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Defense (6.14.13) backup2
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Defense (6.14.13) backup2

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  • New definition adapted from World Bank 2007 The application of “knowledge of all types to achieve social and economic” goals that are new and novel to the farmer regardless of whether it is new to others across the nation or the world. It doesn ’t have to be something that nobody has ever done. It just has to be something that you haven’t done. Innovation is novelty
  • New definition adapted from World Bank 2007 The application of “knowledge of all types to achieve social and economic” goals that are new and novel to the farmer regardless of whether it is new to others across the nation or the world. It doesn ’t have to be something that nobody has ever done. It just has to be something that you haven’t done. Innovation is novelty
  • New definition adapted from World Bank 2007 The application of “knowledge of all types to achieve social and economic” goals that are new and novel to the farmer regardless of whether it is new to others across the nation or the world. It doesn ’t have to be something that nobody has ever done. It just has to be something that you haven’t done. Innovation is novelty
  • Embedded Participatory research
  • Occurs during the depression – 1929-1939 By 1940’s over 75% of Iowan corn farmers had adopted – rapid diffusion One of the most successful innovation diffusions. Research question -How social relationships with neighbors influence the decision to adopt 95% of today’s corn acreage is hybrid corn
  • Steepness of the curve affected by a range of factors including characteristics of innovations, characteristics of adopters, and communication networks
  • Progression through these stages is influenced by characteristics of adopters, perceived attributes of the innovation, and information through communication networks.
  • Same data on a frequency rather than cumulative curve. Used to predict innovation diffusion and adoption patterns
  • RELATIVE ADVANTAGE - Examples: economic benefits, less time/effort, low initial costs, immediacy of benefits and social prestige. Considered one of the best predictors of adoption. COMPATIBILITY - When new ideas clash with old ideas, adoption can be slowed. COMPLEXITY - Innovations with greater complexity are generally adopted at a slower rate. TRIALABILITY - D iffusion is more rapid if the practice is conducive to experimentation under “one’s own conditions” most important in the early phases of diffusion. You know what ’s missing from this list is Adaptability. All innovations are adaptable. Rogers does point out that initially they failed to look at the importance of re-invention, addressing that innovations are not static
  • RELATIVE ADVANTAGE - Examples: economic benefits, less time/effort, low initial costs, immediacy of benefits and social prestige. Considered one of the best predictors of adoption. COMPATIBILITY - When new ideas clash with old ideas, adoption can be slowed. COMPLEXITY - Innovations with greater complexity are generally adopted at a slower rate. TRIALABILITY - D iffusion is more rapid if the practice is conducive to experimentation under “one’s own conditions” most important in the early phases of diffusion. You know what ’s missing from this list is Adaptability. All innovations are adaptable. Rogers does point out that initially they failed to look at the importance of re-invention, addressing that innovations are not static
  • Essentially this typology is also a means to assess practices adopted to address needs. There are many other needs identified on farms that are not addressed by adopted innovations, but innovations may suggest some degree of importance.
  • It ’s not necessarily the one’s that occur on the most farms. Perhaps it’s the ones that solve the most problems. What about the innovations that aren ’t very applicable but are extremely forward thinking – like Biochar
  • Research is unknown to help support or deny the results of the practice. Of all practices observed this one is also most problematic in how it treats the soil resource. Does it enhance or does it deplete the resource? Can microbial priming speed up Carbon loss? Or does it just activate passive Carbon pools. Is this harmful? Highest benefits may be realized on largest farms that will have trouble moving giant volumes of compost.
  • Research is unknown to help support or deny the results of the practice. Of all practices observed this one is also most problematic in how it treats the soil resource. Does it enhance or does it deplete the resource? Can microbial priming speed up Carbon loss? Or does it just activate passive Carbon pools. Is this harmful? Highest benefits may be realized on largest farms that will have trouble moving giant volumes of compost.
  • RELATIVE ADVANTAGE - Examples: economic benefits, less time/effort, low initial costs, immediacy of benefits and social prestige. Considered one of the best predictors of adoption. COMPATIBILITY - When new ideas clash with old ideas, adoption can be slowed. COMPLEXITY - Innovations with greater complexity are generally adopted at a slower rate. TRIALABILITY - D iffusion is more rapid if the practice is conducive to experimentation under “one’s own conditions” most important in the early phases of diffusion. You know what ’s missing from this list is Adaptability. All innovations are adaptable. Rogers does point out that initially they failed to look at the importance of re-invention, addressing that innovations are not static
  • RELATIVE ADVANTAGE - Examples: economic benefits, less time/effort, low initial costs, immediacy of benefits and social prestige. Considered one of the best predictors of adoption. COMPATIBILITY - When new ideas clash with old ideas, adoption can be slowed. COMPLEXITY - Innovations with greater complexity are generally adopted at a slower rate. TRIALABILITY - D iffusion is more rapid if the practice is conducive to experimentation under “one’s own conditions” most important in the early phases of diffusion. You know what ’s missing from this list is Adaptability. All innovations are adaptable. Rogers does point out that initially they failed to look at the importance of re-invention, addressing that innovations are not static
  • RELATIVE ADVANTAGE - Examples: economic benefits, less time/effort, low initial costs, immediacy of benefits and social prestige. Considered one of the best predictors of adoption. COMPATIBILITY - When new ideas clash with old ideas, adoption can be slowed. COMPLEXITY - Innovations with greater complexity are generally adopted at a slower rate. TRIALABILITY - D iffusion is more rapid if the practice is conducive to experimentation under “one’s own conditions” most important in the early phases of diffusion. You know what ’s missing from this list is Adaptability. All innovations are adaptable. Rogers does point out that initially they failed to look at the importance of re-invention, addressing that innovations are not static
  • It ’s not necessarily the one’s that occur on the most farms. Perhaps it’s the ones that solve the most problems. What about the innovations that aren ’t very applicable but are extremely forward thinking – like Biochar
  • Grounded theory approach
  • RELATIVE ADVANTAGE - Examples: economic benefits, less time/effort, low initial costs, immediacy of benefits and social prestige. Considered one of the best predictors of adoption. COMPATIBILITY - When new ideas clash with old ideas, adoption can be slowed. COMPLEXITY - Innovations with greater complexity are generally adopted at a slower rate. TRIALABILITY - D iffusion is more rapid if the practice is conducive to experimentation under “one’s own conditions” most important in the early phases of diffusion. You know what ’s missing from this list is Adaptability. All innovations are adaptable. Rogers does point out that initially they failed to look at the importance of re-invention, addressing that innovations are not static
  • RELATIVE ADVANTAGE - Examples: economic benefits, less time/effort, low initial costs, immediacy of benefits and social prestige. Considered one of the best predictors of adoption. COMPATIBILITY - When new ideas clash with old ideas, adoption can be slowed. COMPLEXITY - Innovations with greater complexity are generally adopted at a slower rate. TRIALABILITY - D iffusion is more rapid if the practice is conducive to experimentation under “one’s own conditions” most important in the early phases of diffusion. You know what ’s missing from this list is Adaptability. All innovations are adaptable. Rogers does point out that initially they failed to look at the importance of re-invention, addressing that innovations are not static
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  • Transcript

    • 1. Sustainable farmer innovationsSustainable farmer innovationsin emerging local food systems:in emerging local food systems:Looking beyond adoption to adaptation andLooking beyond adoption to adaptation anddevelopment of innovationsdevelopment of innovationsPhD DefenseJustin EllisJune 14, 2013
    • 2. Innovation in AgricultureInnovation in AgricultureConventionalConventionalViewViewAlternative ViewAlternative ViewWhatWhat Often TechnologyOften TechnologyorientedorientedIncludes any tools thatIncludes any tools thataddress the problemaddress the problemWhyWhy Focused on commodityFocused on commodityyields and profitabilityyields and profitabilityAddress broader problems ofAddress broader problems ofsocial, environmental andsocial, environmental andeconomic challengeseconomic challengesHowHow Diffusion occurs throughDiffusion occurs throughtechnology transfer bytechnology transfer byinformation authoritiesinformation authoritiesInnovation adaptation andInnovation adaptation anddevelopment are asdevelopment are asimportant as Diffusionimportant as DiffusionA unique or novel solution to problemsthat is new to the user regardless if it is new to the world
    • 3. Technology Transfer ModelResearchResearchExtensionExtensionFarmersFarmersNeedsInnovation DevelopmentAdoption
    • 4. Sustainable Agriculture DevelopmentFarmer PractionersFarmer Practioners1.1.Research was not that interested inResearch was not that interested insustainable agriculture until fairlysustainable agriculture until fairlyrecently.recently...Innovation Development2.2.SA was a response to the perceivedSA was a response to the perceivedfinancial, ecological and social costs tofinancial, ecological and social costs tofarmers, society and the world thatfarmers, society and the world thatchemical, capital and technologicalchemical, capital and technologicalinnovations developed by researchinnovations developed by researchscience have createdscience have created
    • 5. The Local Food System of Northeast GeorgiaThe Local Food System of Northeast GeorgiaNCSCFocus on•Sustainability•Small scale•Resource limited•Newer farms
    • 6. Change question fromChange question fromWhy do farmers adopt?Why do farmers adopt?totoWhy do farmers innovate?Why do farmers innovate?What do farmers innovate?What do farmers innovate?How do farmers innovate?How do farmers innovate?Production Marketing NetworkingInnovation InventoryInnovation InventoryInnovation TypologyInnovation TypologyAdaptation andAdaptation andDevelopmentDevelopmentProcessesProcesses
    • 7. • Beginning of agricultural productionist era• Hybrid seed introduced to Iowa in 1928• Benefits + improved vigor, disease and droughtresistance, 20% higher yields.• By 1945 vast majority of Iowan farmers hadadopted• Ryan and Gross (1943) studied the diffusion ofhybrid seed corn amongst farmers tounderstand how innovations are spread.Inspecting ears of hybrid seedcorn. Iowa, 1939. IPTV.orgThe Diffusion of InnovationsThe Diffusion of InnovationsHybrid Seed CornHybrid Seed CornA historical perspectiveA historical perspectiveon the study of agricultural innovationson the study of agricultural innovations
    • 8. Innovation Diffusion theoryInnovation Diffusion theoryPATTERNPATTERN MANIFESTATIONMANIFESTATIONRate of AdoptionRate of Adoption Follows S curveFollows S curveStarts slowStarts slowIncreases rapidly afterIncreases rapidly after10%-15% adoption10%-15% adoptionStages ofStages ofAdoptionAdoptionCategories ofCategories ofAdoptersAdoptersAttributes ofAttributes ofInnovationsInnovationsCritiqueCritique• Emphasis is on Adoption• Single innovations• Assumes adoption is good for all
    • 9. PATTERNPATTERN MANIFESTATIONMANIFESTATIONRate of AdoptionRate of Adoption Follows S curveFollows S curveStarts slowStarts slowIncreases rapidly afterIncreases rapidly after10%-15% adoption10%-15% adoptionStages ofStages ofAdoptionAdoptionAdoption is an indvidualAdoption is an indvidualprocessprocessCategories ofCategories ofAdoptersAdoptersAttributes ofAttributes ofInnovationsInnovationsStages of AdoptionStages of AdoptionInnovation Diffusion theoryInnovation Diffusion theoryCritiqueCritique• Assumes innovations should beadopted by all (pro innovation bias)• Little discussion of adaptations orre-invention
    • 10. PATTERNPATTERN MANIFESTATIONMANIFESTATIONRate of AdoptionRate of Adoption Follows S curveFollows S curveStarts slowStarts slowIncreases rapidly afterIncreases rapidly after10%-15% adoption10%-15% adoptionStages ofStages ofAdoptionAdoptionAdoption is an individualAdoption is an individualprocessprocessCategories ofCategories ofAdoptersAdoptersAdopters at differentAdopters at differentphases sharephases sharecharacteristicscharacteristicsAttributes ofAttributes ofInnovationsInnovationsInnovation Diffusion theoryInnovation Diffusion theoryCritiqueCritique• Blames non-adopters (individualblame bias).• Non-adoption not due to problemswith the innovation or its effects.• Issues with Equality• Bias in favor of wealthy farms
    • 11. PATTERNPATTERN MANIFESTATIONMANIFESTATIONRate of AdoptionRate of Adoption Follows S curveFollows S curveStarts slowStarts slowIncreases rapidly afterIncreases rapidly after10%-15% adoption10%-15% adoptionStages ofStages ofAdoptionAdoptionAdoption is an individualAdoption is an individualprocessprocessCategories ofCategories ofAdoptersAdoptersAdopters at differentAdopters at differentphases sharephases sharecharacteristicscharacteristicsAttributes ofAttributes ofInnovationsInnovationsQualities of innovationsQualities of innovationsaffect adoption ratesaffect adoption ratesInnovation Diffusion theoryInnovation Diffusion theory
    • 12. Attributes of InnovationsAttributes of InnovationsRelative AdvantageBenefits above and beyond those offered byexisting practices.Compatibility Consistent with existing needs, previous ideas, andindividual and cultural values.Complexity Extent to which an innovation is considereddifficult to understand and implement.Trialability Extent to which an innovation can beexperimented with on a limited basis.Observability Extent to which an innovation can be seen byothers.Innovation Diffusion theoryInnovation Diffusion theoryCritiqueCritique• Only assesses innovations according to their adoptiveness• Doesn’t address adaptability (or sustainability)
    • 13. MethodsMethodsParticipant ObservationParticipant ObservationOr in this case “Or in this case “Agroecologist!Agroecologist!””• 36 farms visited• 28 included in study• 240 hrs of observation• Semi-structuredinterviews• Participatory ActionResearchin years 2-4WhiteWhiteHabershamHabershamRabunRabun4 years2009-2013
    • 14. Innovation InventoryInnovation InventoryBlackberry stakes with washeradaptation for stationary wireMulched rows withclover cover crop inthe pathsBody SavingBetter PerformanceWeed controlSOM / FertilityWheel hoeAmish stool
    • 15. Innovation InventoryInnovation InventorySeason ExtensionCost saving, timesaving, body saving,nutrient cyclingFood SafetyIrrigationChicken WagonCob FurnaceSand Filter
    • 16. Innovation InventoryInnovation InventoryTime SavingSeason ExtensionCost SavingsPlanting MarkerHigh Tunnels andPipe BendersInsect ControlParasitic Wasps
    • 17. Innovation AnalysisInnovation Analysiscategorized by “challenges designed to address”
    • 18. ProductionInnovationsNetwork /Knowledge /Marketing1. Time Saving2. Cost Saving3. Energy Saving4. Recycled / Reuse5. Body / Labor Saving6. Better Performance7. Yield Enhancement8. SOM (soil organic matter) Management and Soil Amendment9. Nutrient Cycling10. Irrigation / Watering11. Season Extension12. Insect / Pest / Disease Control13. Weed Control14. Harvest / Product Quality15. Manufactured Equipment16. Livestock / Animal Management17. Labor Assistance18. Assessment Planning19. Outside Income20. Quality of Life / Lifestyle21. Feedback22. Network / Organizational23. Farmer Training / Knowledge24. Crop / Food Types and Uses25. Marketing26. Income Enhancement27. Food Processing28. Food Policy29. Food SafetyLabor /Planning/ LifestyleFoodProcessing /SafetyInnovation TypesInnovation Types
    • 19. Innovation TypologyInnovation TypologyIndicatesIndicates marketingmarketing andandnetworkingnetworking innovationsinnovationsare as common as someare as common as someproductionproduction innovationsinnovationsSuggests where farmersSuggests where farmersin a food system arein a food system areinvesting in solutions toinvesting in solutions toproblemsproblemsDoes notDoes not tell us whichtell us whichinnovations are mostinnovations are mostimportantimportantInnovation Types ranked by frequency of occurrence
    • 20. Type Category Occurrence RankBetter performance Production 62 1Cost Saving Production 58 2Marketing Network / Knowledge / Marketing 55 3Network / Organizational Network / Knowledge / Marketing 40 4Body / Labor Saving Production 30 5Crop / Food Types and Uses Network / Knowledge / Marketing 29 6Time Saving Production 27 7Yield Enhancement Production 26 8SOM management / soil amendment Production 26 9Season Extension Production 25 10Insect / Disease Control Production 24 11Manufactured equipment Production 23 12Nutrient Cycling Production 22 13Harvest / Product Quality Production 22 14Recycled/Reuse Production 19 15Income Enhancement Network / Knowledge / Marketing 18 16Weed / Control Production 17 17Assessment Planning Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 15 18Farmer Training / Knowledge Network / Knowledge / Marketing 15 19Food Processing Food Processing / Safety 12 20Irrigation / Watering Production 10 21Livestock/Animal Management Production 10 22Outside Income/ Grants Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 10 23Quality of Life / Lifestyle Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 9 24Feedback Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 7 25Labor assistance Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 6 26Energy Saving Production 5 27Food Safety Innovation Food Processing / Safety 5 28Food Policy Food Processing / Safety 3 29Homemade Greenhousesn=5Greenhouse Case StudyGreenhouse Case StudyPipe BenderExample of aCOST SAVINGSInnovation
    • 21. Type Category Occurrence RankBetter performance Production 62 1Cost Saving Production 58 2Marketing Network / Knowledge / Marketing 55 3Network / Organizational Network / Knowledge / Marketing 40 4Body / Labor Saving Production 30 5Crop / Food Types and Uses Network / Knowledge / Marketing 29 6Time Saving Production 27 7Yield Enhancement Production 26 8SOM management / soil amendment Production 26 9Season Extension Production 25 10Insect / Disease Control Production 24 11Manufactured equipment Production 23 12Nutrient Cycling Production 22 13Harvest / Product Quality Production 22 14Recycled/Reuse Production 19 15Income Enhancement Network / Knowledge / Marketing 18 16Weed / Control Production 17 17Assessment Planning Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 15 18Farmer Training / Knowledge Network / Knowledge / Marketing 15 19Food Processing Food Processing / Safety 12 20Irrigation / Watering Production 10 21Livestock/Animal Management Production 10 22Outside Income/ Grants Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 10 23Quality of Life / Lifestyle Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 9 24Feedback Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 7 25Labor assistance Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 6 26Energy Saving Production 5 27Food Safety Innovation Food Processing / Safety 5 28Food Policy Food Processing / Safety 3 29NRCS FundedGreenhousesn=6
    • 22. Type Category Occurrence RankBetter performance Production 62 1Cost Saving Production 58 2Marketing Network / Knowledge / Marketing 55 3Network / Organizational Network / Knowledge / Marketing 40 4Body / Labor Saving Production 30 5Crop / Food Types and Uses Network / Knowledge / Marketing 29 6Time Saving Production 27 7Yield Enhancement Production 26 8SOM management / soil amendment Production 26 9Season Extension Production 25 10Insect / Disease Control Production 24 11Manufactured equipment Production 23 12Nutrient Cycling Production 22 13Harvest / Product Quality Production 22 14Recycled/Reuse Production 19 15Income Enhancement Network / Knowledge / Marketing 18 16Weed / Control Production 17 17Assessment Planning Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 15 18Farmer Training / Knowledge Network / Knowledge / Marketing 15 19Food Processing Food Processing / Safety 12 20Irrigation / Watering Production 10 21Livestock/Animal Management Production 10 22Outside Income/ Grants Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 10 23Quality of Life / Lifestyle Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 9 24Feedback Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 7 25Labor assistance Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 6 26Energy Saving Production 5 27Food Safety Innovation Food Processing / Safety 5 28Food Policy Food Processing / Safety 3 29• Primary Income vs. Secondary Income Farms• Some homemade structures built for matching costs of the NRCSfunded projects• Innovative use of capital (No one purchased a kit)• All projects reduced costs with labor. Benefits toward innovation?• Future questions: - different growing environments?- influence of subsidies on innovation processTotal Square Feet and Material Costs of Greenhouses built by Farmsbetween 2009-2013
    • 23. ``Type Category Occurrence RankBetter performance Production 62 1Cost Saving Production 58 2Marketing Network / Knowledge / Marketing 55 3Network / Organizational Network / Knowledge / Marketing 40 4Body / Labor Saving Production 30 5Crop / Food Types and Uses Network / Knowledge / Marketing 29 6Time Saving Production 27 7Yield Enhancement Production 26 8SOM management / soil amendment Production 26 9Season Extension Production 25 10Insect / Disease Control Production 24 11Manufactured equipment Production 23 12Nutrient Cycling Production 22 13Harvest / Product Quality Production 22 14Recycled/Reuse Production 19 15Income Enhancement Network / Knowledge / Marketing 18 16Weed / Control Production 17 17Assessment Planning Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 15 18Farmer Training / Knowledge Network / Knowledge / Marketing 15 19Food Processing Food Processing / Safety 12 20Irrigation / Watering Production 10 21Livestock/Animal Management Production 10 22Outside Income/ Grants Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 10 23Quality of Life / Lifestyle Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 9 24Feedback Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 7 25Labor assistance Labor / Planning / Lifestyle 6 26Energy Saving Production 5 27Food Safety Innovation Food Processing / Safety 5 28Food Policy Food Processing / Safety 3 29Basement GrowingCob FurnaceAlternative HeatAlternative HeatSeason ExtensionSeason ExtensionCase StudyCase Study• Only occur on one farm• Why did Trillium Farms innovate?• Growing Year Round• Will People Adopt?• System Level Innovations“Because I produce heat down here it made moresense to import light”
    • 24. Identifying Key InnovationsIdentifying Key InnovationsInnovation PracticesInnovationtypes addressedCompost Tea 9Aquaponics system 8Compost Tea 8NRCS Rainwater irrigation system 8Compost Tea 8Compost Slurry 8CSA shares system / Cafeteria Style 7Impact Grazing 7Using cardboard / hay for weedsuppression 7Focusing on Locally Grown internetmarket 7On-farm Farmers Market 7Locally Grown market 7Basement growing using grow lights 7Well and watering lines Grant 6NRCS high tunnel and irrigationgrants 6Biodynamic treatments 6NRCS Irrigation system 6Recycled Black Plastic under tomatoes 6Use of inexpensive tunnels 6Locally Grown market 6• Which innovations address themost problems?• Which innovations have widestapplicability?• Which innovations moststrongly shape farmmanagement?• Which innovations are shapingthe local food system as awhole?Specific Innovations and the number of innovationtypes they address
    • 25. Compost Tea Case StudyCompost Tea Case StudySoil Food Web Priming Techniques• Occurrence : 4 of 28 farms• Source : Non-traditional consultants& Dr. Elaine Ingham• Impact : Addressed broadest # of productionneeds (9)• Performance:• Corn with Brix of 56 when 24 is excellent• Blueberries – no size down, flowering on oneyear growth• Tomatoes and Peppers exposed to late freezeof 31°F survived with less than 5% loss.• Other Innovation Processes – trials have beenimportant, example of adaptation, not areplacement for SOM amendmentsExample of a Key InnovationExample of a Key Innovation
    • 26. Compost Tea Case StudyCompost Tea Case StudySoil Food Web Priming Techniques• Occurrence : 4 of 28 farms• Source : Non-traditional consultants& Dr. Elaine Ingham• Impact : Addressed broadest # of productionneeds (9)• Performance:• Corn with Brix of 56 when 24 is excellent• Blueberries – no size down, flowering on oneyear growth• Tomatoes and Peppers exposed to late freezeof 31°F survived with less than 5% loss.• Other Innovation Processes – trials have beenimportant, example of adaptation, not areplacement for SOM amendmentsExample of a Key InnovationExample of a Key InnovationProduction Innovation Types• Time Saving• Cost Saving• Energy Saving• Recycled / Reuse• Body / Labor Saving• Better Performance• Yield Enhancement• SOM Management• Nutrient Cycling• Irrigation / Watering•Season Extension•Insect / Pest / Disease Control•Weed Control•Harvest / Product Quality•Manufactured Equipment•Livestock / Animal Management
    • 27. Compost Tea throughCompost Tea throughthe Attributes of Innovationsthe Attributes of InnovationsRelative AdvantageBenefits are numerous and immediate.Compatibility StrongComplexityRelatively complex• Requires specialized equipment• Microbes are difficult / impossible to measureTrialability Strong. Most farms that had a trial adopted.Observability Somewhat of a challenge
    • 28. Compost Tea throughCompost Tea throughthe Attributes of Innovationsthe Attributes of InnovationsRelative AdvantageBenefits are numerous and immediate.Compatibility StrongComplexityRelatively complex• Requires specialized equipment• Microbes are difficult / impossible to measureTrialability Strong. Most farms that had a trial adopted.Observability Somewhat of a challengeAdaptabilityAdaptabilityExtent to which an innovation can be modified orExtent to which an innovation can be modified orimproved in order to better address the specificimproved in order to better address the specificcontexts, problems and challenges in a settingcontexts, problems and challenges in a setting
    • 29. Compost Tea throughCompost Tea throughthe Attributes of Innovationsthe Attributes of InnovationsRelative Advantage Benefits are numerous and immediate.Compatibility StrongComplexityRelatively complex• Requires specialized equipment• Microbes are difficult / impossible to measureTrialability Strong. Most farms that had a trial adopted.Observability Somewhat of a challengeAdaptabilityAdaptabilityExtent to which an innovation can be modified orExtent to which an innovation can be modified orimproved in order to better address the specificimproved in order to better address the specificcontexts, problems and challenges in a settingcontexts, problems and challenges in a settingSustainability?Sustainability? Poorly accounted for innovation studies.Poorly accounted for innovation studies.
    • 30. Identifying Key InnovationsIdentifying Key InnovationsInnovation PracticesInnovationtypes addressedCompost Tea 9Aquaponics system 8Compost Tea 8NRCS Rainwater irrigation system 8Compost Tea 8Compost Slurry 8CSA shares system / Cafeteria Style 7Impact Grazing 7Using cardboard / hay for weedsuppression 7Focusing on Locally Grown internetmarket 7On-farm Farmers Market 7Locally Grown market 7Basement growing using grow lights 7Well and watering lines Grant 6NRCS high tunnel and irrigationgrants 6Biodynamic treatments 6NRCS Irrigation system 6Recycled Black Plastic under tomatoes 6Use of inexpensive tunnels 6Locally Grown market 6• Does this innovation addressthe most problems?• Does this innovation have wideapplicability?• Does this innovation stronglyshape farm management?• Does this innovation shape thelocal food system as a whole?Specific Innovations and the number of innovationtypes they addressYESYES, though not widely adoptedYES, it is a system level innovationYES
    • 31. Biochar case studyBiochar case studyExample of a Non Key InnovationExample of a Non Key Innovation• One of most persistent forms of C inthe world• Conversion of cob furnace tobiochar chamber• Applied for SARE producer grant• Example of innovation developmentAnalysis•In Conceptual Stage•Key Innovations:•Not widely applicable –Not heating through winter (laborrequirements)•Not likely to shape farm mgmt.-Compost not a huge expense
    • 32. Biochar throughBiochar throughthe Attributes of Innovationsthe Attributes of InnovationsRelative Advantage Immediacy of benefits is LOW / RISKYCompatibilityLOW : few people heating greenhouses &greenhouses are largerComplexityExtremely complex• Haven’t heard of it / Uncertain how it works• Science unclear on effects of different biocharTrialability Difficult. Not available. Must build a furnace, etc.Observability Non-ExistentAdaptabilityAdaptabilityUnknownUnknownSustainability?Sustainability? Significant PotentialSignificant Potential
    • 33. Biochar throughBiochar throughthe Attributes of Innovationsthe Attributes of InnovationsRelative Advantage Immediacy of benefits is LOW / RISKYCompatibilityLOW : few people heating greenhouses &greenhouses are largerComplexityExtremely complex• Haven’t heard of it / Uncertain how it works• Science unclear on effects of different biocharTrialability Difficult. Not available. Must build a furnace, etc.Observability Non-ExistentAdaptabilityAdaptabilityUnknownUnknownSustainability?Sustainability? Significant PotentialSignificant PotentialProduction Innovation Types• Time Saving• Cost Saving• Energy Saving• Recycled / Reuse• Body / Labor Saving• Better Performance• Yield Enhancement• SOM Management• Nutrient Cycling• Irrigation / Watering•Season Extension•Insect / Pest / Disease Control•Weed Control•Harvest / Product Quality•Manufactured Equipment•Livestock / Animal Management
    • 34. Internet Based Farmers MarketInternet Based Farmers Marketa rural food distribution networka rural food distribution networkApril 2010LaunchedNortheast GeorgiaLocally Grown MarketAdvantagesLess time / Labor relative totraditional farmers marketsLess risk of waste (products arepresold)Provides a year round marketReach customers across broad regionMidweek market enhances freshnessDrop off locations createopportunities for networking/knowledge exchangeMarket generates its own funds
    • 35. Internet Based Farmers MarketInternet Based Farmers Marketa rural food distribution networka rural food distribution networkBut itBut it’s central value is as a’s central value is as a CENTRALIZED MARKETPLACECENTRALIZED MARKETPLACE across aacross awide rural region. And as awide rural region. And as a DISTRIBUTION NETWORKDISTRIBUTION NETWORK..Distribution pattern and driving routes of farms delivering to the Tiger andDistribution pattern and driving routes of farms delivering to the Tiger andClarkesville delivery locationsClarkesville delivery locationsTiger pick upTiger pick upClarkesville pick upClarkesville pick upShuttle RunShuttle Run
    • 36. Internet Based Farmers MarketInternet Based Farmers Marketa rural food distribution networka rural food distribution networkDistribution pattern and driving routes of farms delivering to theTiger and Clarkesville delivery locations.DELIVERY MILESMiles Saved w/ Shuttle per year 18,523SAVINGSGas and Labor ($10/hr) SAVINGS $6,931.36Less cost for SHUTTLE RUN $1,000.00TOTAL SAVINGS $5,931.36Delivery miles reduced and savings achieved through theDelivery miles reduced and savings achieved through thedistribution efficiency of a shuttle rundistribution efficiency of a shuttle run
    • 37. Internet Based Farmers MarketInternet Based Farmers Marketa rural food distribution networka rural food distribution networkOnce ADOPTEDOnce ADOPTEDADAPTATIONS and IMPROVEMENTS will be made to insureADAPTATIONS and IMPROVEMENTS will be made to insureimproved performanceimproved performanceMost significant improvements•Distribution Collaboratives•Market standards
    • 38. The Role of Farmers Network in InnovationThe Role of Farmers Network in InnovationServe two important rolesServe two important roles•Provide aProvide a forum to exchange ideasforum to exchange ideas and techniquesand techniques ignored orignored ormarginalized by agricultural sciencemarginalized by agricultural science– contribute to innovation exchange, adoption, adaptation or development.contribute to innovation exchange, adoption, adaptation or development.• Networks also engage inNetworks also engage in COLLABORATIONSCOLLABORATIONS that can achievethat can achievesocial or economic goals farmers cannot achieve in isolation.social or economic goals farmers cannot achieve in isolation.Knowledge NetworksKnowledge Networksas opposed to Market Networksas opposed to Market Networks
    • 39. The Role of Farmers Network in InnovationThe Role of Farmers Network in Innovation• September 2011 – CNG awards $2,000 toSeptember 2011 – CNG awards $2,000 tohelp spur ahelp spur a “farmer centered” NETWORK“farmer centered” NETWORK• First meeting in January 2012First meeting in January 2012• Formally becomes Georgia MountainsFormally becomes Georgia MountainsFarmers NetworkFarmers Network
    • 40. Farmer Get-Togethers•6 since January 2012•Farm tour, Potluck, Meeting•Hosts openness builds trust in sharing information•Knowledge may come from anyone not just the hostThe Role of Farmers Network in InnovationThe Role of Farmers Network in InnovationInnovationPassive solar greenhouse with black paintedrainbarrels for thermal retentionSoaking SeedsSpraying plants with worm casting teaMixing lettuce seedsCutting in a swale to divert waterHoop Houses and Drip TapeNRCS grants - high tunnels and irrigationUse of an Earthway SeederCNG Tour InspectionSpecific occurrences of innovationadoption from network interactionsDiffusion Analysis•Farm Tours are excellent venue for info onrelative advantage, compatibility andcomplexity.•Most tangibly achieves Observability•Value isn’t just to adoption, also stimulatesthinking that can lead to recombinations ofpractices and new innovations.• Adoption less related “opinionleadership” of host farmer andmore to contextual relevance.• Idea mobility across contextsis a source of new innovation.
    • 41. Networks build “collective” innovation capacityThe Role of Farmers Network in InnovationThe Role of Farmers Network in InnovationNetwork Innovation DescriptionHolding a regional FARM TOUR for the publicExpanding Collaborative Markets to anAdjacent RegionUtilizing Blog as Communication ToolObtaining Joint Product InsuranceCoordinating Bulk OrdersSharing EquipmentCNG – Networker phone conferencesCNG – WebinarsEvidence of network innovationsdeveloped as a product of networkinteractions
    • 42. ConclusionsConclusions• Adoption is not the only process important toagricultural innovations• Adaptation and Development are vitalprocesses poorly studied within sustainableagricultureRelative AdvantageBenefits are numerous and immediate.Compatibility StrongComplexityRelatively complex• Requires specialized equipment• Microbes are difficult / impossible tomeasureTrialability Strong. Most farms that had a trial adopted.Observability Somewhat of a challengeRelative AdvantageBenefits are numerous and immediate.Compatibility StrongComplexityRelatively complex• Requires specialized equipment• Microbes are difficult / impossible tomeasureTrialability Strong. Most farms that had a trial adopted.Observability Somewhat of a challengeAdaptabilityAdaptabilityExtent to which an innovation can be modified orExtent to which an innovation can be modified orimproved in order to better address theimproved in order to better address thespecific contexts, problems andspecific contexts, problems andchallenges in a settingchallenges in a setting
    • 43. Conclusions pt.2Conclusions pt.2• Innovations arise from adaptation and developmentto new contexts and new problems.• Focus should not be on farmer adoption, but how toincrease their capacity for adaptation anddevelopment.What does this study say about that?Networks are a useful tool• Increased interaction stimulates problem solving• Networks serve different purposes• LG and GMFN are the same people but meet for twodifferent purposes (market collaboration, and knowledgeexchange)
    • 44. Conclusions pt.3Conclusions pt.3• Innovations Inventory provides a valuablediagnostic tool for identifying challenges receivingfarmer’s creative energies. (30% were non-production oriented)• Innovation Typology allows innovations to beranked by the challenges they address.• Key Innovations Concept identifies innovationswith the greatest potential to enact change onindividual farms and throughout the food system.
    • 45. Conclusions pt.4Conclusions pt.4CASE STUDIES•Production Innovations• Greenhouses• Compost Tea• Cob Furnace / Basement Growing• Biochar•Marketing Innovations• Locally Grown•Networking Innovations• Georgia Mountain Farmers NetworkInnovations from outside the local food systemincluding research based innovations will continue tobe important, but do not play the only role.
    • 46. Conclusions pt.3Conclusions pt.3• New definition for Innovations“the practical application of new ideas within theunique social, ecological and capital contexts inwhich they will be utilized”• Research science will always be challenged to adaptpractices to these context specific conditions.• Farmers are capable of developing their ownsolutions to problems and are often best positionedto ADAPT to context specific conditions.• Future research will switch focus from adoptionprocesses to adaptation and developmentprocesses and how to increase farmers owncapacities for innovation.

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