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Ingram, Julie (2008)
Publisher: SPRINGER, VAN GODEWIJCKSTRAAT 30, 3311 GZ DORDRECHT, NETHERLANDS
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: G1, GE, S1
This paper explores how knowledge is exchanged between agricultural advisors and farmers in the context of sustainable farming practices in England. Specifically the paper examines the nature of the knowledge exchange at the encounters between one group of advisors, agronomists, and farmers. The promotion of best management practices, which are central to the implementation of sustainable agricultural policies in England, provide the empirical context for this study. The paper uses the notion of expert and facilitative approaches as a conceptual framework for analyzing knowledge exchange encounters between agronomists and farmers. Data were derived from semi-structured interviews with 31 agronomists and 17 farmers, in the context of three initiatives promoting a range of best management practices including (a) targeted use of nitrogen (N), (b) use of nutrients within manure, and (c) management practices to improve soil structure. The interviews revealed that, although many agronomist-farmer knowledge exchange encounters are characterized by an imbalance of power, distrust, and the divergence of knowledge, other encounters provide a platform for the facilitation of farmer learning in their transition to more sustainable practices.
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