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The Ethical Challenges in Farming: A Report on Conversations with Missouri Corn and Soybean Producers

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 11(2): 239-248. (doi: 10.13031/2013.18191) @2005
Authors:   H. S. James, Jr.
Keywords:   Agriculture, Ethics, Farmer attitudes, Industrialization.

Interviews with Missouri corn and soybean farmers reveal what farmers consider are important ethical challenges in agriculture. In contrast to the literature, which characterizes ethical challenges in term of philosophical debates about soil conservation, the use of pesticides and genetically modified seeds, and the treatment of animals, for instance, this research finds that farmers perceive ethical challenges in behavioral terms. The reason is rooted in the industrialization of agricultural production, which creates tensions for farmers between doing what they believe is right and doing what they feel they must in order to survive.

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