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BRIDGING FARMER EXPERIENCE AND SCIENCE: LEARNING FOR AGROECOLOGICAL DESIGN OF SUSTAINABLE FARMING SYSTEMS

Francis, Charles; Nicolaysen, Anna Marie; Morse, Suzanne; Breland, Tor Arvid and Lieblein, Geir (2014) BRIDGING FARMER EXPERIENCE AND SCIENCE: LEARNING FOR AGROECOLOGICAL DESIGN OF SUSTAINABLE FARMING SYSTEMS. In: Rahmann, G. and Aksoy, U. (Eds.) Building Organic Bridges, Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, Braunschweig, Germany, 3, Thuenen Report, no. 20, pp. 899-902.

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Summary

Bridging the large gap between science and experience of farmers is a crucial focus for educators who are intent on developing learning programs featuring phenomenology and practical experiences. Agroecology is emerging as an integrative and holistic approach to study agricultural and food systems. Understanding lessons learned from indigenous systems and the ecological principles on which they are built, focusing on the uniqueness of place in design and practice of farming, shifting from a discipline-specific to a holistic systems perspective, and integrating the human dimension into study of farming and food systems are all essential to building effective bridges between farmer experience and science as we practice this in university research and education. Key farmer applications in organic farming, multiple cropping systems, permaculture, and integrated crop/animal systems provide useful teaching examples that help students to bridge the space between theory and practice. On-farm learning and discussions with farmers help to build awareness of how to improve communication as part of the bridging process, and to build student confidence in how to more easily work with stakeholders in the future. One useful perspective is to pursue learning in agroecology as an analysis and application of the ecology of food systems, one that includes production, economics, environmental impacts, and social implications in future systems design. Each of these dimensions is explored in this paper, building on experiences of more than a decade of teaching in agroecology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB).


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Subjects: Farming Systems
Crop husbandry
Soil
Food systems
Environmental aspects
Knowledge management
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2014: 18th IFOAM OWC Scientific Track: 4th ISOFAR Scientific Conference
ISBN:978-3-86576-128-6
DOI:10.3220/REP_20_1_2014
Deposited By: Francis, Dr. Charles A.
ID Code:24012
Deposited On:30 Oct 2014 17:37
Last Modified:30 Oct 2014 17:37
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:urn:nbn:de:gbv:253-201407-dn053621-1

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