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The importance of social capital for agricultural and rural development is explored in this paper through the analysis of seven comprehensive case studies that have been carried out in the framework of the European RETHINK research programme. The case studies are based on rather different initiatives at the interface between agricultural and rural development in Germany, Spain, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Denmark and Israel. The case studies represent a broad spectrum of socio‐economic and agricultural contexts and focus on the role of social capital for development. We explore how social capital materialises in the context of rural areas, and what nuances it acquires in different rural environments. The case studies are used to better understand, and to illustrate, different expressions of social capital in different situations. Within the broad notion of social capital, we pay particular attention to trust, cooperation, sense of community, and culture and tradition. All four dimensions play a critical role in agricultural and rural development as they affect how people relate to each other, organise themselves and interact for development. Sociologia Ruralis. DOI: 10.1111/soru.12218


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In Norway, immigration and tourism have recently become important drivers of diversity in rural communities. While rural migration mostly has been studied from the migrants’ perspective, this paper examines how long‐term residents in a Norwegian rural mountain resort characterised by seasonal tourism and labour immigration experience the flux of diverse migrants and how this affects them and the local community. The paper is based on 12 interviews with men and women who are long‐term community residents. A major narrative of the locals is that of the village and its inhabitants as accustomed to mobility, a local knowledge acquired through decades of tourism and in‐migration. But there are also narratives of ambivalence and contradictions and of the place as saturated by mobilities. The paper explores how locals adjust to and avoid these mobilities. Sociologia Ruralis. 10.1111/soru.12263


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The rise of organic chemistry in the 1800s quickly lead to the realisation that products previously derived from plants and animals could be derived synthetically from alternative organic sources. Although it slowly became clear that there were limitations to this technology, the goal of producing animal protein synthetically has remained a tantalising prospect for scientists, with new hopes being rekindled throughout the years as new knowledge emerged or technologies developed. The demonstration of synthetic meat (also termed in vitro meat) in 2013 revived this dream and, with the refinement of protein synthesis technologies, 31 start-ups are now working to become the first company to market synthetic animal protein. The potentially transformative nature of this technology make it essential to understand its potential to disrupt conventional agriculture at an early stage. This paper addresses this issue by examining historical substitutions that have lead to the decline or even decimation of agricultural industries, namely: alizarin (madder), indigotin (indigo) and vanillin (vanilla). Following an outlining of the historical cases themselves, it identifies substitution product complexity, ease of synthesis, compatibility with industrial processes, and contamination of the natural product as four key issues that affect the substitution transition. Analysis of the specific synthetic animal protein case suggests that, while there are many additional issues that could affect any transition, three aspects are key: development of transferrable technologies in the medical sector, potential environmental advantages, and a lack of consumer resistance to its “unnatural” nature. Finally, the paper argues that rather than a complete substitution (e.g. alizarin & indigo) a furcated market (e.g. vanillin) with various classes of protein production is likely to emerge – within which industrial livestock production will struggle to compete against cheap synthetic alternatives. Journal of Rural Studies, Volume 68, Pages 33-45


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Purpose: Demonstration farming has been an important part of agricultural extension since the first decades of the twentieth century. While Seaman Knapp is often credited with developing demonstration farming, his son acknowledged that the concept has much earlier origins in the nineteenth century development of model/pattern farms. However, little is known of these early origins or why early demonstration agriculture failed. This paper addresses this gap. Design/methodology/approach: The methodology involves analysis of out of copy-right historical journal articles, letters, pamphlets, and books recently made available by online services such as Google Books. Findings: The study details how the concept of demonstration farming was developed by agricultural societies of the eighteenth century but was not implemented until the early nineteenth century with the advent of model/pattern farms. Demonstration activities were run by a variety of different types of private and public farm organisations who sought to improve agriculture through emulation. Enthusiasm for model farms died out by the end of the nineteenth century but the failure of model farm demonstration leaves us with lessons for demonstration farming today. Theoretical implications: The study provides new knowledge on the conceptual and historical development of demonstration farming and why it failed to influence change. Practical implications: The study identifies factors that might contribute to the failure of demonstration activities. Originality/value: This is the first study to explore in detail demonstration farming on nineteenth century model farms and, methodologically, outlines how free on-line digitised literature can be used to investigate early agricultural education activities. Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, https://doi.org/10.1080/1389224X.2019.1674168


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This article discusses the economic dimensions of agroecological farming systems in Europe. It firstly theoretically elaborates the reasons why, and under what conditions, agroecological farming systems have the potential to produce higher incomes than farms that follow the conventional logic. This theoretical exposition is then followed by a presentation of empirical material from a wide range of European countries that shows the extent to which this potential is being realized. The empirical data draw upon different styles of farming that can be described as ‘proto-agroecological’: approaches to farming that are agroecological by nature, but which may not necessarily explicitly define themselves as agroecological. The empirical material that we present shows the huge potential and radical opportunities that Europe's, often silent, ‘agroecological turn’ offers to farmers that could (and should) be the basis for the future transformation of European agricultural policies, since agroecology not only allows for more sustainable production of healthier food but also considerably improves farmers' incomes. It equally carries the promise of re-enlarging productive agricultural (and related) employment and increasing the total income generated by the agricultural sector, at both regional and national levels. While we recognise that agroecology is a worldwide and multidimensional phenomenon we have chosen to limit this analysis to Europe and the economic dimension. This choice is made in order to refute current discourses that represent agroecology as unproductive and unprofitable and an option that would require massive subsidies. Journal of Rural Studies, Volume 71, Pages 46-61


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Meeting targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture will require the implementation of effective mitigation measures. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently recognised that to succeed we need to understand more about the conditions within which mitigation measures are applied, and for this, they note, we need insights from social science disciplines including sociology. We addressed this knowledge gap by using the concept of path‐dependency and lock‐in to explore barriers to change in dairy/beef systems in Norway. A qualitative survey of 29 farms found that changing parenting, recreational and spousal role expectations are driving farmers towards intensification (and thus higher emissions) in order to purchase milking robots, which, in turn, provide increased time for the expected role changes. Structural change is thus predominantly directed towards farm continuity which is making it increasingly difficult to meet mitigation targets in the future. The study illustrates how mitigation measures might be made more effective by understanding and addressing the broader cultural/structural environment within which farmers and their families operate. Sociologia Ruralis, https://doi.org/10.1111/soru.12277


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Successful integration of immigrants is vital for rural areas facing population decline and labour shortage. Yet little is known about the role civil society plays in this process and about the factors that promote or hamper acceptance of immigrants by the local population. By using data from a national survey of the Norwegian population, this article examines rural‐urban differences in attitudes toward immigrants and immigration, and what characteristics rural and urban residents consider important for immigrants who may settle in their locality. The results indicate that people living in rural areas express more negative attitudes toward immigrants and immigration compared to people living in urban areas. Additionally, rural residents place greater importance than their urban counterparts do on immigrants’ participating in local events, speaking the native language, and being willing to adapt to Norwegian values. Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 59, Issue 4


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Sammendrag

sues of land distribution and ownership matter in an industrialized and post-industrial world. In rural areas, land is still the livelihood of a large portion of the people and thus central to the viability of local communities. Land ownership is also central to national politics through issues of self-sufficiency, food sovereignty and recourse management. This study applies a historical approach combined with system dynamics modeling to the case of Norwegian odelsrett between 1814 and 2014. The odelsrett is a familial right of redemption regarding landed, agricultural property, which has roots going back more than a millennium in Norway. The aim of this study is to identify the impact of the odelsrett on the distribution of land ownership in Norway as a case. The results indicate that the odelsrett in Norway helped to increase wider distribution of land amongst the agricultural population only with the help of external historical events. We furthermore demonstrate how land ownership is an exclusive right, and how the legal system of which the odelsrett is part is designed to and operates to reproduce this right. Journal of Rural Studies, Volume 72, Pages 11-22


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Agriculture is a hazardous industry, with a high frequency of injuries. As working life has changed over the last decades, so has also agriculture. In Norway, farm size has increased, and agriculture has become technology intensive with a high amount of automated milking systems (AMS) and is now more dependent on hired help. The aim of the study is by sociotechnical system theory to explore how a new generation of farmers describe their work organisation in relation to occupational health and safety. The study is an explorative interview study at five farms having implemented AMS. An open interview guide was used. The interviews were recorded and thereafter transcribed. Analyses were based on the balance-theory with the domains technology, organisation, physical environment, task design, and individual characteristics. The results show that AMS changes the farm as a sociotechnical work system. AMS is considered a relief with regards how tasks become less physically demanding, less time consuming, and with less animal contact. On the other hand, cognitive demands increase. The results indicate that the technology increases both complexity and vulnerability, these factors being less considered by the farmers. The findings underline the importance of farmers’ increasing awareness of their role as a manager and for an increased system perspective. Proceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018). IEA 2018. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 825.


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Sammendrag

In this article, the aim is to explore how social aspects of the adoption and expansion of milking robots in Norwegian dairy farming are related to the political and structural changes in the sector. To explore the relationship between the implementation of automated milking systems (AMS) and structural developments, we used a qualitative methodology building on data from interviews with farmers, policy documents, statistics, and secondary literature. The structural change in the Norwegian dairy sector was substantial between 2000 and 2018. The average number of cows on each farm increased from 14.4 to 27.9, while the number of farms decreased from around 21,000 to less than 9,000. More than 47 percent of the milk produced in Norway now comes from a dairy farm with an AMS, and this percentage is rapidly increasing. We argue that the structural developments in milk production in Norway are neither politically nor economically driven, but are mainly an unintended consequence of farmers’ aggregated investments in AMS – which are supposed to increase farmers’ everyday quality of life – and reluctant regulatory changes to make investments in AMS structurally and economically viable. NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, Volumes 90–91


Rapport
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Det norske samfunnet har en grå tsunami i vente. Eldre har bedre helse og lever lenger enn før. Men hvor bor de? Flytting fra rurale til urbane områder har preget det norske bosettingsmønsteret siden etterkrigstiden og frem til i dag. Fordi flere barn fødes og vokser opp i byer og sentrale strøk, har urbaniseringen hatt en forsterkende effekt på det sentraliserende bosettingsmønsteret de siste tiårene. Forskning viser en trend hvor eldre flytter fra rurale til urbane områder etter ønske om mindre bolig samt et større vare- og tjenestetilbud. Følgelig utgjør eldre også et bidrag i sentraliseringen av bosettingsmønsteret. Likevel velger noen å gå mot strømmen. I lys av et livsløpsperspektiv er formålet med denne rapporten å få bedre innsikt i hvorfor noen eldre velger å bosette seg i rurale områder uten å ha tilknytning til stedene fra før. Mer konkret omhandler rapporten tilflytting av eldre til Frosta i Trøndelag fylke, og baserer seg på en kvalitativ studie hvor et utvalg eldre tilflyttere til landbrukskommunen har blitt intervjuet. På bakgrunn av informantenes flyttemotiver, ser rapporten nærmere på hvordan et levd liv har betydning for flytte- og bostedsvalg i eldre alder.


Rapport
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Den regionale arbeidsdelingen har siden etterkrigstiden vært et sentralt element i norsk landbruk. Gjennom ulike landbrukspolitiske virkemiddel under samle-betegnelsen kanaliseringspolitikken, har det blitt lagt opp til at kornproduksjonen prioriteres på de beste jordbruksområdene. Husdyrhold og grovfôrproduksjon ble derfor gradvis skjøvet ut til daler og områder som av ulike agronomiske, topografiske og miljømessige årsaker ikke egner seg til kornproduksjon. Frem til rundt 1990 ble denne politikken gjennomført gjennom å justere prisforholdet mellom korn og melk, men grunnet internasjonale tilnærminger og et ønske om å redusere kostnadene i jordbruket på 1990-tallet ble det lagt om til andre virkemidler. Denne rapporten tar for seg utviklingen i den regionale arbeidsdelingen siden 1990 og finner at den til tross for endrede virkemidler og en viss regional omfordeling kan sies å være relativt stabil.


  • Gordon Marcus Haring
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This report is part of the Coolcrowd research project, funded by the Research Council of Norway, and has the goal to assess the potential for a local crowdfunding program that enables Norwegian farmers to install climate change mitigation technologies on their farms and the public to invest in local climate mitigation measures. A secondary project objective is to develop alternative business models for a locally crowdfunded climate program. This report aims to contribute to this objective by mapping the business model experimentation process from May 2016 to July 2019. The project was executed in an international research consortium consisting of partners in Norway, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia. The report also provides an overview of the business model designs that were developed by the research team.


Rapport
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Med utgangspunkt i intervjuer med 24 naturbaserte reiselivsaktører i tre ulike regioner i Norge analyserer denne rapporten motiver, nettverk og innovasjon i slike bedrifter. Datainnsamlingen ble gjort i perioden våren 2017 til våren 2018, og inngikk i det tverrfaglige forskningsprosjektet Biotour. De fleste bedriftene var små, relativt nystartete og baserte seg på å tilby unike naturbaserte opplevelser. Tolkning av intervjudataene viser at det å gjøre en naturbasert livsstil om til et økonomisk bærekraftig produkt var et viktig motiv for etablering av bedriftene. Bedriftene er nyskapende, og nettverk er viktig både for utvikling og daglig drift.


Rapport
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Regjeringen fremmet i sin politiske plattform fra Jeløya i januar 2018 et forslag om en styrt avvikling av pelsdyrnæringen, der denne nå er foreslått avviklet innen 1. februar 2025. Målet med denne utredningen har vært å undersøke og vurdere hvordan lokalsamfunn med pelsdyrfarmer vil påvirkes av regjeringens foreslåtte avvikling av pelsdyroppdrett. Vi har sett på hvorvidt og i hvilken grad avviklingen vil være kritisk for de enkelte kommunene og på de økonomiske konsekvensene for fylkene som har pelsdyroppdrett. Deretter har det blitt gjort en mer inngående analyse av fire utvalgte lokalsamfunn som tradisjonelt har hatt mange pelsdyr. Det forekommer mange ulike tall og beregninger om næringen og vi presenterer her bakgrunnen til de ulike resultatene. Vår analyse viser at i og med de svært lave prisene som er på skinn i dag vil en avvikling ha meget begrensede økonomiske konsekvenser for distrikts-Norge. Byrden vil først og fremst være tung for de 167 pelsdyroppdretterne som driver virksomhet i dag.


Rapport
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Rapporten er en del av prosjektet «Nye strategier for avl, fôring, hygiene, helse og driftsledelse i automatiske melkesystemer (AMS)». Rapporten har som formål å belyse endringene i norsk landbruk som er knyttet til den kraftige økningen i andelen bruk med melkerobot de siste 20 årene, med særlig blikk på bondens ståsted. Rapporten baserer seg på analyser av en landsdekkende spørreundersøkelse blant et representativt utvalg melkeprodusenter, som ble gjennomført av Ruralis – Institutt for rural- og regionalforskning i årsskiftet 2017/2018. Noen hovedtema er melkerobotens effekt på arbeidshverdag, HMS, livskvalitet, familieliv, arbeidsdeling, psykisk og fysisk helse. Denne omveltningen i norsk landbruk handler ikke bare om en endring til en mer effektiv driftsmåte, men er også en endring for gården i sin helhet, og for de menneskene som bor og/eller jobber på gården.


Rapport
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This report presents a main deliverable of work package 3 in the Coolcrowd project, an international research project funded by the Research Council of Norway. The aim of the project is to develop a crowdfunding program that would enable travelers to offset their GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions locally by supporting Norwegian farmers who want to adopt more climate friendly practices. The main objective of WP3 is to identify farmers’ interest in participating in a locally crowdfunded climate program. The report analyzes the findings of a national survey investigating farmers’ interest in climate change, particularly mitigation and a local crowdfunding program.