U.S. Farmers' Sense of Place and its Relation to Conservation Behavior
Landscape and Urban Planning
State and federal governments collectively spend billions of dollars on conservation programs designed to address nonpoint source pollution from working agricultural landscapes. Previous research has attempted to identify why farmers adopt conservation practices and enroll in conservation programs, but more work is needed to better understand management decisions in specific geo-spatial contexts. Sense of place provides one theoretical approach to accomplish this objective. This study uses mail survey methodology to test a sense of place scale in an American Midwestern agricultural landscape. Factor and principal component analysis suggests sense of place functions as a one-dimensional construct in this setting. However, two subcomponents identified in other studies (place attachment and place identity) have significant effects on specific conservation behaviors where the overall construct of sense of place does not. Insights are gained into the applicability of sense of place theory to a working landscape, as well as the factors contributing to agricultural conservation behavior.
Mullendore, N. D., Ulrich-Schad, J. D., & Prokopy, L. S. 2015. U.S. Farmers’ Sense of Place and Its Relation to Conservation Behavior. Landscape and Urban Planning 140: 67-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2015.04.005