Bernard Soubry published an opinion piece in Policy Options this week, while the paper on which it is based works its way through the peer review process (at most journals having become like treacle thanks to COVID). The message lines up well with his overall message of the importance of engaging farmers on matters that affect them, and engaging them as experts. His first PhD paper, “Are we taking farmers seriously?“, found the answer, when it comes to climate change, is generally “no”. His second paper, “Farming along desire lines“, illustrated the many farmer-led climate resilience initiatives in the Maritimes that indicate the gaps that government has left in terms of supports. The pending third paper takes the message to Ottawa, as you can now read, by exploring divergent understandings of resilience in the farming sector between farmers and policy-makers, based on recent House and Senate studies of climate change and Ag.
Short answer: No. The first paper is out from Bernard Soubry’s Oxford PhD (which I’m co-supervising), and it is a systematic literature review in Journal of Rural Studies of research on farmer perceptions of climate change, 2007-2018. Very interesting patterns emerged from the 105 papers reviewed, including that the work is dominated by those seeking to ‘test’ farmer perceptions of climate change, rather than leverage them, and that the work is largely done in the Global South. Bernard describes this work as largely seeing farmers as ‘vulnerable’ or ‘verifiable’ rather than viably adapting, and tracks some of the colonial undertones at play. Congratulations, Bernard.
To staff up my sustainable grazing / climate change SSHRC project, I’m looking to hire a local graduate student as a summer research assistant. The specs are quite broad, including the possibility of doing research on bibliometrics, discourse analysis, policy, or farmer extension/education. The project will be designed to suit the candidate, but there must be interest in independent research. It could be ongoing, and fit as a project/internship/practicum/thesis in a range of programs, or be a contract if the candidate is graduating. Read the details here, and apply by email to me if interested by April 1.