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Exploring attributes of resilience: robustness, adaptability and transformation in East Anglian farmer narratives

When Oct 16, 2019
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where Mill Lane Lecture Room 9
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Professor Peter Midmore and Susan Fowler

About the speaker:

Peter Midmore is emeritus professor of economics and Susan fowler is research associate, both of Aberystwyth business school. They are consortium members of the h2020 project “towards sustainable and resilient eu farming systems” (


We explore how farm systems can be  resilient in the face of socio-economic, ecological and institutional pressures by identifying and analysing critical decision points in their life histories. We gathered narrative biographies from nine East Anglian arable farmers, and used thematic qualitative analysis to identify shocks, cycles and trends affecting farm businesses and how they respond.

Analysis reveals different approaches to risk alleviation, suggesting that farm systems are ill-equipped for a rapid move away from direct payments, and unpreparedness for climate-change.  Our talk will describe why and how we conducted the study, the major insights that emerge from it, and what might be done to make farms more resilient. Coherent strategies are required to support intergenerational transition on farms.