Archived Seminars

Dr Paul Stock
"Zombie Economics and Contested Rural Futures in New Zealand Farming"

Thurs 5th April - 4pm, Centre for Sustainability Seminar Room


Many government and industry policies assume pure rational economic decision making. In agriculture, under a neoliberal regime, this is especially the case. The current and coming changes needed in response to human induced climate change necessitate an agricultural policy that moves beyond simple productivist models geared only towards maximal production and profit. New Zealand?s primary government and industry research organizations fail to comprehend the complexity of farmer and farm family decision making that includes farm constraints, lifecycle issues of the farm and farmer, individual and family variables such as gender, succession possibilities, connection to place and goals for the farm. All of these also operate under the constraints of context related to weather events and family, historical and economic factors. Based on interviews from the Rural Futures project with 166 people involved in sheep, beef, dairy and deer production in five regions of New Zealand, I focus on the disconnect between government and industry economic assumptions and the on-farm reality in New Zealand pastoral production.

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