Rural Futures: Building adaptive management capability to deliver sustainable pastoral farm systems

Funding Body Ministry of Science & Innovation (MSI)
Total Contract Value $578,000
Start Date January 2008
End Date
September 2013
Principal Investigator(s)
Professor Hugh Campbell
Staff Involved
Professor Hugh Campbell, Dr. Paul Stock

Brief Abstract

Rural Futures is a project based at AgResearch and involves CSAFE as a subcontractor.

This MSI-funded programme is designed to deliver a portfolio of tools, systems, and processes to support the New Zealand pastoral industry to adapt and remain sustainable in response to the future pressures it faces. These pressures include market, societal, and policy changes that operate at local, national, and international scales. All of these occur against a background of constrained natural resources. These pressures will shape future farm systems, and will identify both risks and opportunities for industry growth. New Zealand farmers and the agents that advise and support them will need to extend their ability to learn, plan, and innovate, and thus gain confidence to proactively and effectively respond to current and potential pressures. Successful outcomes for this programme will deliver an industry that is growing sustainably with finite resources, is cost competitive, and is delivering to international consumer and community expectations well into the future.

The Programme Contract Manager and Science Leader is Liz Wedderburn of AgResearch. The programme is organised around four integrated objectives.

  1. Understanding agricultural decision-making in New Zealand (Leader: Hugh Campbell, CSAFE)
  2. Farm System Responses (Leader: Robyn Dynes, AgResearch)
  3. Interventions, Responses, and Consequences (Leader: Bill Kaye-Blake, Lincoln University)
  4. Integrated Framework for Rural Futures (Leader: Tanira Kingi, Massey University)

The work of Objective 1 (Understanding Agricultural Decision-Making) is based at CSAFE and involves Professor Hugh Campbell (Objective Leader), Dr. Rob Burton (Bygdeforskning | Centre for Rural Research, Trondheim, Norway); Dr. Paul Stock (CSAFE), and Dr. Sue Peoples (AgResearch, Invermay). The primary research activity is a qualitative interview programme with 80 pastoral farmers spread over four regions (Southland, North Canterbury, Manawatu, and Waikato). The interview is retrospective and investigates how farmers responded to major crises, shocks, and drivers in their farming systems over the last three decades. Itaims to provide a comprehensive understanding of decision-making by New Zealand farmers and to investigate the cultural heterogeneity of approaches to farming, land-use decision-making, and their implications on farmers, farming enterprises, and rural communities. The project as a whole aims to deliver a portfolio of tools, systems, and processes to support the New Zealand pastoral industry to adapt and remain sustainable in response to the future pressures they face.

Outcomes

Book Chapter

Stock, Paul and Sue Peoples. "Between Commodity Competition: Divergent Trajectories in the NZ Pastoral Farming." To be included in Rethinking Agricultural Policy Regimes: Food Security, Climate Change and the Future Resilience of Global Agriculture, edited by Reidar Almas and Hugh Campbell. Emerald: Bingley, UK.

Journal Article

Stock, Paul and Rob Burton. (2011) ?Defining terms for integrated (multi-inter-trans-disciplinary) research in sustainability research.? Sustainability.

Presentations

Stock, Paul. ?First World Peasants? An Examination of the Categories ?Peasant? and ?Family Farmer.? 24th European Society for Rural Sociology Congress, Chania, Crete (22-25 August 2011).

Stock, Paul. "Farmer Autonomy: First World Peasants, the Rural Bourdieu and Pastoral Farming in New Zealand [Originally The Rural Bourdieu: Cultural Capital, the Economic Chimera of Neoliberalism and Pastoral Farming in New Zealand]." Agri-Food XVII Conference, Monash University - Gippsland Campus, Australia (November 2010).

Stock, Paul, Sue Peoples, Rob Burton, and Hugh Campbell. "Between Commodity Competition: Divergent Trajectories in the NZ Pastoral Farming." International Sociology Association, RC-40 (Sociology of Agriculture and Food), Gothenberg, Sweden (11-17 July 2010).