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You are here: Home / Retired Persons / Michael Paolisso, Ph.D. / Michael Paolisso Publications / A Cultural Model of Farmer Land Conservation

M. Paolisso, P. Weeks, and J. Packard (2013)

A Cultural Model of Farmer Land Conservation

Human Organization, 72(1):12-22.

In this paper, we present a cultural model of farmer land conservation. Based on interviews with farmers on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, we identified a set of interrelated knowledge and values that cognitively frames farmer understanding of how best to conserve rural lands. The knowledge represented by this cultural model includes many beliefs and values held by environmentalists and conservationists working on the Eastern Shore to conserve land. However, farmers position those beliefs and values into different arrangements that create constraints and opportunities to integrate farmer land conservation efforts with those of environmentalists and land conservationists. Farmers believe that all land has a best use, that land should be preserved for its best use, and that conservation easements and soil conservation practices best support overall land conservation when they help to make agriculture profitable. The cultural model of farmer land conservation emphasizes the active role that farmers can play in rural land conservation, a role that can complement the work of land conservation organizations.

cultural models, Chesapeake Bay, land conservation, development, farming

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