Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 389–401 | Cite as

Cultivating values: environmental values and sense of place as correlates of sustainable agricultural practices



To assess whether and how environmental values and sense of place relate to sustainable farming practices, we conducted a study in South Kona, Hawaii, addressing environmental values, sense of place, and farm sustainability in five categories: environmental health, community engagement and food security, culture and history, education and research, and economics. We found that the sense of place and environmental values indexes showed significant correlation to each category of sustainability in both independent linear regressions and multivariate regression. In total, sense of place explained a larger share of the overall farm performance. However, each indicator showed relative strengths; environmental values showed significantly higher correlation to environmental and educational practices. Furthermore the scales were complimentary, and the use of both scales greatly improved prediction of good farming practices from a multiple-impact perspective. With implications for community and environmental impacts, results suggest that a more comprehensive view of farmers’ environmental values and place connections may help illuminate individual farmers’ decisions and sustainability-related practices.


Environmental values Farming practices Hawaii New ecological paradigm Sense of place 



New ecological paradigm



We thank the many people who contributed to this article, the surveyors and the surveyed, and the many who contributed feedback throughout the process. This project utilized funding from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, the Switzer Foundation, Stanford School of Earth Science, the Woods Institute for the Environment, and the Ngai Tahu Research Centre.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Tropical Plant and Soil SciencesUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.School of Education and Woods Institute for the EnvironmentStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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