Sunday, July 5, 2015

Farmers: What do they Need?

Meta-cognition was the topic for discussion in the week two blog posts, but I totally zoned out writing up a post, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about the topic through my day to day experiences in the LAKES program.

My research project for this summer is to survey farmers and make a social network graph based off of the information that we get back from the survey, but to be honest, I have no clue what that entails at this point. Right now I am learning that farmers are very busy people and aren’t always around to take a survey. Sometimes they are willing, but they are too tired from another hard day’s work and only a little to take from it. I think that we are going to learn from the farmers that they need help to implement a lot of the best management practices that we are surveying them on, so I hope we are all up to the task, because this isn’t there job alone. If these people are putting vegetables on our tables, gas in our cars, and meat and dairy in our bellies, the least we can do is help them implement these best management practices. What I want to learn more about this summer is what help these farmers want or need to implement these practices efficiently and effectively. The way that I see it currently, is that we are asking these farmers to provide for us then we tell them how they should do it. My biggest hope is to capture this in my research to get farmers and willing volunteers on board to help them.

I plan to do this first by creating a social network graph for the farmers with the data that I receive back from the surveys. First of all, we need to know what the farmer needs to implement these practices. I think we will gather from our incentives section and landowner assistance sections of the surveys what they need and who they need it from. Then I can ask for some interdisciplinary help and see if other surveys captured public’s willingness to help the farmers in the way they need it to fix OUR watershed.

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