Climate change: perceptions from Michigan vegetable farmers

Babbie, K., J. Doll and D. Stuart

Presented at the All Scientist Meeting (2012-03-15 to 2012-03-16 )

Farmland covers approximately 40% of the nation’s landscape, thus having a significant impact on the environment. Agriculture is a unique industry in that it both emits and consumes greenhouse gases. Generating about $55 billion annually, Michigan’s economy is highly dependent on agriculture. For these reasons, it is crucial to explore how Michigan farmers shape their perceptions on climate change and use them to make decisions about their farming practices. It is also important to learn and discuss with farmers about how agriculture can adapt to and mitigate climate change. How do vegetable growers who sell at farmers markets in Western Michigan perceive climate change? Where do they obtain their information on climate change and agriculture? To what extent does this information influence their decisions regarding food production, distribution, and marketing? These questions are explored through interviews with fourteen small vegetable farmers. While the sample size of this study is small, the data does provide insight into how farmers view climate CC, where they access information, and how this information might affect their farming practices.

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