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In-Farm Research - a Swiss Perspective

Fuchs, Nikolai and Flöter, Anne (2009) In-Farm Research - a Swiss Perspective. Ecology & Farming (46), pp. 36-40.

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The examination of the question, “why animals on farms” demonstrates the potential of “in-farm research” to gaining in-depth knowledge of the farm. The scientist’s observations and co-working on the farm are a method of choices that allows an accurate evaluation of the current situation of the farm, its atmosphere and the inner perspective of the farmers. It also lets the scientist contrast impressions from a personal point of view and to challenge statements made by the farmers. In addition, farmers were grateful for the “non-economic” assessments of the farm. As a consequence of this work, the reasons farmers give for keeping cows has become more conscious, and their decisions may strengthen their motives while also helping with public relations.
Interestingly enough, looking at the farm as an individual organism, and trying to understand its intrinsic values the research methodology increasingly resembles that of social science, e.g. participative research.
The researcher has to be trained in “objectivity” and precision in observational skills, and professional experience in agriculture is mandatory. Curricula in agri-science should include training programs to develop them.
In-farm research cannot, and will not, be an alternative to other scientific endeavors. Rather, it is a complementary approach, especially for developing sustainable farming practices.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Research approaches
Subjects: Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > Switzerland
Research affiliation: Switzerland > Goetheanum > Forschungsinstitut am Goetheanum
Deposited By: Willer, Dr. Helga
ID Code:17199
Deposited On:19 Jun 2010 17:56
Last Modified:19 Jun 2010 17:56
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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