Reconstructing the Good Farmer Identity


Presentation by Jean McGuire based on research by Lois Wright Morton and Jean McGuire Department of Sociology, Iowa State University THURSDAY 27 October, 3:40-5:00 310 Carver Conference Room

Many U.S. farmers do not recognize how their management decisions affect water quality and therefore are not taking action to address the impacts their practices have had, and continue to have, on surface water, and groundwater degradation. A group of farmers in northeast Iowa have demonstrated that it is possible to address water and soil quality issues while maintaining efficiency and profitability. We apply two feedback models, identity control and performance-based environmental management, to show the processes whereby these farmers came to recognize the environmental impacts of their farm practices on the surface and ground water in their watershed and then adopted practices to reduce the pollutants leaving their farms. The next phase of the development of the Good Farmer concept is being tested in two USDA-funded climate change adaptation and mitigation research projects currently underway in the United States Corn Belt.