Submitted to: Popular Publication
Publication Type: Popular publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2008
Publication Date: 10/1/2008
Citation: Stedman, R.C., James, E.E., Kleinman, P.J. 2008. Local land uses and downstream benefits: How farmer attitudes influence watershed conservation practices. Rural New York Minute. Available online: http://devsoc.cals.cornell.edu/cals/devsoc/outreach/cardi/upload/03-2008-RNYM.pdf. Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.
Technical Abstract: The applicability of the traditional adoption diffusion model to conservation practices has been debated for decades. We examine farmer adoption of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program in the context of the Cannonsville watershed, part of the New York City drinking water supply system, using the adoption diffusion framework. Although individual farmer and farm level characteristics contribute to prediction of adoption, the inclusion of locally-specific attitude variables greatly enhances the predictive power of our model. The Cannonsville watershed shares macro-level structural characteristics, such as extra-locally controlled conservation initiatives, in common with other watersheds. Using these characteristics as variables, a typology can be developed at the watershed or community level to better measure macro-level effects on adoption behavior. As metropolitan areas across the U.S. strive to balance the maintenance of clean water resources with the support of local agricultural production initiatives, watersheds sharing these characteristics will become more common.