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ERIC Number: EJ948908
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0743-0167
Farming without a Recipe: Wisconsin Graziers and New Directions for Agricultural Science
Lyon, Alexandra; Bell, Michael M.; Gratton, Claudio; Jackson, Randall
Journal of Rural Studies, v27 n4 p384-393 Oct 2011
From 2005 through 2008, we undertook a participatory research project involving graziers from 8 farms in Southern Wisconsin, all of whom practice management intensive grazing. We used semi-structured interviews and participant observation during research and field days to investigate graziers' engagement with university research. Grazing farms demonstrate rich variability and individuality as a result of their position within a number of biophysical and social contexts. Graziers emphasized the importance of finding ways to work with the variables of their specific context, rather than trying to control that variability. This effort entails the development and use of local knowledge, as graziers respond to the idiosyncrasies of their farms. It also leads graziers to reject mainstream agricultural research that has produced formulas for agricultural uniformity. The picture of grazing that emerged from our interviews leads us to propose the search for "agroecological principles" and "agroecological tools," embedded in context, as an alternative to conventional research. We argue that this proposal speaks to the greater conundrum of how to relate the general knowledge of science to the place-specific, experience-based knowledge of grass-based farmers.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin