Farmers’ attitudes about farming and the environment: A survey of conventional and organic farmers
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Farmers have been characterized as people whose ties to the land have given them a deep awareness of natural cycles, appreciation for natural beauty and sense of responsibility as stewards. At the same time, their relationship to the land has been characterized as more utilitarian than that of others who are less directly dependent on its bounty. This paper explores this tension by comparing the attitudes and beliefs of a group of conventional farmers to those of a group of organic farmers. It was found that while both groups reject the idea that a farmer’s role is to conquer nature, organic farmers were significantly more supportive of the notion that humans should live in harmony with nature. Organic farmers also reported a greater awareness of and appreciation for nature in their relationship with the land. Both groups view independence as a main benefit of farming and a lack of financial reward as its main drawback. Overall, conventional farmers report more stress in their lives although they also view themselves in a caretaker role for the land more than do the organic farmers. In contrast, organic farmers report more satisfaction with their lives, a greater concern for living ethically, and a stronger perception of community. Finally, both groups are willing to have their rights limited (organic farmers somewhat more so) but they do not trust the government to do so.
- Anderson, Molly. 1990. Farming with Reduced Synthetic Chemicals in North Carolina.American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 5(2): 60–68.
- Arcury, Thomas A., Timothy P. Johnson, and Susan J. Scollay. 1986. Ecological Worldview and Environmental Knowledge: The “New Environmental Paradigm.”Journal of Environmental Education 17: 35–40.
- Beus, Curtis E., and Riley E. Dunlap. 1990. Conventional Versus Alternative Agriculture: The Paradigmatic Roots of the Debate.Rural Sociology 55(4): 590–616.
- ——. 1991. Measuring Adherence to Alternative Vs. Conventional Agricultural Paradigms: A Proposed Scale.Rural Sociology 56(3): 432–460.
- Bultena, Gordon, Eric Hoiberg, Don Albrecht, and Peter Nowak. 1982. Land Use Planning: A Study of Farm and City Perspectives.Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 37(6): 341–344.
- Bultena, Gordon, Peter Nowak, Eric Hoiberg, and Don Albrecht. 1981. Farmers’ Attitudes toward Land Use Planning.Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 36(1): 37–41.
- Buttel, Frederick H., and William L. Flinn. 1974. The Structure of Support for the Environmental Movement, 1968–1970.Rural Sociology 39: 56–69.
- ——. 1978 Economic Growth Versus the Environment: Survey Evidence.Social Science Quarterly 57(September): 410–420.
- Buttel, Frederick H., and Gilbert W. Gillespie, Jr. 1988. Preferences for rop Production Practices among Conventional and Alternative Farmers.Journal of Alternative Agriculture 3: 11–17. CrossRef
- Buttel, Frederick H., Gilbert W. Gillespie, Jr., Oscar W. Larson III, and Craig K. Harris. 1981. The Social Bases of Agrarian Environmentalism: A Comparative Analysis of New York and Michigan Farm Operators.Rural Sociology 46(3): 391–410.
- Callicott, J. Baird. 1987. The Scientific Substance of the Land Ethic. InAldo Leopold: The Man and His Legacy, edited by Thomas Tanner, pp. 87–106. Ankeny, IA: IA: Soil Conservation Society of America.
- Carr, Susan, and Joyce Tait. 1991. Differences in the Attitudes of Farmers and Conservationists and their Implications.Journal of Environmental Management 32: 281–294. CrossRef
- Constance, Douglass H., Jere L. Gilles, and William D. Heffernan. 1990. Agrarian Policies and Agricultural Systems in the United States. InAgrarian Policies and Agricultural Systems, edited by Alessandro Bonanno, pp. 9–75. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
- Crevecoeur, J. Hector St. John. 1904 .Letters from an American Farmer. New York: Fox, Duffield & Company.
- Cronbach, L.J. 1951. Coefficient Alpha and the Internal Structure of Tests.Psychometrika 16: 297–335. CrossRef
- Crosson, Pierre. 1982. Diverging Interests in Soil Conservation and Water Quality: Society vs. the Farmer. InPerceptions, Attitudes and Risk: Overlooked Variables in Formulating Public Policy on Soil Conservation and Water Quality. Washington, DC: Economic Research Service. (February).
- Esseks, J. Dixon, Steven E. Kraft, and Lucy K. Vinis. 1990.Agriculture and the Environment: A Study of Farmers’ Practices and Perceptions. Washington, DC: The American Farmland Trust.
- Flader, Susan. 1987. Aldo Leopold and the evolution of a land ethic. InAldo Leopold: The Man and His Legacy, edited by Thomas Tanner, pp. 3–24. Ankeny, IA: Soil Conservation Society of America.
- Hall, Trish. 1992. In 90’s Cuisine, the Farmer is the Star.The New York Times. (July 8), p. C1.
- Hargrove, C. Eugene, and J. Baird Callicott. 1990. Leopold’s “Means and Ends in Wildlife Management”: A Brief Commentary.Environmental Ethics 12: 333–337.
- Harris, Craig K., Sharon E. Powers, and Frederick H. Buttel. 1980. Myth and Reality in Organic Farming: A Profile of Conventional and Organic Farmers in Michigan.Newsline 8: 33–43.
- Hendee, John C. 1969. Rural-Urban Differences Reflected in Outdoor Recreation Participation.Journal of Leisure Research 1(Autumn): 333–341.
- Leopold, Aldo. 1949.A Sand County Almanac. New York: Oxford University Press, 1949; reprint ed., New York: Robert Finch, 1987.
- Little, Charles E. 1985. In a Landscape of Hope.Wilderness (Spring): 21–30.
- Meine, Curt. 1987. The Farmer as Conservationist: Leopold on Agriculture. InAldo Leopold: The Man and His Legacy, edited by Thomas Tanner, pp. 39–52. Ankeny, IA: Soil Conservation Society of America.
- Molnar, Joseph J., and Patricia A. Duffy. 1987. Urban and Suburban Residents’ Perceptions of Farmers and Agriculture. InSustaining Agriculture Near Cities, edited by W. Lockeretz, pp. 119–131. Boston: Soil and Water Conservation Society of America.
- Napier, Ted L., and D. Lynn Forster. 1982. Farmer Attitude and Behavior Associated with Soil Erosion Control. InSoil Conservation Policies, Institutions and Incentives, edited by H.G. Halcrow, E.O. Heady and M.L. Cotner. Ankeny, IA: Soil Conservation Society of America.
- Nash, Roderick. 1982.Wilderness and the American Mind. Binghamton, NY: Vail-Ballou Press.
- ——. 1987. Aldo Leopold and the Limits of American Liberalism. InAldo Leoplld: The Man and His Legacy, edited by Thomas Tanner, pp. 53–86. Ankeny, IA: Soil Conservation Society of America.
- Patton, M.Q. 1990.Qualitative Evaluation and research Methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
- Peterson, Tarla Rai. 1991. Telling the Farmers’ Story: Competing Responses to Soil Conservation Rhetoric.Quarterly Journal of Speech 77: 289–308. CrossRef
- Piasecki, Bruce. 1982. Pastoral Ideals and Environmental Problems: An Interview with Leo Marx.The Amicus Journal (Fall): 56–61.
- Stegner, Wallace. 1985. Living on Our Principal.Wilderness (Spring): 15–20.
- Tremblay, Kenneth R., and Riley E. Dunlap. 1978. Rural-urban Residence and Concern with Environmental Quality: A Replication and Extension.Rural Sociology 43(3): 474–491.
- Van Liere, Kent D., and Riley E. Dunlap. 1981. Environmental Concern: Does it Make a Difference How it’s Measured?Environment and Behavior 13(6): 651–676. CrossRef
- Westmacott, Richard. 1983. The Conservation of Farmed Landscapes: Attitudes and Problems in the United States and Britain.Landscape Design (August): 11–14.
- Wojcik, Jan. 1989.The Arguments of Agriculture: A Casebook in Contemporary Agricultural Controversy. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press.
- Farmers’ attitudes about farming and the environment: A survey of conventional and organic farmers
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics
Volume 9, Issue 2 , pp 123-143
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- environmental attitudes
- organic farming
- environmental ethics
- Author Affiliations
- 1. School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, 430 East University Avenue, 48109-1115, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
- 2. College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, 54481-3897, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA
- 3. School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, 430 East University Avenue, 48109-1115, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA