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Supporting conversing processes to organic farming with models built in a participatory way with dairy farmers

Abstract : To improve sustainability, farmers may redesign their livestock farming systems in depth, e.g. by converting to organic farming. Assuming that modelling livestock farming systems can support such redesign processes, we built models of the operation of livestock farming systems in a participatory way with farmers. Farmers’ viewpoints were formalised by drawing causal maps with different local groups of farmers converting or already converted to organic farming. In this communication, we will focus on the way such models can support individual farmers in their conversion processes. To that end, the content of the models was analysed so as to better structure the questions and issues raised by the farmers themselves. Then, the links between a model that was collectively built on the one hand and the individual questions and issues for participating farmers on the other hand were explored. Benefits for participating farmers can be seen at three levels: (i) Mapping and analysing the models can help farmers to gain a better understanding of the processes at stake during a conversion. (ii) Farmers can discover new ideas, analyse their weak points in the farm operation and identify where their neighbours’ experience could help to overcome them. (iii) Farmers are made aware of the specificities of their objectives and strategies compared with their counterparts, and they can then analyse their consequences in a structured way. Concrete examples are given to illustrate each of those three points. The originality of our approach is to consider conversions to organic farming as individual processes within the larger context of the evolutions of a whole local professional group, which may foster both individual and collective innovation towards more sustainability
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  • HAL Id : hal-01195254, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 34481


Lucie Gouttenoire, Sylvie Cournut, Stéphane Ingrand. Supporting conversing processes to organic farming with models built in a participatory way with dairy farmers. 61. Annual Meeting of the European Association for Animal Production, Aug 2010, Heraklion, Greece. ⟨hal-01195254⟩



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