Date of Award

5-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Agricultural and Resource Economics

Major Professor

Jada M. Thompson

Committee Members

David G. White, Burton C. English

Abstract

Effective livestock disease management is a fundamental necessity for producers to provide and the government to guarantee a safe and secure food supply for consumers. It is the responsibility of both parties to ensure that the industry is appropriately protected from Foreign Animal Diseases (FADs). Producers, consumers, communities, businesses, and the environment can all suffer when an FAD outbreak occurs. To what extent an outbreak can be damaging depends greatly on the level of biosecurity producers have in place and the livestock disease management procedures government officials have created. Currently in the United States, more work can be done on both sides. This study looks at what producers are currently doing in regard to disease prevention on their operations, what they prefer, and what they are willing to improve upon.Livestock producers were surveyed, and their responses were analyzed in efforts to answer two separate questions: What are poultry producers’ willingness to pay (WTP) to adopt on-farm carcass disposal capabilities, and what indemnity policy do feedlot operators prefer. Preventative biosecurity at the farm level is covered thoroughly throughout the literature, however, a minimal amount of research has been conducted on producers’ preferences and decision-making processes post-FAD outbreak, which is the focus of this work. Individual operation characteristics provided additional factors for the econometric analysis of each study. A one and one-half bound dichotomous choice question allowed an interval regression model to be estimated for poultry producers WTP for on-farm carcass disposal showing poultry producers were willing to pay $15,651 on average (one-time payment). Producers ranked four different indemnity policies in order of preference, which allowed a ranked-order probit model to estimate what policies are preferred by feedlot operators and the factors contributing to that policy. In general, livestock insurance with government subsidized premiums was the second-best choice behind status quo policy potentially providing a next best option in terms of producer preferences. By analyzing this type of producer information, policy writers and industry leaders can create new policies that both encourage early disease reporting and incentivize greater biosecurity implementation, which will reduce the effects of FAD outbreaks when they occur.

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