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The multi-dimensional nature of environmental attitudes among farmers in Indiana: implications for conservation adoption

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Author Info

  • Adam Reimer

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  • Aaron Thompson
  • Linda Prokopy
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    Abstract

    Attempts to understand farmer conservation behavior based on quantitative socio-demographic, attitude, and awareness variables have been largely inconclusive. In order to understand fully how farmers are making conservation decisions, 32 in-depth interviews were conducted in the Eagle Creek watershed in central Indiana. Coding for environmental attitudes and practice adoption revealed several dominant themes, representing multi-dimensional aspects of environmental attitudes. Farmers who were motivated by off-farm environmental benefits and those who identified responsibilities to others (stewardship) were most likely to adopt conservation practices. Those farmers who focused on the farm as business and were most concerned about profitability were less likely to adopt practices. The notion of environmental stewardship in particular was found to be much more complex than the way it is traditionally measured in quantitative studies. The interplay between on-farm and off-farm benefits to practice adoption is an issue that quantitative studies largely do not address. This study seeks to increase understanding of farmers’ environmental attitudes and the connections to conservation behavior. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10460-011-9308-z
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 29-40

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:29:y:2012:i:1:p:29-40

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    Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10460

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    Web: http://link.springer.de/orders.htm

    Related research

    Keywords: Environmental attitudes; Conservation practice; BMP; Adoption; Stewardship; On-farm benefits; Off-farm benefits;

    References

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    1. John Fairweather & Hugh Campbell, 2003. "Environmental beliefs and farm practices of New Zealand farmers Contrasting pathways to sustainability," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 287-300, September.
    2. Maybery, Darryl & Crase, Lin & Gullifer, Chris, 2005. "Categorising farming values as economic, conservation and lifestyle," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 59-72, February.
    3. Knowler, Duncan & Bradshaw, Ben, 2007. "Farmers' adoption of conservation agriculture: A review and synthesis of recent research," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 25-48, February.
    4. Namatié Traoré & Réjean Landry & Nabil Amara, 1998. "On-Farm Adoption of Conservation Practices: The Role of Farm and Farmer Characteristics, Perceptions, and Health Hazards," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(1), pages 114-127.
    5. Ben B. Davies & Ian D. Hodge, 2006. "Farmers' Preferences for New Environmental Policy Instruments: Determining the Acceptability of Cross Compliance for Biodiversity Benefits," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 393-414.
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    Cited by:
    1. Jean McGuire & Lois Morton & Alicia Cast, 2013. "Reconstructing the good farmer identity: shifts in farmer identities and farm management practices to improve water quality," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 57-69, March.

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