Trust in Food

Report Provides New Farmer Insights on Farm-Level Data Collection and Sharing in 2021

Trust In Food and The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) provide actionable data on the complex relationship among farmers, their operations’ production data and conservation.

Lenexa, Kan., (May 10, 2021) Several challenges prevent farmers from collecting and sharing data on their production practices, but there is ample opportunity to empower farmer’s digital transition, according to new research from Farm Journal‘s initiative, Trust In Food, and The Sustainability Consortium (TSC).

Farm-level production data plays a critical role in conservation and sustainability efforts for food, fuel and fiber supply chains. Despite this importance, according to previous TSC research, only 8% of food and beverage companies who could report data said they have visibility into on-farm practices.

To close the gap, Trust In Food and TSC surveyed American farmers on their perceptions of data collection and sharing. The resulting report, “Farmer Perspectives On Data,” highlights insights from nearly more than 600 farmers in 42 states.

Key findings include:

  • There is a significant digital gap.
    • More than half of all respondents (62%) said they do not rely on farm management information systems (FMIS)  exclusively. Almost a third of respondents (28%) said their primary data storage method is paper or another non-digitized method. Of those that do not use digital, only half have considered transitioning to digital.
  • Trust issues are significant, but lenders are the most trusted data holders.
    • 73% of respondents do not trust private companies with their data, and 58% do not trust the government with it; conversely, 71% do trust their financial institutions with data.
  • Satisfaction with FMIS outputs is mediocre.  
    • Less than half of all respondents who use FMIS (47%) report being entirely satisfied with its outputs.

“The future of agriculture is connected,” said Amy Skoczlas Cole, executive vice president, Trust In Food. “Everything from profitability to sustainability depends on a digital transformation. However, our research continues to reveal disconnects between farmers and digital data. The insights in this report provide a road map for accelerating the integration of digital tools in ways that put farmers first.”

“These findings can empower digital ag and food companies, retailers and financial institutions to understand and support farmers in their digital data transition,” said Teresa Garcia-Moore, technical development manager of Food, Beverage and Agriculture, The Sustainability Consortium. “The digital transition will be essential to unlock sustainability opportunities throughout the supply chain, and TSC is committed to supporting our members and partners in their journey to continuous improvement and sustainability.”

View the full report or for more information contact Drew Slattery at or Erika Ferrin at

About Farm Journal

Farm Journal is the nation’s leading business information and media company serving the agricultural market. Started 145 years ago with the preeminent Farm Journal magazine, the company serves the row crop, livestock, produce and retail sectors through branded websites, eNewsletters and phone apps; business magazines; live events including conferences, seminars and tradeshows; nationally broadcasted television and radio programs; a robust mobile-text-marketing business and an array of data-driven, paid information products. Farm Journal also is the majority shareholder of the online equipment marketplace, Machinery Pete LLC. In 2010, the company established the non-profit, public charity, Farm Journal Foundation, dedicated to sustaining agriculture’s ability to meet the vital needs of a growing population through education and empowerment.

About Trust In Food

Trust In Food is a purpose-driven division of Farm Journal dedicated to mainstreaming and accelerating the transition to more sustainable and regenerative ag practices, making every dollar invested in conservation agriculture more impactful. We bring business intelligence to agricultural production behavior change: helping farmers understand, want and feel capable of undertaking practice change through data science, social research and strategic communications deployed through the omnichannel Farm Journal platform in collaboration with our partners. Visit to learn more.

For more information regarding this or other information, please visit our contact us page.

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