This subject has been covered in several issues of American Journal of
Alternative Agriculture. The entire Vol. 5 No. 4 (1990) was devoted to the
theme "Learning from Each Other: New Models for Sustainable Agriculture
Research and Information." Several of the contributions directly treat the
issues raised in her query.
More recently, two additional articles have appeared, and a third will be in
the next issue, which will be in your mailboxes very soon:
"Farmer participation in research: A model for adaptive research and
education" by John Gerber (Vol. 7, No. 3, 1992) discusses researcher-farmer
communications barriers, and suggests a mode of research specifically
intended to overcome them.
"Farmers' use of validity cues to evaluate reports of field-scale
agricultural research," by Gerry Walter (Vol. 8, No. 3, 1993) reports on a
study showing how farmers decide whether to accept the results of on-farm and
farmer-directed research, a mode of research especially prevalent in
"Minnesota extension agents' knowledge and views of alternative agriculture,"
by Deborah Paulson (Vol. 10, No. 3, 1995 [forthcoming]) discusses the extent
to which extension agents do and do not accept the various goals of
sustainable agriculture, and the need for further communication between
farmers and agents to establish common ground.
All in all, anyone interested in this and a lot of other subjects could do
worse than check out American Journal of Alternative Agriculture.
Conflict of Interest Disclosure Notice: W. Lockeretz is Editor, American
Journal of Alternative Agriculture.