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Finding the Farm: Exploring a Sense of Place in Young Farmers' Educational Pathways

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Title: Finding the Farm: Exploring a Sense of Place in Young Farmers' Educational Pathways
Author: Savatti, Maurice
Department: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Program: Public Issues Anthropology
Advisor: McIlwraith, ThomasSrinivasan, Sharada
Abstract: Farmers in Ontario tell similar stories of the experiences of finding their way to the field. Whether raised in an urban or rural setting, place connections play a crucial role in the development of an agrarian lifestyle. This thesis explores the relationship between a sense of place and young or new farmers’ agricultural education pathways. Through a set of interviews with students at the Ontario Agricultural College and with farmers who have either completed an on-farm internship or are self-taught, this thesis demonstrates that the experience of farming is directly linked to a storyline beginning with a relationship to place. For some, farming is a means to actualizing a social and ecological conscience. For others, farming provides economic stability and the continuation of generational practices. This research found that the apparent divide in value systems within agriculture are not in as stark an opposition as once assumed. To generate a food system that supports a growing population, is economically viable and environmentally sound, deeper understandings of the cultural experiences of both schools of agriculture are needed to be shared.
Date: 2020-12
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