Martin, M. J., & Enns, K. J. (2017). The conflicts of agriculture: Exploring the agricultural ideologies of university agricultural education students. Journal of Agricultural Education, 58(1), 207-222. 


American agriculturalists are divided on a variety of issues related to production and consumption of food.  Broadly speaking, two groups have emerged along two ideological lines: agrarian populism, which articulates conventional agricultural values, and neo-agrarianism, which shares some nonconventional agricultural values.  Although both groups may find common ground, their ideological differences have led to conflict.  Land-grant institutions are not immune to this type of conflict.  This study examined how differing agricultural ideologies affected the experiences of agricultural education undergraduates at a land-grant institution.   Two focus groups of agricultural education students at [University] were set apart to explore their agriculture values. Three themes emerged from this study: (a) acknowledgement of different agriculture values; (b) deeply rooted agriculture values; and (c) conflicts arising from differing agriculture values. Arguments from some students centered on agrarian populist ideological ideals, including traditional agriculture, farming, and rural lifestyle values and were often rooted in emotions.  They were concerned about protecting a way of life, which they felt was being threatened by others.  Some participants who had more neo-agrarian agriculture values did not freely present their arguments;  but, seemed more comfortable promoting some of the more traditional agrarian populist ideals. 

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