Abstract The development of large-scale livestock facilities has become a controversial issue in many regions of the U.S in recent years. In this research, rural-urban differences in familiarity and concern about large-scale livestock facilities among Ohioans is examined as well as the relationship of social distance from agriculture and trust in risk managers to concern about large-scale livestock facilities. Findings from a survey of Ohio residents reveal few differences between rural and urban Ohioans, although country, nonfarm residents were more likely than others to be aware of the issues. Greater trust of farmers was found to be related to lower levels of livestock concern. Environmental concern was strongly related to overall concern about large-scale livestock development, while perceptions of economic benefits of livestock production were associated with lower overall concern. In general, the findings contribute to improved understanding of the increasingly complex relationship between farming and the social setting within which it occurs.