Food animal welfare has become a contentious issue, pitting agricultural producers against an array of animal advocacy groups. The stakes in this debate are large both economically and culturally. Extension is likely to find itself squarely in the middle as it attempts to reconcile decades of research aimed at increased productivity with initiatives demanding changes in well-established production practices. Extension's reputation as a source of unbiased, research-based information will depend in part upon personal opinions that faculty bring to the debate. A survey of Iowa and Nebraska Extension faculty demonstrates that variation in opinion with implications for educational efforts.

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