Farmer’s progress: The trial-and-error path to a sustainable agricultural future
Alongside the growth in popularity of sustainable movements, the number of small farms continues to increase throughout the United States. Despite many obstacles, people from various backgrounds have transitioned to become small, sustainable farmers. However, few researchers have discussed the ways in which farmers transition and persist in sustainable farming. I interviewed 13 small sustainable farmers across the United States. Utilizing grounded theory as a method, I discuss ideologies, utopias, and other factors that influence the process by which small farmers transition to, and persist in, sustainable farming practices. Farmers of this study are inspired by individualized (rather than shared) utopian desires. While people’s awareness can be inspired by utopian desires, I found that small sustainable farmers’ awareness is sustained by past experiences, present circumstances, and future desires.