2014). Local sales of agricultural products (Florida grown/raised products) have largely influenced ontributing $8.3 billion in 2011 (Hodges & Stevens, 2013). Nearly one Carpio and Isengildina Massa (2009) found that consumers had a slightly higher willingness to pay for locally grown pl ant products than for local animal products as opposed to non local alternatives. Significance and Problem Statement Understanding of consumer interests and perceptions can aid in the development of agricultural campaigns and communication efforts in an e ffort to bridge the farm to table gap that is present within the industry (Holt, 2014). FCR is an emerging organization in the beef industry with a need to understand the preferences of the Florida millennial generation regarding Florida beef products. FCR began selling their beef products in select grocery stores in the state of Florida and has been branded as a Florida beef product marketed specifically to Florida residents. In order for products such as this Florida beef product to be successful, knowing the product and communication efforts are vital.

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22 conducted, none have focused on local beef products and more specifically on Florida. Broadly, cons umers because of the benefits it provides to the environment, local economy, tastes, nutrition, quality, and safety (Ruehle & Goldblatt, 2013; Bond, Thilmany, & Bond, 2008) prefer local food. Millennials currently have more purchasing power, compared to ot her generations when they were their current age: 15 to 29 (Hais generation responds to information related to beef the beef industry is vital to the future success of their operations (Beef, 2014). Millennials make choices regarding their personal food consumption behavior and will be the next generation of influencers regarding the food and agricultural industry. The two focuses of this study were to discover what millennia l consumers looked for when they purchase beef products and what was most attractive to them about the Florida Cattle Ranchers current communication platforms/strategies. With this information, agricultural communicators, specifically within the beef indus try, will be able to better attract and communicate with the millennial generation of consumers. Understanding preferences of the millennial generation when purchasing beef products will help cattlemen to better market their products. Determining the aspec ts of beef production that are most important to the millennial generation will help beef producers build loyalty with consumers. Millennials are considered to be an important generation of consumers because they are the next generation of consumers. Accor ding to a 2011 study conducted by the Beef Checkoff program, millennials enjoy beef, but have little education surrounding

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23 beef and how to cook it (The Beef Checkoff, 2013). According to the 2011 study, 54 percent of millennials say it is hard for them to know which cuts of meat to choose and 56 percent of them report disappointment after consuming the beef meal they prepared (The Beef Checkoff, 2013). Millennials are considered a knowledge seeking generation and 75 percent of them are interested in informa tion about steaks and how to prepare them (The Beef Checkoff, 2013). The knowledge gap is an imp ortant factor when considering millennial s perceptions and understanding what information in particular they are seeking. Twenty four percent of millennials sa y they would look for information from different avenues such as brochures, recipes and at the meat counter (The Beef Checkoff, 2013). Purpose and Objectives The purpose of this study was to determine University of Florida mill perceptions of Fl orida produced beef. This study sought to investigate the following objectives: 1. Determine which characteristics and features of the beef industry the millennial generation will find important when purchasing beef. 2. Determine which characteristics an d featu res of beef products the millennial generation will find mos t important when purchasing beef 3. Determine orida beef industry and Florida raised beef. 4. Determin e the of information provided by current communication pieces by Florida Cattle Ranchers. Definition of Terms Cow Calf Operation the first stage of the beef production process where an average of about 2.2 years elapses between the breeding of beef cows and h eifers and the time their offspring are ready for slaughter (Beef, n.d.).

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24 Local (for the purposes of this study) the state of Florida. Millennial generation people born from 1982 to 2004 (Bump, 2014; Horovitz, 2012; Monaco & Martin, 2007) Media Source an individual or institution where the information receiver receives content or expertise of interest (Tucker & Napier, 2001) Limitations Several limitations were presented as this study was conducted. One limitation was the population and the ability to obtain the perceptions and opinions of the entire millennial generation in the state of Florida. The participants in the study were recruited from AEC3410: Fostering Innovation through Leadership offered within the University of ltural and Life Sciences (UF CALS). Only UF students had the opportunity to participate in this study. Only three focus groups were conducted with 18 total participants. Another limitation of this study was that the results could not be generalized because of the small sample size and qualitative nature of the study. Assumptions For the completion of this study, several assumptions were made with regard to the outcomes. The researcher assumed all participants had an opinion regarding the Florida beef indust ry. Also, the researcher assumed the moderator would be unbiased in all of the proceedings. It was also assumed the participants would be truthful and forthcoming with their thoughts and opinions regarding the Florida beef industry and FCR communication ma terials. Chapter Summary Chapter 1 described the history of the beef industry in the state Florida, the background of FCR, the background of communication in the beef industry, product

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25 labeling, and consumer perceptions of local food. The purpose of this study was to understanding and knowledge about the agricultural industry between producers and consumers are continuing to broaden (Hurt, 2002). The millennial generation is an important collection of consumers that will be the driving force in demand for the next several decades (Beef, 2014). With an emerging sector of the agriculture and beef industry taking the stage, it is important to understand the unknown consumer p references of the Florida millennial generation.

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26 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW In Chapter 1 background information, the need of the study and the significance of the study were given. The chapter discussed the relevance and timeliness of the research as it relates to the Florida beef cattle industry and emerging organizations within the industry. Chapter 2 focuses on the history of the beef industry, the theoretical perspective and provided a literature review of research done regarding millennial perceptions of beef and the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM). Additionally, previous r esearch exploring these topics are also assessed throughout Chapter 2. Finally, the research questions directing this study are presented. History of the U.S. Beef Industry Beef cattle production has been a major sector of American agriculture since its inception in the 1850s (Beef Industry Statistics ) and has remained an essential part of the U.S. economy and agriculture industry. The first cattle were brought to the state of Florida in 1521 (Florida Cattle Ranchers, 2016; Florida, 2002; Yarlett, 1985). While Native American Indians raised cattle, the industry did not gain significance until European settlers arrived in North America and began raising cattle as a commodity (Hurt, 2002). Even still, beef did not become a significant portion of the American diet (Hurt, 2002). Some of the me at was sold as salt packed beef; however, most of it often ended up discarded because of inadequate storage and transportation (Wi lson, MacDonald, Mayo, & Drewry, 1965). Cattle were considered low maintenance to producers because they did not require feed, shelter, or fenced in area to survive (Hurt, 2002). Open range cattle

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27 grazing continued until the invention of barbed wire in th e 1870s (Boundless, 2016). Overgrazing began stressing the open range public land in the norther U.S. and, by the 1890s, barbed wire fencing became the standard in the northern plains (Boundless, 2016). Commercial livestock production began to surface arou nd the time of the American Revolution (Hurt, 2002). As a result, farmers began providing food for more By the 1900s, new illegal practices such as cattle rustling began t o shape new legislation and laws to protect the cattlemen and their herds (Hurt, 2002). Fencing became a widespread practice and helped to designate land divisions and provide more control over individual cattle operations (Hurt, 2002). The 20 th century be gan a time of period, growing tension began to form among farmers, consumers, and food proc essors concerning cattle by products, other food safety concerns, and unethical practices (Hurt, 2002). Events like the Great Depression and Dust Bowl had a major negative influence on most Americans, including cattlemen. Throughout this time of hardship the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) assisted cattlemen who were experiencing extreme economic loss by buying beef for programs like the military and school lunches (Hurt, 2002). With the hardship came the migration of people from farms to ci ties leaving rural life in the past (Hurt, 2002). After the 1920s, more of the population became employed by industries other than agriculture, and the shift from small family farms to larger specialized productions began (Dimitri, Effland, & Conklin, 200 5).

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28 The 21 st century came with its own set of challenges for the general population, as well as cattlemen. Feed and water quantity for cattle, along with new technological advancements like biotechnology, began to present obstacles for cattlemen (Hurt, 200 2). Consumers and the government became concerned with technology a nd environmental issues such as water and air pollution (Hurt, 2002). Cattle producers began to face stricter regulations and court conflicts between themselves, the government and consum ers (Hurt, 2002). Today, the beef cattle industry is still a major player in U.S. agriculture, represented by $67.4 billion in cash receipts in 2013 (United States Department of Agriculture, 2015). According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) (2015), America ns consume an average of 55.6 pounds of beef per person annually. However, beef production d ecreased by about 453,592,400 kilograms from January 2013 to November 2014 (USDA, 2015). Only 1.4 percent of the workforce works directly for a farm, and 11.1 percent of all employment is related to agriculture and the food sector (USDA ERS, 2017a). History of the Florida Beef Industry Florida was the first territory in North America to have cattle production and, as such, cattle production is a and tradition (Florida Cattle Ranchers, 2016). In 1521 Juan Ponce De Leon arrived on the shores of Florida with seven Andalusian cattle and are believed to be the ancestors of the Texas Longhorns (Florida, 2002). Prior to 1700, there were dozens of ranches throughout north Florida (Florida, 2002). By 1700 sufficient tax records were being kept and revealed for the year of 1698/1699 25 rancheros existed with a total of 1,620 head of cattle (Yarlett, 1985). The largest op eration was located in the Gainesville area near

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29 Paynes Prairie with 770 head (Yarlett, 1985). In 1792 the English commenced armed attacks on Spanish garrisons in an effort to possess Florida, which ended ranching and disrupted the next 70 to 80 years of p eace in the state of Florida (Yarlett, 1985). In the 1800s the Seminole Indians possessed a large number of cattle (Florida, 2002). As both Indians and settlers moved south in search of new pastureland, so did the cattle (Florida, 2002). Cattle ranching b ecame a major part of Florida settler operations by the year 1820 (Yarlett, 1985). The first evidence of cattle rustling in Florida occurred in 1865 when officers of the garrison smuggled cattle to Cuba (Yarlett, 1985). Cattle raising thrived during the Ci vil War because the Confederacy needed to feed their armies and beef was their meat of choice, so cattle were b r ou gh t from Florida and trailed north for the men (Yarlett, 1985). When the Confederate army could no longer pay for the beef in Georgia, Alabama and other southern states were depleted, Confederate agents were authorized to seize food and cattle (Yarlett, 1985). The seizure of cattle had a major impact on the Florida cattle industry, which did not show signs of recovery until about 1920 (Yarlett, 1985). The 1920s began an era of improved pasture and the open range until 1949, when the fence law was passed in Florida; the law stated that landowners were required to fence in their cattle (Yarlett, 1985; Florida, 2017). From 1945 1985 calf crop perce ntages rose from 40 to 50 percent for a 600 pound native cow to as high as 80 to 85 percent for a 1,100 to 1,200 pound crossbred cow (Yarlett, 1985). Attitudes favorable or n, 35) a state of mind of the individual

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30 eneral and enduring positive or negative feeling about some person, object, or dispositions or mental sets toward some objects that are generally measured in terms o f Th ese definitions have shaped the way attitudes are viewed and studied by researchers as they relate to persuasion and social psychology. Since Gordon Allport (1935) claimed attitudes were one of t he mos t important concept s in contemporary social psychology the study of attitude change has become a major focus relating to persuasion factors (Petty & Cacioppo, 1996). In the late 1940s, studies evaluating the effects of wartime documentaries on public atti tudes showed evidence that communication could influence attitudes (Perloff, 2014). Attitudes are formed over time through various individual situations and experiences (Perloff, 2014). or situation. 2014). According to Fishbein and Ajzen (1977), behavior can be predicted; however, eived behavioral control (Perloff, 2014). Behavioral predictions based in attitudes are formed from the general notion of consistency (Ajzen & Fishbien, 1977; Perloff, 2014). Over time, however, researchers have found that attitude is not always a predicto r of behavior, and people are not always consistent in their actions in accordance with their attitudes (Perloff, 2014). In addition to attitudes, norms and scripts play a major role in the way people react to situations (Perloff, 2014). A norm is a person

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31 person gives in a given situation in relation to the factors surrounding it (Perloff, 2014, p. 128). Characteristics of a person can a lso have a major impact on his/her attitude and monitoring and direct experience (Perloff, 2014). Self observation and self control guide (Snyder, 1974, p. 526). The two groups of self monitors are high and low self monitors (Snyder, 1987). High self monitors look to others in order to determine how to react to a situation, whereas low self mo nitors look to their inner feelings and attitudes to develop a reaction (Perloff, 2014; Snyder, 1987). According to Fazio and Zanna (1981) direct more stable over t 2014). Those attitudes formed from direct experience in real world situations are more likely to predict a behavioral reaction than those that are formed from an indirect experience (Perloff 2014). Persuasive Communication Since attitudes are developed over time and through direct experiences, they are subject to change; however, it takes time to affect this change. According to Petty and Cacioppo (1996), the process of changing attitudes c an also be referred to as convince other people to change their own attitudes or behaviors regarding an issue though the transmission of a message in an atmosphere of fr p. 17). Persuasion has led to historical events of major proportion and changed attitudes

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32 and ultimately the behavior of the general public throughout the past. As time passes and technologies change, persuasion will continue to evolve (Perloff, 2014). As persuasion evolves, more research will need to be conducted regarding persuasive techniques. The more information made available to people, the more complex persuasion and messaging becomes. Digital and interactive technological advances have begun to blur the lines between information, entertainment and influence (Perloff, 2014). Additionally, cultural diversity and contemporary technologies make it more challenging to connect with an audience and determine its reaction to a mess age (Perloff, 2014). In order for persuasion to occur, each of the following five elements must be present (Perloff, 2014). The first element of persuasion argues persuaders utilize symbols as a form of language to connect the audience with a concept or i dea. Another individuals persuade themselves; a message or argument is presented to t hem and they are responsible for forming or reforming their attitudes or behaviors. Fourth, the transmission of a message is involved and disseminated by the persuader. Finally, individuals are ultimately free to choose to be persuaded or not. The result i s individuals make up their own minds as to whether they will change their attitudes about issues, people, and ideas (Perloff, 2014). According to Miller (1980), persuasion is effecting attitude in three different ways: shaping, reinforcing, or changing t he attitude. Shaping often involves the ideas of socialization and cultural norms (Perloff, 2014). For example, Apple is a well known

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33 brand around the world. This brand attracts innovators and those who are high self monitors and shapes their attitudes tow ard innovation, sophistication, and intelligence. Reinforcing is persuading individuals to stand firm in the position they already hold 34). When it comes to rein forcing, health and safety experts try to reinforce ind decision to quit smoking Persuaders create messaging to help remind individuals to 35). Changing is possibly the most important persuasive effect of attitudes and behavior in either a negative or a positive way. Elaboration Likelihood Model The Elabo ration Likelihood Model (ELM) of persuasion is a framework for understanding the effects of sources, messages, and receiver factors in regard to both active and passive processors of information (Petty, Brinol, & Priester, 2009 ; Perloff, 2014 ). ELM is a th eory of attitude change modeled through cognitive processing and persuasion (McQuail, 2010; Petty & Cacioppo, 1986; 1996). This model predicts the times when people will be most likely to elaborate or not on persuasive messaging through one of the two dist inct forms of processing communications ( Perloff, 2014 ). ELM is based in three basic principles: elaboration, likelihood, and route. Elaboration is considered the extent to which an individual thinks about the information presented (Perloff, 2014). Likelih ood refers to the probability an event will occur (Perloff, 2014). Additionally, route is a metaphorical term for the mental processing facility of an individual.

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34 There are two routes to persuasion through the human mind according to ELM: the central rout e and the peripheral route (Perloff, 2014; Petty & Cacioppo 1996). The central processing route occurs when an individual utilizes a detailed thought process and gives information careful consideration, often resulting in long term retention of the informa tion (Perloff, 2014; Petty et al, 2009). The peripheral processing route utilizes less thought and relies on peripheral ques to make a decision; this route c an lead to attitude change; however the change is only for a limited time (Petty & Cacioppo; Perlo ff, 2014). Petty and Cacioppo (1986) identified seven postulates of ELM and are as follows: 1. 2. Although people want to hold correct attitudes, the amount and nature of issue relevant elaboration in which people are willing or able to engage to evaluate a message vary with individual and situational factors. 3. Variables can affect the amount and direction of attitude change by: (A) serving as persuasive arguments, (B) serving as peripheral cues, and/or (C) affectin g the extent or direction of issue and argument elaboration. 4. Variables affecting motivation and/or ability to process a message in a relatively objective manner can do so by either enhancing or reducing argument scrutiny. 5. As motivation and/or ability to p rocess arguments is decreased, peripheral cues become relatively more important determinants of persuasion. Conversely, as arguments scrutiny is increased, peripheral cues become relatively less important determinants of persuasion. 6. Variables affecting mes sage processing in a relatively biased manner can produce either a positive or negative motivational and/or ability bias to the issue relevant thoughts attempted. 7. Attitude changes that result mostly from processing issue relevant arguments (central route) will show greater temporal persistence, greater prediction of behavior, and greater resistance to counterpersuasion than attitude changes that result mostly 175).

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35 Central Processing Route The central processing route consis ts of a detailed thought process where careful consideration is given to the information presented to an individual (Perloff, 2014). This While the accuracy or rationality of a decision may not be rational or accurate, the central processing route results in an attitude (Petty et al., 2009). Attitude change is persistent through this rout When individuals utilize the central route, they carefully analyze the central information and position of the communication (Petty et al., 20 09). What is central to the position can be perceived differently from person to person and situation to situation due to their past experiences (Petty et al., 2009). For example, some individuals think about social issues like capital punishment in a mora l sense, whereas others view it in a strict legal sense. Research suggests when the media gives a topic a large amount of coverage, the problem is rendered highly accessible, causing them to think about more when determining their attitude about a subject or situation (Petty et al., 2009). Once individuals have some cognitive thoughts about an issue or message, they must then integrate the new thoughts into their overall cognitive structure in order for them to be committed to memory and easily accessible (Petty et al., 2009). Individuals must think about the issue multiple times and internally relate it to past personal experiences in order to form their attitude about it. Sometimes attitudes are changed by a thoughtful process and examination of informat ion in relation to relevant experiences and knowledge (Petty et al., 2009). The central processing route is considered more

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36 persistent, resistant and predictive of behavior of the two routes (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). Peripheral Processing Route The peripheral processing route suggests an individual accepts or rejects a persuasive message without carefully thinking about the issue (Petty et al., 2009; ability to p rocess information is low and they use simple cues to influence their attitude (Petty et al., 2009). McGuire (1969) suggested in order to participate in society at times, argument and forming an attitude (Bem, 1972). Persuasive messaging often includes language to lead the listener to believe the rein individuals change their attitude because they believe others feel a certain way (Petty et al., 2009, p. 135). Perloff (2014) defines individuals encounter in their envi ronment that lead them to use a mental shortcut. For example, celebrity endorsements of a product are a cue to individuals suggesting that since an influential person supports the idea, they should too. Other heuristic cues include authority, commitment, r eciprocation, liking, scarcity, and social proof (Lundy, 2017). Heuristic cues can be different for different people according to their past personal experiences. While peripheral processing can lead to effective attitude change, the change only lasts for a limited amount of time because the attitude is not incorporated into the

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37 wi th the issue dissociate from the message (Petty et al., 2009). Attitudes formed subsequent attaching messages than attitudes based on careful processing of message argumen Motivation and Ability The two main factors in determining which processing strategy will be used are motivation and ability (Perloff, 2014). Motivation is the motive behind the type of processing t hat will occur. If the message up for consideration is a serious matter and individuals are therefore motivated to seriously consider it, they will process the information through the central route. However, if an individual lacks the motivation or ability to process a message carefully he/she will process it through the peripheral route. Both motivation and ability must be present for elaboration to occur (Petty & Cacioppo, 1996). Prior knowledge and personal relevance are two variables that can influence Prior Knowledge Within postulate six of ELM, an important variable exists pertaining to information processing; this variable is the organized structure of knowledge a person has about an issue within the ir mind or prior knowledge (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). Preexisting issue or another (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). While sometimes it is possible for prior knowledge to help produ ce more objective processing, the previously conceived opinion can have an effect on the outcome of the new opinion and attitude formation (Petty &

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38 Cacioppo, 1986). Individuals who are well informed on a topic are more likely to process information more th oughtfully leading to central processing of the message. Prior knowledge allows individuals to consider the issue relevant information and identify the arguments presented aside from the information less central to the issue presented to them (Wood, Rhode s, & Biek, 1995). Typically, those with prior knowledge about a topic will have a high amount of elaboration regarding it and will, therefore process the information via the central route (Wood et al., 1995). Those with less knowledge on the issue are like ly to process the message through the peripheral route. Those who possess less knowledge on the topic are less likely to determine the weaknesses and strengths of the arguments and will have less confidence in their formed attitudes and opinions (Perloff, 2014). Personal Relevance Petty and Cacioppo (1986) described personal relevance to possibly be the most important variable regarding the motivation an individual will have to process a message. Personal relevance is the importance and connection an individual feels toward a messag e. The more an individual feels connected to an issue the more likely he/she will be to process the issue relevant arguments within the information presented (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). In other words, as personal relevance increases, the motivation to proce ss increases. When individuals are considering a message with personal relevance, persuaders should guide them through the central processing route by utilizing clear and logical arguments (Perloff, 2014). ELM and the components related to this research h as been discussed and explained in depth. The following sections will discuss related studies that have used ELM, as well as those relating to perceptions of the beef industry.

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39 ELM Research : Agriculture ELM research in agriculture has played a major role in understanding 2005, Verbeke conducted a literature review describing information about how agriculture and food is communicated to the public. Verbeke (2005) identif ied choices; the ELM is one of two major models listed as relevant to food quality and safety. In addition, the literature review by Verbeke (2005) reviewed a study condu cted by Frewer, Howard, Hedderley, and Shepherd (1997) regarding food risks. The study utilized the ELM to investigate the impact of source credibility, persuasive content and personal relevance on attitudes on food risk. Using an experimental design, the study consisted of two categories of food risk messages including high and low risk. Medical sources were identified as a favorable source of information that produced positive attitudes from participants. Further results showed credibility did not have mu ch impact on the amount of risk relevant thoughts participants had. An increase in persuasive information had more of a tendency of participants to process the message in an elaborative manner and were seen as more favorable, possibly because they were per information that contained high persuasive information. The authors of this study found the ELM is a useful tool in determining how to effectively communicate risk infor mation with consumers (Frewer et al., 1997). Meyers (2008) looked at the ELM as a dual model with message testing and message frames to examine how the media and communication can influence attitude.

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40 Meyers examined how persuasive messaging influenced atti tudes toward argument quality and the likelihood of publishing agricultural biotechnology information. The results of the study showed prior knowledge and preexisting attitudes played a major role in attitude formation about agricultural biotechnology. Iss ue involvement was also a large factor in attitude determination related to agricultural biotechnology. Meyers found that the way persuasive messages are framed has an impact on attitudes toward process information and the route to persuasion as it relates to the ELM. Similarly, Lundy (2004) examined what frames are capable of affecting the cognitive processing and attitudes for agricultural extension agents. Lundy presented extension agents with persuasive messaging suggesting the benefits of internationalizing the extension service. The two frames used were mutual benefit and moral norms. This study specifically looked into issue involvement and need for cognition, and found the significant diff erences reinforce the role they play within the ELM. The results showed the frames in question did not have a significant effect on message presented. The study concluded frames affect message elaboration differently and pre existing attitudes and prior knowledge about issues should be taken into consideration when developing persuasive messaging. A study conducted by Goodwin (2013) employed the ELM to assess the effects of transparent communication and personal relevance on the attitudes of college students as it pertains to livestock production. The study found that while personal relevance was not found to be significant, both transparent communication and

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41 perceived tra nsparency had a significant impact on the participants attitudes. While the information, Petty and Cacioppo (1986) also suggested prior knowledge may be confounded by personal re levance. In this case, it is plausible that transparent communication was more salient to the participants and, therefore had more of an impact on their attitudes. The findings of the study indicated that a lack of transparency within communication can hav e a significant impact on the amount of elaboration consumers exhibit concerning agriculture messaging. e. study suggested source credibility was effective in influencing attitude change while prior knowledge was not. This study also found that message sources were associate d with attitude change while risk perception was not. Risk perceptions and changes in attitude were found to be processed differently. Additionally, risk perception was not found to conform to the ELM. In general, past ELM research conducted within an agri cultural context has demonstrated consumers process information related to the industry through the peripheral route (Ruth, 2015; Goodwin, 2013; Verbeke & Ward, 2006; Frewer et al., 1997). Studies also concluded the use of framing can be beneficial in prov iding a connection to ELM and ultimately to communicating about agriculture (Goodwin 2013; Meyers, 2008; Lundy 2004).

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42 ELM Research with Beef Perceptions traceability and labeling campaign. In conjunction with a mandatory beef labelling regulation, informative beef campaigns were introduced to consumers. The study consisted of a pre and post campaign survey to measure the impact of the information ques. Prior to the campaign, 40% of the participants were interviewed and 60% were interviewed after the information event occurred. The campaign consisted of a quarter page colored advertisement, which included a phone number for participants to call in order to receive an information pack et regarding traceability and labeling, in 20 national to the information, but only 304 calls were received from consumers. The lack of participation from consumers reinforces t he assumption that consumers had a low ability or motivation to process the information, and the likelihood for elaboration was limited. The Millennial Generation The millennial generation has grown up in a world filled with continuously expanding technol ogy and media. Information is at their fingertips and are considered to have access to more information than any other generation in history ( Considine, 2009). According to Considine (2009) even though millennials have access to such a wealth of informatio n, they are still lacking in literacy skills that are the foundation of success in both an academic environment and life. Millennials have constant access to information, but one issue seems to be getting them to process and retain the information they ar e consuming. Identifying the forms of media they are engaging with is also an important factor. According to Kilian

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43 (2012), there are three groups of millennial media consumers including the Restrained Millennials, the Entertainment Seeking Millennials, a nd the Highly Connected Millennials. The Restrained Millennials are those who are generally content with traditional media products and only look to the internet every once in a while (Kilian, 2012). The Entertainment Seeking Millennials are the group w ho uses social media most often; however the use is in a casual mode, where they only consume the content created by others (Kilian, 2012). The Entertainment Seeking group could be assumed to seek comfort and convenience when consuming media and information. The Highly Connected Millennials are considered to be the leaders of this generation because they use social media both actively and passively (Kilian, 2012). In order to reach this group traditional forms of media are less important and social media sho uld be employed in order to engage them ( Kilian, 2012). Consumer Perceptions of Beef Verbeke and Vackier (2004) examined how consumer involvement in an issue or their personal connection could affect attitude formation pertaining to perceptions of fresh m eat. The sample of participants was divided into four groups: meat lovers, meat consumers, cautious meat lovers, and concerned meat consumers. The study found that cautious meat lovers and concerned meat consumers had strong perceptions of meat risks. Howe ver, straightforward meat lovers focused mainly on taste as a major component of their attitude formation. Indifferent consumers relied mainly on price. Verbeke and Vackier found that meat lovers, or those who were highly involved, focused on intangible qu alities, as well as the other qualities each group focused on to form their attitudes. This research supports the view that personal relevance is

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44 lead to high levels of ela boration. Millennial Perceptions of Beef: Industry Research In 2014, Shugoll Research conducted a study funded by and for The Beef Checkoff program regarding millennials attitudes about beef. According to the study, millennials typically eat beef about twice a week, which is about the same as non millennials, and it is usually in the form of ground beef (Shugoll, 2014; Neuman 2013). Millennials are cost conscious when sh opping for beef and the five most important comfortable and confident preparing the dish, being a food they feel good about and having an ideal balance of taste and p.9 ). The study also found that only about one third of millennials are concerned about how cattle are raised and treated and about four in ten say their concern impacts the food they consume (Shugoll, 2014). According to Shugol l (2014), when purchasing steak, millennials look to be sure the fat is trimmed from the outer edges, but still want some marbling for flavor. Millennials primarily look to websites, friends and family, Pinterest and cookbooks for cooking ideas; they typic ally look for meal ideas that are easy to prepare and last more than one meal (Shugoll, 2014). frustrated about the contradictory information about whether or not beef is good for (p. 20). Production issues are considered an emotional issue and not easily resolved once brought up in discussion (The Beef Checkoff, 2015). The same study found millennials associate eating beef with certain emotions including anticipation, exciteme nt, satisfaction, comfort, and nostalgia (The Beef Checkoff, 2015). Millennials

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45 meaning they feel as though they can have more of everything (The Beef Checkoff, 2015). One study conducted by The Be ef Checkoff (2014) examined millennial perceptions of beef production. The study explored the most effective means of positively communicating to m illennials about the feedyard as well as debunking the main objective of the study was to utilize the information gained to develop communications strategies to address th e negative outlook the public has of the industry (The Beef Checkoff, 2014). Forty four percent of the participants associated the and negative perceptions (The Beef Checkoff, 2014, p. 7). Along with an emotional about factory farming [and] positive e 12). The participants were also exposed to a variety of educational and informational positive impact; in fact, ma ny even claimed to have a more positive view on the beef production process from simply hearing a brief description of the beef production Research Questions This study conceptually explores the attitudes and per ceptions Florida millennials have pertaining to beef within the framework of the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) of persuasion (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). The primary question guiding this study is

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46 l consumers toward locally objectives also guided this empirical investigation. Determine which characteristics and features of the beef industry the millennial generation will find important when purchasing beef. Determine which ch aracteristics and features of beef products the millennial generation will find most important when purchasing beef. and Florida raised beef. Determine the Florida millennial by current communication pieces by Florida Cattle Ranchers. Summary Chapter 2 introduced attitudes and persuasive communication. Following the introduction of these two items, the Elaboration Likelihood Mode l was examined. The central and peripheral processing routes were explained. Further elaboration took p lace through the discussion of motivation and ability, prior knowledge, and personal relevance. The ELM was then looked at from a research standpoint and recent studies utilizing the model were examined. The studies examined were related to agriculture a relatively low degree of cognitive thought when it comes to persu asive messaging in agriculture. Two studies were presented regarding the beef or meat industry as it relates to the ELM. Finally, the research questions for this study were presented.

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47 CHAPTER 3 METHODS Social science research can be conducted in s everal different forms. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are important for social science research. Considering the two types of methods, a qualitative approach was identified to be the most appropriate methodology for this study. This section wil l focus on supporting the case for the research method chosen Three focus groups were conducted to gain the perspective of Florida collegiate millennials. The population was University of Florida millennial students and the sample was from a course offere d at the university called Fostering Innovation through Leadership. Researcher biases, details of the research design, data collection and analysis will be presented. Reliability and validity of the study will also be discussed. Rational e for Qualitative Approach The purpose of this study was to identify how millennials perceive the Florida beef industry and how they process the information and communication material they are presented with regarding the industry. In order to gain a robust understanding of millennials perspectives on the issue, a qualitative method of research was employed in the form of focus groups. Qualitative research is further defined by Flick (2009) as: [Qualitative research is] research interested in analyzing the subjective meanin g or the social production of issues, events, or practices by collecting non standardized data and analyzing texts and images rather than numbers and statistics. (p. 472). Qualitative research most often results in narrative descriptions from participants that give comprehensive details regarding their personal perceptions (Ary et al., 2014). Observing how subjects react to situations is equally as important as understanding how they think and feel (Ary et al., 2014). Understanding phenomenon from participa

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48 perspectives is a vital component of qualitative research. Instead of the use of empirical results words and descriptions are used, along with direct citations and origina l words from the participants. The guiding ontological belief in this study was perceptions are based on their past experiences and the personal relevance the issue opinions are understood through which processing route they utiliz e. Instrumentation Qualitative research focuses on the big picture rather than the breakdown of each individual variable. Understanding the full picture is important to qualitative research because it helps the researcher to paint the picture of the phenomenon. Focus groups were the qualitative method for collecting descriptive data. One advantage of utilizing focus groups as a form of data collection is the participants are interviewed all at the same time and are able to respond to both the moderator as well as the other pa rticipants (Ary et al. 2014). The participants were free to share their thoughts and opinions pertaining to beef on a local and general level as well as their purchasing behaviors. Another advantage of using this type of data collection is participants ma y or depth of thought (Ary et al., 2014). included instructions for the moderator/focus group facilitators, questions, and probes. A participants. Each of the focus groups were audio and video recorded and transcribed by the principle investigator.

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49 This study con sisted of three focus groups with 18 participants total. The focus groups consisted of both male and female participants. The groups ranged from five to seven participants. According to M organ (1998), smaller groups give participants more time to speak and interject personal anecdotes and experiences. With a study such as this one it is important to gain an in (Morgan, 1998). Emotionally charged and controversial topics benefit from smaller groups because the moderator is able to pay close attention to each participant and their needs (Morgan, 1998). The first phase of each focus group consisted of the participants being asked about their personal experience with beef and the Florida beef industry. The par ticipants were asked a series of questions focused on their prior knowledge of the beef industry and their personal relevance to the issue. The second phase of each focus group prompted the participants to look at several communication materials created by an emerging sector of the industry, focused on local beef production and sales. The participants were then asked to create a thought listing of each of the pieces. They were also prompted to share their thoughts with the rest of the group. In each phase o f the study, the participants were encouraged to share their genuine thoughts and opinions regarding the issue. Population and Participants The population of interest in this study was the Florida collegiate millennial generation. The participants were volunteers from a cour se at the University of Florida ranging in age from 18 to 21 years old This generation is of interest because of their potential buying power and decision making skills. This generation is of collegiate age and older; therefore, the y are likely making independent decisions about their food

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50 purchasing behavior and beginning to form more solid opinions about issues. Millennials think differently than generations who came before them and are, therefore, a population of interest concerni ng their thoughts and opinions on issues like food and purchasing behavior (Smith & Nichols, 2015). Sampling Procedure Non probability sampling was utilized when selecting the sample of participants for this study. Both purposive sampling and convenience sampling were used to compile the sample of participants. Purposive sampling was one of the factors preventing the generalizability of results. Purposive sampling was utilized because of the specific need for millennial participants as they have a large am ount of purchasing power and consume information differently than other generations. Convenience sampling was implemented because UF students were easily accessible to the principle investigator and the course utilized provided a diverse group of the popul ation. These modes of sampling allowed the researcher to gain an in depth understanding of the thoughts and views of Florida millennial collegiate students. The sampling frame of this study consisted of students attending the University of Florida who wer e a part of the millennial generation. From this grouping of students, a convenience sample of students enrolled in AEC3410: Fostering Innovation through Leadership were asked to participate. The participants represented a variety of academic majors enhanc ing the diversity of thought and opinion. The students were recruited to participate in the focus groups through a class visit from the lead researcher as well as a Canvas e learning announcement. The participants were also provided with incentives of extr a credit and gift cards.

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51 Focus Group Descriptions Focus Group 1 The first focus group took place on July 25, 2017 and involved six participants. Five of the six participants identified as female with one identifying as male. Two of the participants ide n o The age range for this focus group was 20 21 years old. The participants reported majoring in the following: Anthropology, So ciology, Political Science, Business Information Systems, and Telecommunication News. Focus Group 2 The second focus group took place on July 26, 2017 and involved five participants. Three of the five participants identified as female with two identifyi ng as The age range for the focus group was 19 20 years old. The participants reported majoring in the following: Marketing, Finance, Computer Sc ience, and Journalism. Focus Group 3 The third focus group took place on July 27, 2017 and involved seven participants. Three of the seven participants identified as female with four identifying as male. Three participants identified The age range for the focus group was 18 21. The participants reported majoring in the following: Sustainability and the Built Environment, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Psychology, Animal Scien ce, Visual Arts, and Chemistry.

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52 Validity A panel of focus group experts specializing in agricultural communication and Data were collected directly from the participant s via audio and video recording. The researcher then transcribed the recording verbatim in order to ensure the validity of the findings. The audio transcripts were analyzed to determine common themes based on the most important components of a research study because in order for the results to be valid they must be truthful and plausible (Tracy, 2010). In order to further ensure the validity and reliability of the study y, 2010, p. 843). From the transcription of the focus groups, in conveyed throughout the results section of the study. Reliability Reliability in qualitative research relies on two m ain principles. The first is the interpretations were (Flick, 2009). The second is the procedures of the interview process and the text need to be explicitly checked and rechecked and the moderators must be consistent (Flick, 2009). In order to address the temporal issue, the focus groups were all conducted within the time span of three consistent days, at the same time of day, and for the same amount of time. Reliability procedures for this study also included double checking the focus group transcripts to be sure they matched the audio and video recording. Peer debriefing was utilized to ensure the reliability of the data collection and analysis. The transcripts were co c oded for common themes to ensure the reliability of the researcher. Any discrepancies were addressed between the coders

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53 in order to ensure the most accurate results. An audit trail can be conducted to verify the trustworthiness of this study. Data Collecti on The collection of data occurred on the University of Florida campus in a computer laboratory. The Institutional Review Board of the University of Florida approved the study and instruments prior to data collection (IRB # IRB201701443). Note takers and a n assistant moderator were present for all three of the focus groups. The focus groups were recorded digitally with participant permission, in order to create transcripts. All thought listings were also collected for analysis. oped for the focus groups with two sections. The of the beef industry as a whole, as well as the Florida beef industry. The first phase also focused on the participants co mmunication pieces created for an emerging sector of the beef industry focused on Florida beef products. The because of time restrictions. A portion of the communication questions, as well as some of the concluding questions and discussion was excluded. s guide a pilot study was conducted of millennial students within the Agricultural Education and Communication Department at the University of Florida. The focus groups were recorded and a note taker was utilized. There were five participants, four females and one male. One of the participants was also an experienced focus group moderator, who provided insight at the conclusion of the experience. Due to the length of the guide, most participants were

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54 only able to test the first phase of the guide. Be cause of this pilot study, some of the questions were modified to better fit the goals of the research objectives. Communication Material The video showed to participants was a promotional piece about FCR featuring A single ranch was featured and included shots of cattle in pastures, families mingling and eating, cooking on the grill, and different shots of the ranch. The mission and values of the organization were discussed throughout the video as well. The website has tabs including about, sustainable Florida, our ranchers, products and recipes, news to information platform. The two social media platforms viewed were Facebook and Instagram; both serve to promote FCR beef. The logo/labels presented to participants appear on every medium and on FCR bee f products. The recipe card features one of the FCR members and a steak recipe. The blog post features an FCR member and their practices. The be found in the appendix for reference. Data Analysis The recorded focus group discussions were transcribed, summarized, and divided into categories that emerged from the groups. The transcriptions were created by the principal investigator and reviewed by a third party. Triangulatio n was employed through the documents provided by the note takers of each focus group. The transcripts of the note takers were analyzed to verify the attitudes of the statements within the transcripts. The transcripts were also examined and coded by a co co der in order to prevent researcher bias and further ensure the reliability of the results. The categories

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55 were defined through the use of codes. Themes and findings relating to the beef industry and the communication pieces were explored. Subjectivity Sta tement As the researcher, I must address the facilitator bias that is present within this study. I was born and raised in the state of Florida; however, I did not become a part of the agricultural industry until the age of 13. My experience with cattle pro duction did not begin until I was a junior in high school at the age of 16. I showed cattle for two years in high school and began learning about the industry. I furthered my education as an agricultural education and communication major at the University of Florida as an undergraduate student. In the summer of 2016, I worked at Buck Island Ranch, gaining more knowledge and experience of cattle production. the University of Flor ida. My career interests lay within the Florida beef industry, which is what prompted the idea of this study. I am currently working with the Florida Cattle Ranchers, LLC (FCR) to create a communications plan for the organization. This plan will be targete d toward the millennial generation and relies on their preferences when buying beef. I have personally worked within the beef industry and directly with producers, so I am biased toward the good nature of the beef industry. My career goals include working within the beef industry as a communicator; therefore, it is my goal to conduct this study with as little bias as possible in order to ensure viable results that can be used to better the industry as a whole. My studies and experiences have provided me wit h a specific view of the beef industry. Through careful reflection and consideration throughout this study, I have worked to set aside my own perceptions and biases to the best of my ability. However, I

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56 understand experiences could potentially influence da ta interpretation; therefore, it is my intention to present my biases here and consciously keep them from influencing the participant responses and final results of this study. One note taker was employed specifically to take notes on the reactions of the participants. Two assistant moderators/observers were utilized to make observations and ask additional questions; one of the assistant moderators served for the first and last focus group and the other was only employed for the second focus group. In order to avoid my personal bias, a observers were utilized in the focus group process. Chapter Summary This chapter presented the research design and methodology for this study. T he population of interest for this study was Florida millennials, and the sample was University of Florida millennial students. The design of the study was qualitative, using structured focus groups for data collection. Focus groups were utilized in order to gain in depth data on the perceptions of the participants. The data was further analyzed to develop specific themes and categories that exist among them. Reliability and validity were also given consideration throughout this chapter and the study as a w hole. Finally,

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57 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Introduction This chapter presents findings for three focus group sessions. The purpose of produc ed beef. To achieve this purpose, focus group discussions addressed 1) determining which characteristics and features of the beef industry are most important to participants when purchasing beef products, 2) determining which characteristics and features o f beef products are most important to participants when purchasing beef products, 3) determining participants perceptions of the Florida beef industry and by current communication pieces by the Florida Cattle Ranchers. The results are presented in order of the research questions in narrative format based on the Participants demographic information contribute to the understanding of the findi ngs. Participants filled out an open ended questionnaire at the start of the focus group. Participants were asked their age, gender, ethnicity, and major in college. Each participant was asked to introduce him or herself and tell a little bit about him or herself resulting in them telling the groups where they were originally from. The majority of participants were originally from the state of Florida, however, not all of them were.

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58 Table 4 1 Participant demographics Group Age Race Gender Major Eats Beef Pseudonym One 20 Other Female Anthropology No Ashley One 20 Hispanic Female Telecommunication News Yes Jessica One 20 African American Female Business Information Systems No Peyton One 20 African American Male Political Science Yes Jeremy One 21 White Female Sociology Yes Bella One 21 White Female Anthropology Yes Tiffany Two 20 African American Male Journalism Yes Levy Two 20 Asian Male Computer Science Yes John Two 19 White Female Marketing Yes Kara Two 19 White Female Finance Yes Taylor Two 20 White Female Marketing Yes Kylie Three 20 Asian Male Chemistry Yes Gordon Three 21 Hispanic Female Visual Arts No Anne Three 19 Hispanic Male Animal Science Yes Wallace Three 21 Hispanic Female Psychology No Charlotte Three 20 White Female Sustainability No Natalie Three 18 White Male Industrial Engineering No Case Three 20 White Male Sustainability Yes Dalton

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59 Important Characteristics and Features of the Beef Industry In order to explore this research objective, participants were asked questions related to their thoughts regarding cattle production in relation to a series of topics including the environment, land conservation, water quality and quantity, wildlife, the rancher, and the care of animals. The participants were th en asked if any of the connections had an influence on their decision to purchase beef. Themes discovered in a positive sense. themes Beef Industry and the Environment Each group expressed their concern for the effect cattle ranching is having on the Some part icipants were particularl y passionate about the negative effects cattle r production of cattle. However, one participant with specific knowledge of the beef industry raised conflicting vie ay to re one respondent discussed how the beef industry as a whol e is contributing to damaging the environment:

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60 T he beef industry in general, not in Florida has been caused to reduce like ruining, not only the environment is being ruined. Water One participant expressed co ncern for the quality of water a ffected by Participants were the beef industry. Participants in all three groups brought up concerns for the quantity of water used to produce beef products. Each gro up viewed water as a major environmental concern because of the amount of water beef productio to icipants in group two never quantified exactly how much water they beli eved was used in the production; howev One par I read actually to produce one pound of Sustainability One One participant implied the beef industry was not necessarily agriculture in this statement:

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61 I mean the c ompany he works for does not sell any like meat products or Land conservation was an important topic of discussion amongst the participants. on the environment others believed cattle ranching was beneficial to land conservation efforts as seen in this quote: You know , you know that land would you know probably be buildings and cities and, yo u know, their preserving different species. So, I thought that was pretty cool and something I never really thought about before. Beef Industry and Management Practices Each group discussed the management practices of the beef cattle industry and continuou their thoughts and beliefs. One participan t from group two expressed the thought that cattl parti cipant said discon nect. participant from A participant s Another

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62 One participant from summed up the perceptions I would say [farmers] do good like treat their animals well, when scale like that. W hen it gets large scale, corporate speaking I guess, it beg ins to become more inhumane, in terms of like forcefully imp regnating the cows to reproduce While their descriptions of t they Beef Industry and the Treatment of Animals Another common thread present in all of the groups the groups. each group discussion in reference to this topic. Animal Health Participants related poor treatment of cattle to competition and potential profit stating that bec ause tions just get worse and wors producers nor enforced. A pa rticipant from group two One participant believed

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63 They survive , ally followed and were humane or ideal, but in Corporate Farming discussio One participant from group one referenced responsibility A participant from group three explained that the larger the operation discussed as a geographic region associated with the production process. The corporate farming. One A participant from group three referenced the reta Wal Mart corporation saying that they believe the corporation treats the ca One participant summed up this theme, saying: I also feel like the bigger the cattle ranch, maybe the harder it is to take better care of all the cows because there is so much more to pay attention to and there would be less time to, you know, spend individually with all the cows.

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64 Beef While the majo rity of participants viewed the treatment of cattle to be less than ideal, the groups tended to agree that the treatment of cattle would affect the quality of meat produced. An example of the how good the meat is or how fresh it is, has a lot to do with what the rancher feeds the differing opinion of how well the cattle were treated said: I feel like a lot of these animals are actually treated fairly well even in the uess ant In every group, comments were made concerning the health of cattle in reference to product was in reference to pesticides, for cows are p Important Characteristics and Features of Beef Products In order to explore this research objective, participants were asked questions related to their thoughts regarding beef products in relation to a se ries of topics including, the environment, health, and the care of animals. The participants were then asked if any of the connections had an influence on their decision to purchase beef. When discussing the environment, the participants said they did not make the connection with the beef product. However, themes were discovered surrounding the

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65 of the product, the meat as well as Themes discovered surr ounding h The themes discovered s Beef and Human Health Concerns Each group was concerned with beef products and their relation to human health mainly in reference to Questions were asked in reference to their purchasing behavior and health was always a factor in their decision making process of whether or not to buy a beef product. Specifically the cut of meat they wanted and how they wanted to prepare the product played major roles in the process. Human health overall was agreed to be the most important factor in the purchase beef. A participant in think about nodding th eir heads or stating their approval Fat Content decision to purchase beef and what kind of beef to purchase. One participant said, cuts of beef participants mentioned they were willing t bone The participants in each group tended to compare beef products to other meats in reference to how healthy they were, how much fat the contained, and how they tasted. A participant summed up this idea when by refere fat content when they said:

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66 I noticed the ground turkey is healthier for you than beef, so um I thought lean and like 1% fat ground turkey, whic too. Food Safety Food preparation is one aspect that each group discus sed. A participant from group arison to The same participant discussed the shelf life of b eef items after they are cooked; P articipants products. One par ticipant stated they like concern for Anoth er participant from group one s r egard for their personal health when it comes to cooking the meat products. The participants discussed the risk of consuming beef products from a restaurant and mentioned the warning displayed on menus concerning the risk of consuming raw meat. The follow done like I feel like if f people eat

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67 it all the way through. One participant f rom group three expressed positive minority percept wrong with them and a like a tiny port of their body just cau an consumption Overall, howev er, most of the participants were hesitant when it came and beef. Diseases Some participant s reveale Participants from group one and th ree mentioned tha cholesterol shared a perception that ground meat and the potential harmful effects. The participant from be like a thousand different cows. Cause they like shred it up, like if one has something then it can be transferred, I guess, interactions with other individuals. For example, a participant from group one referenced

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68 participant discussed that her mother would not allow t hem to eat beef from McDonalds or other outside venues when they lived at home. In one instance, a participant from group one discussed a positive effect of eating beef. The pa rticipant stated that when she was younger her family switched from groun reasoning for the change was summed up by this statement: M le bunch of stuff. Plus, Beef and Retail Cost Overall, the majority of participants agreed that price was a factor in their decision to purchase beef products. In some cases, the participants said they considered how many meals they can get out of a piece of meat before purchasing it. Throughout the discussion of a connection between cost and beef products, most participant from shy away from buying beef produc On e participant Another when their parents are involved. For instance, one participant stated when she shops with her

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69 Labels A consistent perception of the participants was that the more labels a package of beef has, the more the meat will cost. One parti more labels it has the more expensive it is. Like no hormones, grass fed and all those other labels make it more expensive for some reason. ant from group two I always find it ironic when it com participant went on to say I when purchasing beef products because of the On the other hand, the participants expressed their interest in knowing where a positive side effect of purchasing local beef. Trust In terms of food prep participants in group one expressed their concerns with trusting the food preparation process when responding to a question regarding generational differences. Fo r example, one participant said: I think now people are like more willing to like wait in line at Publix to get a pub sub than to just like go through McDonalds to just like get a burger. and order something th at is healthier that you actually see them making in front of you rather than just

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70 Another participant agreed with this statement and supported it lling to trust like waiting my tur n to see my food being prepared. retailers s Dixie One of the participants said in refer ences to h where exactly did this come from just beef, comes f rom. Other grocery stores reference , Wal Mart Wal Mart Perceptions of the Florida Beef Industry and Florida Beef When asked specifically about the Florida beef industry and Florida beef, participants continuously reverted to referencing the national industr y and exhibited minimal to no knowledge of the state industry. Participants had slightly more knowledge of the overall, broad idea of the Florida beef industry than they did of Florida beef products specifically. Most of the participants experience with th e Florida beef industry came from driving down the road and seeing cattle in pastures. The participants had almost no experience with the Florida beef product and only a small number had the questioning was

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71 Experience with the Florida Beef Indust ry The cattle the participants have experienced have only been in pastures they see from the side of the road or h ave viewed from a far. Most of the participants mentioned One participant mentioned some cattle are they did not specifical Another common perception is that the Florida beef industry has After being told some facts about the Florida beef industry, the participants picked th in overall cattle production Overall, each group mentioned they see cattle when they are driving down the highway. One of the participants made the connection that they see Another participant referred to seeing Another part we can pretty much raise them like anywhere in the st for cattle to be raised in. While the majority of participants viewed Florida as a hot climate for the cattle to live in, one participant ha d a different perception. T the tenderness and the quality in order for these cattle to be able to like surv iv e.

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72 Participants were also asked specifically about Florida in relation to the environment and the cattle rancher. When discussing the environment, one group Florida. One participant said discussed a into the water supply. The perceived age Generally, the participants had little to no knowledge or perceptions of Florida cattle ranchers spe cifically. Experience with Florida Beef When asked specifically about Florida beef products the participants said they ke meat you would buy in a different state if participants referenced meat they saw in the grocery store, but did not have knowledge of where it came from. The comments were all geared toward beef on a na tional level or the packaging of the meat product. Preferences of Information In order to explore this research objective, participants were asked probing q uestions about where they get their information and in many cases the information was offered withi n a statement made with no prompting. This research objective was also explored through a series of communication material s from FCR presented to each group. Discussion and thought listings aided in the exploration of this objective. The communication mate rial s included a promotional video, a website, two social media platforms (Facebook and Instagram), the FCR logo and label, a recipe card, a blog post, and a rack card. In many cases, throughout the groups, documentaries were referenced

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73 for information par ticipants based their thoughts an d opinions on. Three main themes Transparency / trust came to the communication material provided, the groups liked the idea of trusted than oth immediately trusted the website much more than the video because the video was just, it was just too perfect and you could see how it could all, they could just take out the nice parts of the ment and liked the emphasis the organization The same participant said, manner possible, I guess R is Information Desired from the Beef Industry/Florida Cattle Ranchers At the end of each group sessions the participants were asked what other informat ion they would like to see regarding FCR and their practices. Theme s that

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74 surrounded this topic were cause they sa articipant pointed out FCR s wanted to k this statement: I think to elaborate on what methods they use cause they say like we do we talked about, the details that would be really helpful and like um you know what anymore and that stuff. n of the elephant in brought up again as information participants wanted to know more about. One important factors included the price of the beef product and where to purchase it. Communication Pieces Video None of the groups trusted the video and the message being shared. Every group said the video had a nice des howev er they said

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75 There was no One viewers lack of ipant ou know to benefit the One participant summed up the consensus of the video with this comment: It just seems ver y very unrealistic to what beef instead of what corporations would want you to see. Website Each group found the website easy to read and the design to be a e statically pleasing. Most participants found the information they were looking for to be easy to find. However, participants overall believed the website did a process, as they would have liked. One participant summed this idea up when they said:

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76 T from and everything and you can go back to the sourc look in every place about like the actual cows, but instead they have like t in terms of like actual beef. A comment was also made regarding the photographs saying that the participa nt would have liked to see more than believe that to be e Social Media The posts the participants gravitated toward the most were the one s containing information about Publix Participants shared conflicting views on the content of the posts; some believed the posts to be clich and others liked that One participant said both Instagram and e more posts and more information from the organization. Participants did like the section containing the Participants also discussed wanting to see website links other than their own FCR page on their social media platforms for informational reference. Participants liked the idea of a themed day dealing with facts or informational content,

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77 be consistent along with the profile pictures. They wanted the profile pictures to consistently match the logo. Another aspect of Facebook parti cipants noticed was the amount of comments an d reviews on the page. One participants comment sums up the groups opinions on the reviews: O n the reviews on the Facebook page, they only have three reviews so like it gives them five stars. So, you like wow five stars, but they only have three reviews and like no one no background. Overall, they want to see more posts in general and specifically posts more focused on how cattle are cared for and health facts about beef products. Logo/Label The participants viewed both versions of the lo go as positive; however they liked the label more and some suggested using just the label. On the logo every group stated that the two Floridas on the cow and in the shadow. Overall, the participants noticed the Florida shadow before they noticed the Florida on the cow. They also wanted the logos to stay consistent on all branding platforms, in other words only use one of the two labels they were shown. direct correlation with price, they did not believe that in the case of this label in made

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78 raised right. So, it gets their message across that is kind of a more superior kind of beef Recipe Card Overall, the groups did not like the design of the recipe card. While they did like e card. One suggested making a connection between the rancher and the recipe. Most of the participants wanted to see a picture of the recipe on the fro nt. They did like the two cooking options of a gas grill or a charcoal grill. get it medium this medium taste. So, Blog Post Every group like d the blog post and found it to be informative and trustworthy for ike to hear from the rancher cause like no one can Rack Card The participants did not like the watercolor look of the picture on the front of the rack card and would have preferred it to be clear to portray their transparency. In reference to their transparency on this sourc e of information

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79 like the stuff at the bottom where it said, they feel comfortable like you coming to the ranch and like seeing how their doing these gonna say it and just hide their ranch away. They like Overall, however, they liked the information presented and liked the simple facts presented on the card. One participant summed up the overall view in this statement: beef industry and they did that really well. Uh I like how, I enjoyed, I really their slogan, y ou know Summary Throughout this chapter, each research objective was explained and results relating to them were revealed. T he common topics and themes that emerged major result of was the evidence of a lack of knowledge of the Florida beef industry and Florida beef products. Each piece of FCR communication ma terial was examined by the groups and both positive and negative aspects were discovered from the participants points of view.

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80 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS This chapter explains the key findings, conclusions, implications, and recommen dations drawn from the results of the three focus group sessions. The Florida produced beef. The following objectives helped to explore this purpose: 1) determining wh ich characteristics and features of the beef industry are most important to participants when purchasing beef products, 2) determining which characteristics and features of beef products are most important to participants when purchasing beef products, 3) determining participants perceptions of the Florida beef industry and by current communication pieces by the Florida Cattle Ranchers. Key Findings Overall, the partic ipants approached the topic of the beef industry with skepticism and a negative perception of both the national and state industries. However, not all of participants associated the beef industry with negative effects, however made note that the land used for cattle ranching would likely be developed if not used for this purpose. : d broken down into tw o sections:

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81 being followed nor enforced. at quality. The overall perception participants had on beef products and human health was When purchasing beef products participants mostly purchased beef, but were con were attracted to specific types of labeling, b ut also associated it with the price of the product. The majority of participants only experience with the Florida beef i ndustry is what they see driving down the road. Their pe rceptions were associated with older no knowledge of Florida beef products specifically. Overall, the particip industry and from FCR and their communication material. Participants liked the idea of perceptions of the communication material presented to them and mainly wanted to see more of the process of cattle ranching and beef processing. Conclusions Elaboration Likelihood Model Central Route Participants utilized their central processing route to discuss ideas and perceptions already present in their schema. Participants entered the study with prior knowledge of the beef industry and utilized this information to share their perceptions of both the national and Florida beef industries. Over the course of their lives, participants

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82 have interacted with family, friends, and peers as well as had their own personal experience with the beef industry or beef products in some way. Individuals must think about the issue multiple times and internally relate it to past personal experiences in order to form their attitude about it. Sometimes attitudes are changed by a thoughtful process and examination of information in relation to relevant experiences and k nowledge (Petty et al., 2009). Prior Knowledge experiences are compounded and help an individual to decipher what they believe about the beef industry and beef products. Accord ing to Petty and Cacioppo (1986), making process and perceptions. Participants drew on their previous experiences with cattle, documentaries, and other sources of informati on to express their perceptions of the beef industry and beef products. Personal Relevance Participants did not feel much of a connection to the FCR video because they did not see people that looked like them, they thought it was too perfect, and they did not see the entire process that the ranchers were discussing. According to Petty and Cacioppo (1986), t he more an individual feels connected to an issue the more likely they will be to process the issue relevant arguments w ithin the information presented. In order for the participants to process the video or other material, they needed to feel some sort of connection to it. Participants felt a connection to the rack card in particular s information and liked it.

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83 Peripheral Participants viewing the communication material made quick judgments and stuck to them throughout the discussion of each piece. The peripheral processing route suggests an individual accepts or rejects a persuasive m essage without carefully thinking about the issue (Petty et al., 2009; Perloff, 2014). In particular, they referred to how the video made them feel and discussed how trusting or mistrusting they were of the other pieces utilizing their emotions to generate their immediate perceptions of FCR. In each group there in the last group example, one participant began the group discussing the ir positive perception of the beef industry and by the last half of the group; they were speaking more harshly about the industry as well as the communication material presented. According to Petty et al. (2009), certain language ca n lead a person to chang e an a ttitude about at subject if that person is not fully rooted in the idea. While the participants related some of the communication material to their prior knowledge and central processing route, there was a significant amount of peripheral processing related to what they encountered. On the logo presented, the participants were attracted the cow as a visual and were immediately drawn to the colors. In general, past ELM research conducted within an agricultural context has demonstrated consumers proces s information related to the industry through the peripheral route (Ruth, 2015; Goodwin, 2013; Verbeke & Ward, 2006; Frewer et al., 1997). Important Characteristics and Features of the Beef Industry As in a study conducted by The Beef Checkoff (2014), part icipants perceived the

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84 The Beef Checkoff (2014) study. Participants expressed their skepticism of the beef industry and the picture perfect version of cattle ranchers. Participant s had minimal positive comments about the beef industry as seen also in a study conducted by The Beef Checkoff (2014). That same study found that after a short education stimuli was presented to millennials, some had a more positive view of the industry. S ome participants had similar reactions after interacting with communication material from FCR. Important Characteristics and Features of Beef Products Of the participants, those who consumed beef on a regular basis were concerned mainly with the taste or palatability of the product and less with outside factors as supported in Verbeke and Vackier (2004). Participants discussed some of the most her factor the participants discussed was how many meals they would get out of their beef purchase. Shugoll (2014) noted that the five most feeling comfortable and conf ident preparing the dish, being a food they feel good about, Perceptions of the Florida Beef Industry and Florida Raised Beef Participants had minimal knowledge of the Florida beef industry and minimal to no knowledge of Florida beef products. As seen in Verbeke and Ward (2006) there has been low motivation for participants to process information related to the beef industry.

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85 However, due to the information being discussed many of the participants sugges ted they were motivated to do research when the focus group ended. Preferences of Information As found in a study of millennials attitudes about beef (Shugoll, 2014), the participants look to Pinterest and websites for cooking ideas that are easy to pre pare and last more than one meal. Some participants were hesitant to cook beef because they do not know how to do it. Some of the participants liked that the recipe on the recipe card was simple and easy to follow. Participants perceived beef to have nega tive health implications, but felt as though they were only getting one side of the story from the communication material. As found in a study conducted by The Beef Checkoff (2015), the millennial generation is communication material and discussed how they wanted more of it in the form of videos, facts, and photographs. The same is seen in a study conducted by Goodwin (2013) where it was found that transparent communication and perceived transparency that a lack of transparency within communication could have a significant impact on the elaboration consumers exhibit concerning agricultural messaging. Participants did not feel as though FCR was being completely transparent in their communication and th erefore did not believe all of their messaging.

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86 Implications The Beef Industry Millennials Collegiate m illennials are not the only con sumers of beef; however they are currently the target audience for beef marketing in part because there are about 80 mi llion consumers in this generation (Beef Checkoff, 2014). The millennial generation consumes more beef in the home and resturants compared to any other generation; they are also considered to be the next influencers of demand for the next several decades ( Beef Checkoff, 2014). Millennials currently have more purchasing power, compared to other generations when they were their current age: 15 to 29 (Hais & Winograd, 2011). responds to information related to beef the beef industry is vital to the future success of their operations (Beef, 2014). Participants from these focus groups were all a part of the millennial generation meaning their perceptions of the industry and their peers perc eptions are important for those in the beef industry to hear. Millennials are currently and will continue to have a major influence on the products in demand. Understanding what this generation is looking for will aid the industry in making strides to plea se consumers. By understanding the perceptions of this generation, the industry will be able to tailor messaging to fit the needs of the millennial consumer generation. Health implications were a major concern for the participants of this study. It was on e of the main, if not the number one factor they consider when deciding whether to purchase beef products. Participants felt as though they were receiving contradictory information from the beef industry when viewing the communication material provide.

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87 Par ticipants are curious about both the positive and negative aspects of human health implications. Knowledge Gap According to Rumble and Buck (2009), the public is somewhat knowledgeable about livestock production; however, a knowledge gap exists between producers and consumers. Their study suggested that while consumers have some knowledge, their perceptions and justifications for their beliefs are sometimes inaccurate (Rumble & Buck, 2009). The results of this research imply millennial consumers lack kno wledge of the beef industry as a whole. The knowledge gap between producers and consumers is a result of where they get their information from and the type of media they are consuming. The participants gained most of their industry knowledge from documenta ries that only present one side of the argument. The Florida Beef Industry Knowledge Gap Participants in this study revealed a major knowledge gap between consumers and producers when it came to the Florida beef industry. An even larger gap was presented when discussing Florida beef products as the participants had almost no knowledge whatsoever. Participants were largely unaware that there were Florida specific beef products. This information presents an opportunity for consumer education. The results of this study also show that consumers would be receptive to transparent marketing material that in turn educated them about the industry. Environmental environment in its natural habit at. Participants from this study acknowledged that cattle

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88 Local Accord ing to Lovelace (2016), consumers are becoming increasingly concerned The Thou produced as close to their location as possible (Rumble & Roper, 2014). Participants of ding makes them feel better about purchasing the product because they are supporting the According to Jekanowski, William s, and Schiek (2000), state funded programs aimed at promoting or identifying agricultural products produced within the state are increasingly desirable in the consumer market. The program in the state of Florida is gnized by participants when they viewed the communication material. In a study by Lovelace (2016), p articipants recognized labels quicker when the logos were presented in a monochromatic color scheme rather than a polychromatic color scheme; meaning they identified labels that consisted of hues of the same color rather than a label with multiple colors Participants commented on the agreed with the results of Lovelace (2016).

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89 Cost Carpio and Isengildina Massa (2009) found that consumers had a slightly higher willingne ss to pay for locally grown plant products than for local animal products as opposed to non local alternatives. Participants in this study were split in this regard. local alter natives. Others said they always purchase the cheapest option. Recommendations for Researchers This research yields recommendations for both practitioners as well as further f, further research can be conducted regarding the entire population of Florida millennial consumers and their perceptions. Future studies should focus on quantitative data regarding all of the topics discussed. Studies should utilizing participants from t he millennial generation as well as those from other generations, specifically the Baby Boomer generation as they also have major purchasing power as consumers. The future study should also be broken into several parts in order to focus each topic of the study. Every piece of this study is of equal importance and should be given careful consideration from researchers and participants. Perceptions ultimately affect After the recommendations are implemented for the communication material, it should be tested again in a quantitative and qualitative setting. Furthermore, by understanding these preferences, beef producers will be better equipped to market their products. This research will also help beef producers to build loyalty with consumers by helping them to communicate about what is most important to millennial consumers.

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90 Recommendations for Industry Representatives Communication outreach is essential to the success of the beef industry on a state and national l evel. Consumers need to be educated on what cattle ranching is. Participants of this study recommended going out into the community to schools, community events and even grocery stores in order to educate consumers about the industry. They also mentioned r eaching consumers via social media through different types of media including videos and photographs. The participants wanted to see transparency from the industry for every step of the process from the ranching to the processing. Education can begin at th e most basic level of showing consumers the difference between dairy cattle and beef cattle. The education can also reach farther into the industry, by sharing breeds that do better in the Florida climate and other management practices that ranchers are do ing to take care of their cattle. Agricu ltural communicators within the industry should consider social media and blogs as a form of communication outreach to the millennial generation specifically. The participants liked hearing from the rancher when it came to the blog, but were hesitant to believe the video. Millennials are consuming media via social media and even get their news from platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Communicators should also consider a documentary campaign or miniseries that could be aired on platforms like Facebook or Netflix. According to the participants of this study, schools are showing Participants are also looking to these documentaries as sour ces of trusted information causing their mistrust of the beef industry. It is also important to reach community the beef industry.

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91 Legislators must also play a role in ed ucating the public as well as listening to what they want. Participants revealed that they did not believe many regulations were in place for the cattle industry and in some cases called for higher standards and more regulations. The Department of Agricult ure and Consumer Services on the state and national level should disseminate information regarding the cattle industry more often the government is doing to protect them f rom food safety issues within the industry. Transparency is not only needed from the cattle ranchers, it is also needed from the government. Recommendations for Florida Cattle Ranchers Florida Cattle Ranchers, LLC was more transparency. The organization makes claims of transparency, which is seen in some of their communication material, but not eno ugh. FCR needs to show the day to day side of cattle ranching by producing videos and photographs that document both th e hard times as well as the good times. Participants found some of their communication to be unrealistic, which is a call for education as well as action. Pre senting their ranchers on a day to day level by interviewing them on video in one way to engage th e millennial generation. Another way to engage this generation is to find other ways for them to hear from the ranchers such as blog or social media posts. Participants also recommended that the organization stay consistent with their labeling, logos, and social media in order for them to be easily recognizable.

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92 Communication Pieces Video Participants noted that the video did not show any actual cattle handling. While they viewed it as a promotional piece, every group agreed that it was too perfect and see med to be scripted. The video is also not diverse as far as ethnicity; one way to fix this would be to add people of different backgrounds who work in the industry to the way to combat this view would be to show more cowgirls working with cattle. The video also shied away from talking about the processing of the cattle and participants would have rather heard them discuss the process in order to build their trust in the organization. Participants wanted to see footage from each step of the process. The processing of cattle is a controversial issue that FCR could utilize a promotional or educational video to help consumers understand. FCR should further investigate the potential in adding a processing piece to their video or creating an educational v ideo dedicated to their particular process. Website Overall, the design of the website was well received by participants. The majority of the information was also well received. Participants called for more facts and statistics regarding the claims the or ganization makes on their website. Participants also recommended continuously updating the news section of the website. Transparent health facts were also of interest to the participants. Social Media The social media pages should be more current and poste d on consistently in order to keep followers informed of what the organization is doing. Facebook and

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93 Instagram are the platforms in which the participants recommended posting videos of ation and proof that the ranchers are caring for the animals correctly. Another recommendation was to make all of the social media handles consistent. Some other recommendations for posts were links to other informational websites, educational videos, and beef health facts. Logo/Label found the logo to be very Florida oriented. Participants called for all the logos and labels to remain consistent and to not have more than one ve rsion in order to stay easily recognizable. Participants found the two pictures of Florida to be repetitive and recommended only using one or the other. The majority of participants noticed the shadow prior to the one on the cow. Participants also generall y liked the affiliation of Recipe Card Participants did not like the picture of the rancher on the front of the card and suggested it be changed to a picture of the recipe. Some suggested the recipe was too fattening because of all the butter and type of cut the meat was and called for a healthier recipe. Another suggestion was to create a recipe for a side item to go along with the meat. Participants also suggested the recipe should have some sort of ending Blog Post environment and water conservation. Participants suggested adding a video of Don working or doing an interview. Participants want to hear relevant fun facts about the

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94 rancher. Overall, the participants liked the design and the pictures, but suggested the subheading be a more recognizable color. Rack Card Participants recommended a clear picture for the front of the card and not the of the photo. They thought the back of the card looked clean and the front looked disorganized because of the effect. They also suggested to put both the card and all o f the facts and information presented. Summary of Conclusions, Implications, and Recommendations Participants generally had skeptical and negative perceptions of both the national for it accompanied with their skepticism of humane industry practices. FCR would benefit from creating communication pieces that showed every aspect of the ind ustry from ranching to processing. Previous experience and prior knowledge were present within the discussions had by the participants. Participants entered the study with prior knowledge of the beef industry and utilized this information to share their p erceptions of both the national and Florida beef industries. Participants drew on their previous experiences with cattle, documentaries, and other sources of information to express their perceptions of the beef industry and beef products. FCR should work h arder to make a connection with the diverse population because personal relevance is a factor in the processing route. While the participants related some of the communication material to their prior knowledge and central processing route, there was a sign ificant amount of peripheral processing

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95 so it is important to reach community leaders and influencers. Participants expressed their skepticism of the beef industry and t he picture perfect version of cattle ranchers. Participants had minimal knowledge of the Florida beef industry and minimal to no knowledge of Florida beef products. Their preferences of mediums and information were social media, health, and transparency. H uman health is a major concern for these millennial consumers. Other important fac tors when choosing to beef included Participants in this study also revealed a major knowledge gap between consumers and pr oducers when it came to the nation al and Florida beef industry. An even bigger gap was present between consumers and producers concerning the beef product. Environmental factors are important to consumers and should be a focus of communication material. Th e idea of local products was appealing to the millennial participants because the y felt that by buying local they would be supporting the local economy. Cost was another major factor in purchasing behavior. Communication outreach is vital to the success of the beef industry on the state and national levels. In order to accomplish the outreach, different types of media, agriculture communicators and legislators should be employed. Transparency is the major theme that should be taken from this study especia lly for FCR. Participants expressed their desire to know more and see more of what the ranchers are doing and this can be accomplished throu gh their communication material.

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96 APPENDIX A IRB APPROVAL Title:

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97 Dear participant, We are researchers at the University of Florida and we are interested in your opinions regarding the Florida beef industry. You will be asked to participate in a focu s group that will last approximately 2 hours and will be audio and video recorded. Questions will relate to your experience with the Florida beef industry and communication material related to it. Risks and Benefits: We do not anticipate your will incur any risks or direct benefits as a result of your participation in this research. Compensation: You will receive a gift card and extra credit for your course. Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by U.S. law. Y our name will not be recorded anywhere and only the researchers will have access to the audio files. A fictitious name will be used to present your data. Your name will not be used in any report. Voluntary participation: Your participation in this study i s completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: Shelby Oesterreicher Email: Phone: Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study: IRB02 Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 2250; phone 392 0433. Agreement: I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure and I have received a copy of this description. Participant: ___________ _________________________ Date: _________________ Principal Investigator: ____ ________________________ Date: _________________

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98 APPENDIX B RECR UITMENT SCRIPT Hello, my name is Shelby Oesterreicher. I am a graduate student in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication here at the University of Florida. For my thesis, I will be conducting research on millennials perceptions of the F lorida beef industry and communication related to it. I am here today to ask you to participate in focus groups I will be conducting concerning your opinions on the topic of Florida beef. Gift cards and extra credit will be provided to those who particip ate in one of the three focus groups. Your options for participation are: Tuesday, July 25 th Wednesday, July 26 th or Thursday, July 27 th These focus groups will last no longer than 2 hours. You can only participate in one of the three focus groups. H ere is a link to sign up to participate in the focus groups. Hand them a piece of paper with the link that looks like this: Beef Focus Group Sign Up Link: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e094eaba729a4fd0 beef In the near future, you will also receive an email with the link to sign up. Please sign up as soon as possible so we can be sure to have enough gift cards for the participants. You will have until Friday, July 21 st at 5pm to sign up. Thank you for you r time and I appreciate your attention.

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99 APPENDIX C RECRUITMENT EMAIL To whom it may concern, I recently spoke with your class regarding your participation in a research focus group concerning your opinions on the Florida beef industry. The questions asked will relate to your experience with the beef and communication material related to the indust ry. The focus groups will last approximately 2 hours and will be audio and video recorded. You have three options to participate in this study. Your options are: Tuesday, July 25 th Wednesday, July 26 th Thursday, July 27 th Each focus group will be conduct ed from 10 AM to 12 PM in Bryant Hall 107. You may not participate in more than one focus group. Below you will find a link to sign up for a day slot. You have until Friday, July 21 st to sign up for one of the afore mentioned focus groups. As I previously stated, you will receive a gift card and extra credit for your participation. Your participation would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, please contact me, Shelby Oesterreicher, via email or phone. http://www.signupgeniu s.com/go/30e094eaba729a4fd0 beef Sincerely, Shelby Oesterreicher

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100 APPENDIX D MODERATOR GUIDE AND QUESTIONING ROUTE WELCOME/GROUP PROCESS & PURPOSE (5 minutes) Moderator reads : Hello and welcome to our focus group session. Thank you for taking time to join our discussion today. My name is Shelby and I will be moderating this session. This is Dr. Lisa Lundy and she is my assistant moderator. This is Brittani Kirkland and she will be a note taker and observer today. You have been invited here today becau se we are interested in having a general discussion with you about Florida produced beef We are very interested in knowing what you think about locally produced beef on. Please feel free to share your point of view even if it differs from what others have said. Sometimes there is a tendency in these discussions for some people to talk a lot and some people not to say much. But it is important for us to hear from each of you today because you have different experiences. So if one of you is sharing a lot, I may ask you to let others We welcome all opinions and will keep them confidential, so please feel free to say what you think. Additionally, we encourage you all to keep this discussion confiden tial. However, we cannot guarantee that you all will do so. There is no particular order for the resp onses, and there are no correct or incorrect answers to any of the questions. This session will be recorded so that we are able to consider your views lat er. For the sake of clarity, please speak one at a time and be sure to speak loudly and clearly so that our recorders can pick up your comments. You can see that we have placed name tags on the table in front of you. That is because we will be on a fir st name basis, but in our later reports there will not be any names attached to comments. You may be assured of confidentiality. Our session will last about two hours and we will ta ke a break half way through. If you have your cell phone with you, we would appreciate it if you could turn it off while we are in the discussion. I hope that everyone will feel comfortable with the process, and will feel free to share their opinions as we proceed. If you did not fill out a waiver when you arrived, please s ee Dr. Lundy and complete this form before we begin our discussion. Are there any questions before we begin? ICEBREAKER/GROUP INTRODUCTIONS (5 minutes) name and a little about you including your major

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101 DISCUSSION SESSION (10 minutes) GENERAL To begin our discussion today, I would like you to describe what you know about beef. Think back to the last time you bought beef, whether that be at a grocery store, restaurant, or other venue, describe your experience purchasing beef. Tell me about your personal consumption of beef. What do you know about the beef cattle industry? o Descri be any personal experience you have had with the beef cattle industry? If you know someone who works in the beef industry or owns beef cattle, describe your relationship with them. Describe any interactions you may have had with beef cattle, perhaps throug h 4 H, FFA, or other youth programs. FLORIDA (10 minutes) Please describe what you know about cows raised in Florida. Please describe what you know about Florida cattle ranches. Describe what you know about Florida ranchers, in other words people who rais e cattle for a living. Describe what you know about the Florida cattle industry. Describe what you know about beef raised in Florida, more specifically the meat product. Probing Questions: Please describe how you formed that opinion. Please describe why yo u think that. Can you tell me why you think that? Please describe how you came to that conclusion. Can you tell me how you came to that conclusion? RELATIONSHIP (20 minutes) I am going to ask you to think about beef cattle production, which is the process of raising cattle in relation to a series of topics and describe what you think. Describe your thoughts ab out the relationship between beef cattle production and the environment. Describe your thoughts about the relationship between beef cattle production and land conservation. Describe your thoughts about the relationship between beef cattle production and water quality and quantity. Describe your thoughts about the relationship between beef cattle production and wildlife. Describe your t houghts about the relationship between beef cattle production and the rancher. Describe your thoughts about the relationship between beef cattle production and the care of animals.

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102 Of the topics we have discussed describe any influence these topics have on your decision to purchase beef. I am going to ask you to think about beef, the meat, in relation to a series of topics and describe what you think. Describe your thoughts about the relationship between beef, the meat and the rancher. Describe your thought s about the relationship between beef, the meat and the care of animals. Describe your thoughts about the relationship between beef the meat and food safety. Describe your thoughts about the relationship between beef, the meat and cost. Describe your th oughts about the relationship between beef the meat and health. Of the topics we have discussed, describe any influence these topics have on your decision to purchase beef. BREAK (10 min) COMMUNICATION PIECES (40 min) We will be looking at communication pieces intended to be shared with consumers and developed by the Florida Cattle Ranchers, an entity that sells Florida beef products. After am of thoughts that comes to mind as you view each piece of material. These are the thoughts that instantly come to mind; no prior experience is necessary for this process. Between each of the pieces, we will discuss your thought listings. Use this questio n to guide your thoughts: What are your responses to the content of the media? What are your responses to the design of the media? What are your responses to what you heard or saw? o Video You would find this on social media as an informational piece. o Webs ite You would find this on the internet for informational purposes. o Social Media (Facebook & Instagram) Informational and promotional platforms. o Logo/tagline This would be found on any FCR product and promotional material. o Recipe Card This would be found on social media and in store near the product. o Blog This would be found on the Website and shared on social media. o Rack Card This would be found in story near the product as well as at promotional events. QUESTIONS (10 min) What further information do you need to know about this organization or product in order to make a decision of whether or not to purchase their beef product? Concluding Questions (10 min) the Florida beef cattle industry ?

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103 If you had 15 seconds to talk to the organization of the Florida Cattle Ranchers, what recommendations would you give them to promote and increase sales of Florida beef? Concluding Discussion (10 min) Thank you for taking time out of your day to share your opinions. Now that we have finished, I can now tell you I am a part of the Agricultural Education and Communication Department here at the University of Florida. This research is being conducted for m y thesis regarding Florida the Florida Cattle Ranchers. Your participation is greatly appreciated and has provided valuable insight into this topic.

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104 APPEND IX E DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION Demographic Information 1. What is your age? __ ______________________________________________________________________ 2. ________________________________________________________________________ 3. What is your gender? ________________________________________________________________________ 4. What is your major? _______________________________________________________________ _________

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105 APPENDIX F FCR MATERIAL FCR Video Screen Capture FCR Website Homepage Screen Capture and Link

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106 FCR Social Media Screen Capture s and Links https://www.facebook.com/Floridacattleranchers/

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107 https://www.instagram.com/flcattleranchers/ FCR Logos

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108

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109

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110 FCR Recipe Card

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1 11 FCR Blog

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112 FCR Rack Card

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113 LIST OF REFERENCES Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1977). Attitude behavior relations: A theoretical analysis and review of empirical research. Psychological Bulletin 84 888 918. doi:10.1037//0033 2909.84.5.888 Allport, G. W. (1935). Attitudes. In C. Murchinson (Ed.), A handbo ok in social psychology (pp. 798 844). Worcester, MA: Clark University Press. Ary, D., Jacobs, L. C., Sorensen, C., & Walker, D. A. (2014). Introduction to research in education (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. Becot, F., D. Conne r, A. N elson, E. Buckwalter, & Demand for Locally Grown Food in Vermont: Marketing Implication for Producers Journal of Food Distribution Research 45 (2): 99 117. Beef Board. (2015). 2016 2020 Beef industry lon g range plan final report [Pamphlet]. Retrieved from https://www.beefboard.org/blog/2015 Summer Conferenc e/2016 2020 Beef Industry LRP Final Report for printing.pdf Beef Checkoff. 2014. Millennial Perceptions of Beef Production. Available: http://www.beefresearch.org/CMDocs/BeefResearch/BIQ/Millennial Perceptions of% 20Beef Production 1.pdf Beef Cow Calf Production Ag Alternatives Penn State Extension. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://extension.psu.edu/business/ag alternatives/livestock/beef and dairy cattle/beef cow calf production Beef Industry Statistics Beef USA. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.beefusa.org/beefindustrystatistics.aspx Bem, D. J. (1964). Self perception theory. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (pp. 1 62). New York, NY: Academic Press. Bond, C. A., Thilmany, D., & Bond, J. K. (2008). Understanding consumer interest in product and process based attributes for fresh produce. Agribusiness, 24 (2), 231 252. DOI: 10.1002/agr.20157 Boundless. ( 2016 ). "Ranchers, Cowboys, and Cattle." Boundless U.S. History. Retrieved from https://www.boundless.com/u s h istory/textbooks/boundless u s history textbook/the gilded age 1870 1900 20/the transformation of the west 149/ranchers cowboys and cattle 790 9708/ Bump, P. (2014). Here is when each generation begins and ends, according to facts. The Atlantic Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/03/here is when each generation begins and ends according to facts/359589/

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114 Carpio, C. E. & Isengildina Massa, O. (2009). Consumer willingness to pay for locally grown products: the case of South Carolina. Agribusiness, 25, 412 426. doi:10.1002/agr.20210 Understanding your beef checkoff program [pamphlet]. Retrieved from http://www.beefboard.org/producer/CBBFinalUnderstandingBrochure.pdf Chambers, S., A. Lobb, L. Butler, K. Harvey, & W. B. Traill Appetite 49 (1): 208 213. Chong, D., & Druckman J. N. (2007). Framing Theory. Annual Review of Political Science, 10 (1), 103 126. doi:10.1146/annurev.polisci.10.072805.103054 Conner, D., K. Colasanti, R. B. Ross, & S. B. Smalley. 2010. Locally Grown Foods and Farmers Markets: C onsumer Attitudes and Behaviors Sustainability 2 : 742 756. Conaway, L. & Goodwin, J.N. (2013). Specialty crop block grant synthesis report Retrieved from http://www.piecenter.com/wp content/uploads/2014/05/Local Choice Synthesis Report_FINAL.pdf Considine, D., Horton, J., Moorman, G. (2009). Teaching an d reaching the millennial generation through media literacy. Journal of Adol escent and Adult Literacy 52(6), 471 481. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1598/JAAL.52.6.2/epdf Da niel, C. R., Cross, A. J., Koebnick, C., & Sinha, R. (2011). Trends in meat consumption in the United States. Public Health Nutrition 14 (4), 575 583. http://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980010002077 Dimitri C., Effland, A., & Conklin, N. (2005). The 20th century transformation of U.S. agriculture and farm policy. United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service Economic Research Service, Economic Information Bulletin Number 3. Retrieved fro m https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/44197/13566_eib3_1_.pdf?v=41 055 Fazio, R. H., & Zanna, M. P. (1981). Direct experience and attitude behavior consistency. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 14 162 202. doi:10.1177/014616727800400109 Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: A n introduction to theory and research Reading, MA: Addison Wesley Pub. Co. Flick, U. (2009). An introduction to qualitative research London, UK: Sage Publications. Florida Beef Council. Florida Beef Production Florida Beef Council. (2017). Retrieved fr om http://floridabeefcouncil.org/cattleinflorida.aspx

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115 Florida Center for Instructional Technology. (2002). Cattle and cowboys in Florida Retrieved from https://fcit.usf.edu/florida/lessons/cowboys/cowboys.htm Florida Cattle Ranchers, LLC. About Florida Cattle Ranchers (2016). Retrieved from http://floridacatt leranchers.com/about 2/ Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. (2012). Industry [pamphlet]. Retrieved from https://www.freshfromf lorida.com/content/download/17161/272486/P 00044.pdf The Florida Legislature. (2017). Statutes & Constitution: View Statutes: Online Sunshine. Retrieved from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL= 0500 0599/0588/0588.html Food Marketing Institute and American Meat Inst itute (FMI and AMI). 2010. The power of m eat: An in Institute and American Meat Institute. Arlington, VA. Frewer, L. J., Howard, C., Hedderley, D., & Shepherd, R. (1997). The elaboration li kelihood model and communication about food risks. Risk Analysis, 17 (6), 759 770. doi: 10.1111/j.1539 6924.1997.tb01281.x Geographical indication for US products. The Jo urnal of World Intellectual Property 13(2), 94 120. Doi: 10.111/j.1747 1796.2009.00370.x Hais, M., & Winograd, M. (2011). Put Millennials first. The Huffington Post Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael hais and morley winograd/put millennials first_b_856082.html Harsh, B., & VanOverbeke, D. 2014. Retail and food service marketing trends for beef Retrieved from http://www.cabpartners.com/articles/news/2782/Retail and Foodservice Marketing Trends for Beef_Final %282%29.pdf Hodges, A. W., & T. J. Stevens. 2013. Local Food Systems in Florida: Consumer Characteristics and Economic Impacts Unpublished manuscript, Food and Resource Economics Department, University of Florida. ions to buy local food: An exploration of the theory of planned behavior and media channel perceptions. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from University of Florida Institutional Repository. (Access No. LD17802014). Holt, J.A., & Rumble, J. N. (2014). Fl media channels. PIE2013/14 3a. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education.

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116 Horovitz, B. (2012, May 4). After gen X, millennials, what should next generation be? USA Today R etrieved from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/advertising/story/2012 05 03/naming the next generation/54737518 /1?loc=interstitialskip Howlett, E. A., Burton, S., Newman, C. L., Faupel, M. A. (2012). The positive influence consumption American Journal of Health Promotion 27(1) 17 20 Hurt, R. D. (2002). Agriculture: A Brief History revised edition [Google Play version]. Retrieved from https://play.google.com/books/reader ?printsec=frontcover&output=reader&id=h2 wCj5DsRCAC&pg=GBS.PP1 Jefferson Moore, K. Y. R. D. Robbins, D. Johnson, & J. Bradford. 2014. Consumer Preference for Local F ood Products in North Carolina. Journal of Food Distribution Research 45(1) 41 46. Jekanow purchase locally produced agricultural products: an analysis of an Indiana survey. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 29 (01), 43 53. doi:10.1017/s1068280500001428 Kaufm an, S., Elliott M. & Shmueli D (2003) Frames, framing and reframing Beyond Intractability Eds. Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess. Conflict Information Consortium, University of Colorado, Boulder. Posted: September 2003. Retrieved from http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/framing. Killian, T., Hennings, N., Langner, S., (2012). Do millennials read books or blogs? A media usage typology. Journal of Consumer Marketing 29 (2 ), 114 124. Retrieved from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/07363761211206366 Lange, P. A., Kruglanski, A. W., & Higgins, E. T. (2012). Handbook of theor ies of social psychology (1 & 2) Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=SePipgh2z7kC&oi=fnd&pg=PA37 7&dq=cognitive+dissonance+theory&ots=_MnspmL_wL&sig=D5GzMjFVsO0ZtTf B5wA9NHlnVSE v=onepage&q=cognitive dissonance theory&f=false Lovelace, K. B. (2016). Factors affect labeling. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1803936542/abstract/B8951C34D44748E2P Q/1?accountid=10920 Lundy, L. K. (2004). Globally speaking: The effect of internal message frames on attitudes and cognitive processing focused on internationalizing agricultural extension within the elaboration likelihood model (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ETD Theses and Dissertations. ( http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/UFE0005423 ).

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121 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Shelby Lynn Oesterreicher lived in Bartow, Florida until she moved to Gaines ville to pursue a degree at the University of Florida. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural education and communication from the University of Florida in May 2016. This thesis is the culmination of her Master of Science degree in agricultural education and communication at the University of Florida. In December 2017, she will join the agricultural community as a communicator.