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Entrepreneurship and Multifunctionality Entrepreneurship and multifunctionality describe the ways that farmers try new things and diversify their operations to enhance profitability. Multifunctional agriculture encompasses a mix of market and non-market uses, such as conservation and provision of ecosystem services Hibbard and Lurie, Economically multifunctional activities such as agritourism, value-added, and organic certification can include environmental management practices that differentiate the product in the marketplace and command a higher price Brown, ; Liang, ; Liang and Su, ; Liang et al.
Entrepreneurship and innovation reflect functional values related to price and quality of products but can also be expressed in epistemic values such as a willingness to try new products, markets, or practices. The characteristics of farms that choose ecological farm practices and RFN marketing may be the same characteristics that make them entrepreneurial: They may be more risk tolerant and adaptable to environmental and market conditions.
Characteristics of entrepreneurship also overlap with characteristics of resilience: Flexibility and intentional adaptation allow a producer to take advantage of new information and opportunities as they arise, while adapting in the face of adversity Ecotrust, ; Clancy and Ruhf, Entrepreneurial, multifunctional farms manage diverse goals—such as biodiversity and food production—while maintaining economic profitability.
The respondents to our Oregon RFN survey scored high on entrepreneurial attitudes and showed signs of multifunctional operations, averaging 3. Nearly all farms participated in at least one RFN channel, which are often in development stages, along with their environmentally conscious production practices.
Beginning farmers in their first 10 years of operation regardless of age were significantly more likely to use direct marketing and environmentally sensitive production practices, offering further insights into the entrepreneurial period of new farm operations.
Combined with the data on personal values and social embeddedness, it appears that people entering agriculture choose their practices and marketing to fulfill their personal vision for the operation, mediated by the physical characteristics of their farm, connecting to the markets that will provide the economic returns necessary to support the operation.
RFN channels are useful because they allow these values-driven entrepreneurial farms to capture price premiums for their products that are differentiated in the marketplace by their connection to place and environmental practices. Scale Scale is related to conditional values because changing practices for the sake of environmental impacts is conditioned on the ease of changing the operation.
The characteristics that link entrepreneurship to environmentally sensitive farm practices are often found in small-to-mid-size operations, which have the diversity, adaptability, and self-reliance required to respond to environmental and market conditions. For example, self-reliant farms may use soil building and nutrient cycling, relying on farm-generated inputs Kremen, Iles, and Bacon, ; Pearson, ; Shennan, , which is both ecologically sensitive and provides some insulation from external economic shocks.
Self-reliance, flexibility, and adaptability may result from lower financial and information barriers. Economic viability for small and mid-size farms requires matching production and market scales.
Supply chain partners bolster the resilience of the RFN by adding capital and marketing expertise that producers themselves may not be able to provide and are crucial to supporting mid-size farms Lyson, Stevenson, and Welsh, Large operations used wholesale channels, with certified organic products correlated with RFN retail and wholesale channels, while sales to national or international distributors are correlated with conventional practices.
Spatial and Temporal Distribution The final step in linking RFNs to ecological resilience is recognizing the spatial and temporal distribution of landscape characteristics and farm practices.
The agricultural landscape facing the producer is a conditional value used to make decisions about which management practices could be used to improve environmental outcomes. These are physical conditions that can be measured empirically and can be used by producers and policy makers to target policies linked to farm practices Brown, Ecologically multifunctional farms are diverse with regard to field size, field-to-edge ratio, and amount of uncultivated land verges, hedgerows, etc.
Temporal diversity—crop rotations, timing of management activities—may also increase the overall heterogeneity of the farm ecosystem and ultimately have a positive impact on biodiversity and, by extension, overall ecological resilience Kremen, Iles, and Bacon, ; Pearson, ; Shennan, The ultimate goal is to translate farming practices to actual environmental impacts Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, ; Jones-Walters, Water quality riparian buffering, habitat connectivity, and groundwater infiltration , pollination, nutrient cycling, soil conservation, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity conservation are important ecosystem services that operate at multiple landscape scales Dale and Polansky, ; Swinton et al.
However, ecosystem services generated by farm practices are widely inferred from farm practices in organic certification, eco-labeling, and government regulatory programs rather than by direct measurement.
While measuring environmental outcomes or indicators is ideal, it may be cost or measurement prohibitive van der Werf and Petit, New self-assessment tools also allow farms and their supply chain partners to assess the environmental impacts of the food supply chain.
It is becoming increasingly possible for farms to use the latest technology to manage their farm to reduce their environmental impacts, understand the impact on the bottom line, and communicate their progress up the supply chain and to consumers.
Clustering happens when farm businesses participate in their RFNs, strengthening the market and opportunities for individual farms and amplifying economic and ecological impacts McAdam et al.
For example, habitat fragmentation can be more effectively alleviated if neighboring landowners participate in habitat restoration plans.
Reducing irrigation needs across multiple farms in a watershed could provide more water for other agricultural uses and migrating fish species. Another take on clustering would protect agricultural landscapes from development to enhance regional food security.
Food Network Magazine 1,000 Easy Recipes: Super Fun Food for Every Day
While we do not have specific geographical data to analyze the spatial proximity of the farms in our Oregon RFN survey, future research on ecological impacts should account for the aggregated impacts of clustered farm practices. Summary The ecological impacts of agriculture are most directly a product of farm practices. Fundamental farm management decisions—such as what to produce, fertilization, irrigation, pesticides, tillage, harvesting, and processing equipment—have direct consequences for ecological health.
These decisions are informed as much by factors in the social and economic environment as much as by those in the physical environment. We analyzed the results from our Oregon RFN producer and consumer survey using a framework of five characteristics that connect producers who participate in RFNs to improved ecological resilience: ownership and control, personal values and social embeddedness, entrepreneurship and multifunctionality, scale, and spatial and temporal distribution of RFN producers and markets.
Kleijn, and T. Bengtsson, J. Weibull, Born, B. Brekken, C. Parks, and M.
Gwin, M. Horst, N.
The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life
McAdams, S. Martin, and G. Clancy, K. Some Arguments for Regional Food Systems. Ramankutty, K. Brauman, E. Cassidy, J.
Gerber, M. Johnston, N.
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Mueller, C. Ray, P. West, C. Balzer, E. Bennett, S.
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Carpenter, J. Hill, C. Monfreda, S. Polasky, J. Sheehan, S. Siebert, D. Tilman, and D. Gellynk, X. Vermeire, and J. Hamilton, N. Hibbard, M. Iles, A. Jones-Walters, L.
King, R. Hand, G. DiGiacomo, K. Clancy, M. Gomez, S. Hardesty, L. Lev, and E. Washington, D.
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Liang, C. Su, P. Dunn, and M. Low, S. Adalja, E. Beaulieu, N. Key, S.
Martinez, A. Flank Steak with Roasted Root Vegetables. Pork and Broccoli Grain Bowl. Rigatoni With Sausage And Fennel. Nacho Chicken Cutlets. Asian Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing.
Soba Noodles with Salmon. Scallops with Curried Cauliflower. Fusilli with Broccoli Rabe Pesto and Squash. Greek Frittata with Dill-Feta Salad. Baked Falafel with Cucumbers and Tahini. Bacon-Chive Mashed Rutabaga. Multigrain Cornbread. Coconut Rice and Peas. Fantasy Footballs. Egg-in-a-Hole Cake. Chocolate Cheesecake Cups with Candied Pecans.
Double-Chocolate Sandwich Cookies. NFL Cocktails 26 Photos.Perez, K. Liang, C. Serve with the potato salad. Clancy, K. You'll also find everything you need to get ready for Super Bowl Sunday, spoil your Valentine and bake your way through Gwin, M.