A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF SUSTAINABLE AND CONVENTIONAL FARMERS AS THEY NAVIAGATE CLIMATE CHANGE

Open Access
Author:
Jacobs, Allyson Rose Gatski
Graduate Program:
Geography
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
None
Committee Members:
  • William Ewart Easterling Iii, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • Climate change
  • sustainable agriculture
  • risk society
  • autonomous adaptation
Abstract:
Do sustainable and conventional farmers have a differing perception of climate change? This research explores sustainable and conventional farmers, focusing on vegetable growers, concentrating on several counties in Northeast Pennsylvania, and how they are thinking about and managing for climate change. This qualitative research was conducted through structured interviews conducted over a year and a half period. A semi-structured interview script was created and the farmers contacted to set up one hour interviews. Both groups feel that they do not know what explicit preparation for climate change would entail but feel that their management of climate risk will probably aid their adaptation. Sustainable farmers rely upon soil health and productivity for climate change adaptive strategy. Sustainable farmers are doing many management practices that may enhance their autonomous adaptation success. Conventional farmers involved in contracts with various agricultural companies may find their autonomous adaptation ability constrained.