Presentation Abstract

Understanding why producers adopt best management practices (BMPs) is vital to protecting waterbodies such as the Salish Sea. While the economic bottom line is important to agricultural producers, they also make decisions through a socio-cultural lens influenced by their world-views and psychological biases. This presentation provides insights into economic, and non-economic motivations underling farming practices in British Columbia. We conducted 166 surveys and 30 on-farm interviews with agricultural producers across British Columbia (BC) as part of an assessment of BC’s Environmental Farm Plan program. The survey results find diverse motivations for farming. Non-economic motivations including lifestyle, reputation, and stewardship of the land, can be more important to producers than economic motivations. Given our interest in BMPs and stewardship, we sought to understand producers’ relationships with nature. We used a newly developed set of questions, known as the ‘relational values scale’, to measure dimensions of producers’ relationship with nature, including their responsibility to the land and their kinship with plants and animals. We find that relational values and motivations explain the variance in past adoption and future willingness to adopt BMPs. Also, producers’ motivations and values influence their participation and beliefs regarding incentive programs. By accounting for the diversity of ways producers are motivated by and value nature, incentive programs can better enable the widespread adoption of BMPs.

Session Title

Understanding What Matters to Agricultural Poducers

Keywords

Beneficial management practices, motivations, Challenges, Solutions

Conference Track

SSE2: Collaboration and Engagement

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE2-10

Start Date

5-4-2018 1:30 PM

End Date

5-4-2018 1:45 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 1:30 PM Apr 5th, 1:45 PM

Farmers' relationship with nature: how and why it matters

Understanding why producers adopt best management practices (BMPs) is vital to protecting waterbodies such as the Salish Sea. While the economic bottom line is important to agricultural producers, they also make decisions through a socio-cultural lens influenced by their world-views and psychological biases. This presentation provides insights into economic, and non-economic motivations underling farming practices in British Columbia. We conducted 166 surveys and 30 on-farm interviews with agricultural producers across British Columbia (BC) as part of an assessment of BC’s Environmental Farm Plan program. The survey results find diverse motivations for farming. Non-economic motivations including lifestyle, reputation, and stewardship of the land, can be more important to producers than economic motivations. Given our interest in BMPs and stewardship, we sought to understand producers’ relationships with nature. We used a newly developed set of questions, known as the ‘relational values scale’, to measure dimensions of producers’ relationship with nature, including their responsibility to the land and their kinship with plants and animals. We find that relational values and motivations explain the variance in past adoption and future willingness to adopt BMPs. Also, producers’ motivations and values influence their participation and beliefs regarding incentive programs. By accounting for the diversity of ways producers are motivated by and value nature, incentive programs can better enable the widespread adoption of BMPs.