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  • Real Pork Trust Consortium

Educating About Sustainable Food Production: What Farmers Want to Know


Farmers discussing how to implement sustainable food production.
Farmers want to be educated about sustainable food production, and not just from a financial standpoint. Photo: National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa.

Dr. Alexa Lamm, a Professor of Science Communication at the University of Georgia, was part of the research team that sought to understand what farmers want to know about sustainable food production so programs could serve farmers better. The research findings from this peer-reviewed study are detailed below.


Major Finding

Sustainability is defined differently within the farming community, but farmers overall want to learn how to be more sustainable. Farmers desire to learn more about how using sustainable practices will impact them financially but are also interested in learning more about many other aspects of adopting sustainable practices.


Farmers want to be educated on how to address food waste, the policies impacting sustainable food production, how to communicate with decision-makers about the ways they grow crops or raise livestock for food, and how their sustainability choices will impact the people within their communities. Changes in agricultural production methods impact communities so considering the social changes that occur alongside economic shifts and environmental changes is important.

 

Why It Matters

Farmers care a lot about the communities they live, work within, and support. They also balance multiple considerations, including financial and production impact, when it comes to making choices about sustainable farming practices.

 

How the Research Was Conducted

Nine hundred ninety-two farmers in the Western United States completed a survey. Farmers were asked to identify gaps in educational programs related to sustainable food production. Specifically, they were asked to identify which aspects of sustainability "should be addressed" versus what was "being addressed" by educational programs.

 

Learn More

To learn more about farmers' desire to learn about sustainability and how it could impact the food you eat, read the full peer-reviewed research article.


What Farmers Want to Know about Sustainability_Lamm_approved
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