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Farmer communities of practice and high tech futures

Oreszczyn, Sue and Lane, Andrew (2006). Farmer communities of practice and high tech futures. In: The Rural Citizen: Governance, Culture and Wellbeing in the 21st Century, 5-7 Apr 2006, Plymouth, UK.

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In the past farmers have been key rural citizens as farming has played an important role in local rural economies. Today there is a reduction in the number of people working on the land and farms as a business no longer make such a large direct economic contribution. At the same time the importance of farmers for managing farmland for wildlife, landscape value and tourism has been increasing. Yet commercial pressures mean that many farmers are leaving the profession or becoming more specialised, and it is no longer clear to many of them how they will continue to play an important economic role in the future.
Although they are physically dispersed, individual farmers are part of a farming community - living, working and interacting with one another. Current trends run the risk of placing an increasing strain on their ability to work together as a ‘community of practice’ and experience a clear, shared, farming identity. At the same time new agricultural technologies are being developed that also impact on the relationships that farmers have with others. For example, genetically modified crops, which have the potential to drive a wedge between farmers who may see the future of agriculture differently, but they can also demand, or be opportunities for greater farmer co-operation. Drawing on the findings of our study on farmers understandings of new, future technologies and genetically modified crops, this paper considers the impact of new agricultural technologies on farmer communities of practice.

Item Type: Conference Item
Copyright Holders: 2006 University of Plymouth
Extra Information: Proceedings published on CD-ROM; ISBN 1-84102-155-5
Academic Unit/Department: Mathematics, Computing and Technology > Engineering & Innovation
Mathematics, Computing and Technology > Computing & Communications
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
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Item ID: 2223
Depositing User: Sue Oreszczyn
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2009 13:39
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2010 05:41
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