Family factors affecting adoption of sustainable farming systems

Sonya Salamon, Richard L. Farnsworth, Donald G. Bullock, Raji Yusuf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A paired comparison of 60 Illinois from families was employed, 30 using sustainable systems and 30 using conventional systems, to determine factors affecting adoption of sustainable farming systems. The groups do not diverge significantly along dimensions typically accounting for farming contrasts, but are distinctive socially. Families using sustainable systems have traditions of environmentalism, systematically do on-farm experimentation, and are prudent about resources. Rather than making a paradigm shift to environmentally sensitive farming, families who adopt have a predisposition toward sustainable practices in all aspects of their lives. Adoption of sustainable systems is therefore as much for efficiency or financial motives as it is for environmental reasons. Families farming conventionally, but sharing many characteristics identified with sustainable families, potentially are those best targeted for educational programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-271
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Soil and Water Conservation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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