Expanding local participation in conservation programs: Examining factors affecting conservation adoption among Old Order Amish in the Sugar Creek Watershed

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2005: $9,822.60
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Grant Recipient: Ohio State University
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Graduate Student:
Faculty Advisor:
Richard Moore
Ohio State University


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, networking, workshop
  • Sustainable Communities: analysis of personal/family life, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    I propose to investigate the relationships between land tenure and farmer attitudes regarding the adoption of conservation practices among Old Order Amish in the South Fork of the Sugar Creek Watershed in southern Holmes County. Under farmer and local agency supervision, I will use key informant interviews with new and existing farmer contacts to elicit: 1) local social networks, 2) family and farm history, and 3) willingness of farmers to implement conservation practices. This information will help policymakers, researchers, and agency personnel gain a better understanding of relationships between land tenure and other local knowledge and allow direct input from farmers regarding their perceptions and needs. Understanding these linkages will lead to better watershed conservation projects and more sustainable agricultural communities via improved environmental quality and rural quality of life. The proposed project will demonstrate the benefits of farmer input into local agency conservation approaches and promote farmer-lead participatory development. This proposed project is an important component of the larger Sugar Creek Project with a participatory community research and development focus. Products of this proposed research include peer-reviewed publications, OSU Extension Fact Sheet and local agency informational bulletins, presentations at workshops and field-days, conferences, and other conservation/research groups, and the final two chapters of a Ph.D. dissertation. Outcome indicators include the generation of useful indicators of Amish conservation adoption, understanding of factors that lead to Amish participation in government conservation programs, and a successful defense of a Ph.D.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The outcome of this project will be a broader understanding of the role of land tenure in the conservation adoption process among Old Order Amish of Holmes County, Ohio, and highlight the importance of an inclusive development and implementation process for watershed conservation projects.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.