Farmer decision-making in a changing world: Probing the complexities of farmer action for more sustainable and just food systems - I

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Rural Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM (MDT)
Room: Balcony M, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Organizers: Russell Hedberg, Megan Baumann
Chairs: Megan Baumann


The role of the farmer is increasingly seen as a crucial component of many sustainability goals including food security/sovereignty, adaptation to climate change, agricultural sustainability, and the resilience of rural communities. This trend is evidenced by the expansion of participatory and qualitative approaches to the study of farmer decision making in recent years.

Despite the proliferation of research, the heterogeneity of farmer decision-making continues to resist formal conceptualization. Geographers have made important contributions to understandings of farmer decision-making by examining the role of structural forces, gendered social relations, farmer knowledge, and social-ecological interactions in the decision-making process. Frameworks and concepts from political ecology, science and technology studies, and feminist methodologies (among others) offer great promise for probing the interstices of farmer decision-making. Ultimately it is the confluence of seen and unseen factors that influence farmer action and the success efforts to build more sustainable and socially just systems of food production and provision.

These sessions capture the breadth of approaches and understandings of farmer decision-making and their implications for the development of sustainable food futures. Topics include, but are certainly not limited to: The role of farmer social networks in decision-making; Traditional knowledge and the decision-making process; Social-ecological relations and decision-making; Formal and informal seed systems and crop production; Farmer experimentation; The role of the state and NGOs in farmer decision making; The influence of agritechnologies and scientific knowledge production; Farmer experience and perception of climate change; and Critical considerations of scale and decision-making.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Russell Hedberg*, Pennsylvania State University, Karl S Zimmerer, Pennsylvania State University, Querying social-ecological embeddedness: Farmers' market social relations and environmental farming practices in the New York City region 20 1:20 PM
Presenter Rocio Lalanda*, University of South Florida, Understanding Agricultural-Land Conservation from the Perspective of Rural Landowners in Franklin County, Massachusetts 20 1:40 PM
Presenter Anna Versluis*, Gustavus Adolphus College, Annika Ericksen, Gustavus Adolphus College, Discourses on the Farm Amidst Contested Goals in Agriculture 20 2:00 PM
Presenter Alanna K Higgins*, West Virginia University, Bradley R Wilson, West Virginia University, Jed M DeBruin, West Virginia University, Thomson Gross, West Virginia University, Scale Dilemmas in Food System Development: Specialty Crop Farmer Decisions and the Appalachian Transition in West Virginia 20 2:20 PM
Presenter Sara Epp*, University of Guelph, Migrating Mennonites: Understanding the motivations of new Anabaptist farmers in northern Ontario and the impacts of traditional farming knowledge on food security 20 2:40 PM

To access contact information login