Advertisement

A Farmer Learning Circle: The Sugar Creek Partners, Ohio

  • Mark R. WeaverEmail author
  • Richard H. Moore
  • Jason Shaw Parker
Chapter

Abstract

Agriculture is the principal source of impairment in the highly degraded Sugar Creek watershed in Northeast Ohio. The Sugar Creek Partners is a farmer-led grass roots watershed group in Upper Sugar Creek that has voluntarily pursued education and taken collective responsibility to implement conservation and remediation practices in their watershed. Social research on the Partners reveals the group’s structure, scope and connection to the community and the stages by which the group took ownership of agricultural impairments and their responsibility to take action on their own farms. Beliefs and core values of their local community are critical elements in addressing water quality issues by a consensus, grass roots process.

Keywords

Conservation Practice Watershed Management Core Belief Total Maximum Daily Load Riparian Corridor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgment

The authors express their gratitude to the farmers and residents of the Sugar Creek watershed, especially the Sugar Creek Partners, the North Fork Task Force, and members of the Amish Church Districts. We also thank the Holmes and Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Wayne County Auditor, and Wayne County Extension for their support and participation in this research. This research was funded by grants from the United States Department of Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program and the United States EPA.

References

  1. The framework used here is a simplified version of “action core beliefs” as presented in the advocacy coalition framework. Sabatier, Paul A. and Hank C. Jenkins-Smith (eds). 1993. Policy Change and Policy Learning: An Advocacy Coalition Approach. Boulder: Westview Press; Sabatier, Paul A. and Hank C. Jenkins-Smith. 1999. The Advocacy Coalition Framework: An Assessment. Pp. 117–166 in Theories of the Policy Process edited by Paul A. Sabatier. Boulder: Westview Press; Sabatier, Paul A., Will Focht, Mark Lubell, Zev Trachtenberg, Arnold Vedlitz, and Marty Matlock. 2005. Swimming Upstream: Collaborative Approaches to Watershed Management. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  2. Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. 2000. Biological and Water Quality Study of Sugar Creek, 1998. OEPA Technical Report MAS/1999-12-4.Google Scholar
  3. Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. 2002. Total Maximum Daily Loads for the Sugar Creek Basin. (http://www.epa.state.oh.us/dsw/tmdl/SugarCreek.html).
  4. Parker, Jason, Richard Moore, and Mark Weaver. 2007. “Land Tenure as a Variable in Community Based Watershed Projects: Some Lessons from the Sugar Creek Watershed, Wayne and Holmes Counties, Ohio.” Society and Natural Resources 20(9):815–833.Google Scholar
  5. For more detail on the formation of the Sugar Creek Partners and “the Sugar Creek method,” see Moore, Richard, Jason Parker, and Mark Weaver. 2008. “Agricultural Sustainability, Water Pollution, and Governmental Regulations: Lessons from the Sugar Creek Farmers in Ohio.” Culture and Agriculture 30(1–2):3–16 and Morton, Lois Wright and Steve Padgitt. 2004. “Selecting Socio-Economic Metrics for Watershed Management”. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 30:1–16.Google Scholar
  6. Cranford, Elaine E. and Julie Kleinschmit. 2007. Fishbowls in the Field: Using Listening to Join Farmers, Ranchers, and Educations in Advancing Sustainable Agriculture. CARI: Center for Applied Rural Innovation at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/caripubs/39).
  7. For more information on the survey methodology and results, see Weaver, Mark, Richard Moore, and Jason Parker. 2005. Understanding Grassroots Stakeholders and Grassroots Stakeholder Groups: The View from the Grassroots in the Upper Sugar Creek, presented at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, September 1–4 (http://convention2.allacademic.com/one/apsa/apsa05/).
  8. Stone, Deborah. 2001. Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.Google Scholar
  9. Downing, Bob. 2004. Farmers Help Sugar Creek Grow Cleaner. Akron Beacon Journal 24:B1.Google Scholar
  10. For more information on the methodology and summary of these interviews, see Weaver, Mark, Richard Moore, and Jason Parker. 2005. Understanding Grassroots Stakeholders and Grassroots Stakeholder Groups: The View from the Grassroots in the Upper Sugar Creek, presented at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, September 1–4 (http://convention2.allacademic.com/one/apsa/apsa05/).

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark R. Weaver
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard H. Moore
  • Jason Shaw Parker
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceCollege of WoosterWoosterUSA

Personalised recommendations