Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Using group work to redesign livestock farms (#journal)

Participatory modelling with farmer groups to help them redesign their livestock farming systems

Participatory modelling with livestock farmers to help them remodel their farms is an original approach in livestock farm modelling.  Two causal maps of livestock farming system operation were built, each with a group of five farmers including both those converting and converted to organic farming. The paper assesses the method’s strengths and weaknesses. One of its main advantages lay in its collective dimension: sharing, comparing and questioning interested the participating farmers greatly; however, it requires good facilitation skills and suitable group composition. Analysis of map structures identified similarities and differences between the two groups that were discussed with them; this continued farmers’ self-reflection about their systems, which may help lead to innovative and more sustainable livestock farming systems.




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