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Doctoral Defense by Ben Leitschuh

Event Type
Other
Sponsor
Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Location
N-120 Turner Hall
Date
Dec 4, 2023   11:00 am  
Contact
NRES
E-Mail
nres@illinois.edu
Phone
217-333-2770
Views
4
Originating Calendar
NRES Events

Re-Diversifying the Heartland: Investigating the Dynamics of Midwestern Farmer Identity and Agroecological Transformation

The environmental impact of industrialized agriculture in the U.S. Corn Belt, compounded by the effects of climate change, has raised concerns about the long-term sustainability of current farming practices. To strengthen the resilience of the U.S. food system, restore degraded ecosystems, and revitalize rural communities, it is imperative to explore alternative agricultural systems. In my dissertation, I investigated the potential of transitioning to agroecological farming systems on a large scale in Illinois. Through interviews with a group of Illinois farmers, I identified the core values and norms that define a "good farmer" among this population. Additionally, I analyzed over six decades of advertisements in a major farming publication to uncover the discourses promoted by agribusiness about what constitutes a "good farmer." Finally, I proposed a new conceptual framework that addresses the current obstacles to an agroecological transition.

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