Austrian organic farmers as health promoters | Rebecca Paxton

For the Food Values Research Group’s June 2019 seminar, we are pleased to welcome Rebecca Paxton:

Austrian organic farmers as health promoters

Rebecca Paxton, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

This presentation explores health promotion as a function of organic agriculture, with a focus on the perceptions and practices of Austrian organic farmers. It identifies health concerns that are considered relevant to farming practice and ways in which these are incorporated in farmers’ decision making. Drawing on selected examples, it asks how the pursuit of health shapes farmers’ relationships with involved and affected stakeholders and integrates diverse knowledge and resources. Throughout the presentation the practical and value judgements of organic farmers are emphasized, including who or what are considered relevant targets of health promotion and why; what are desirable health outcomes, and how they ought to be achieved.

The holistic model of health put forth by the organic movement strongly influences Austrian organic farmers’ approaches to health promotion. The presentation explains how organic farmers form, shape, and dissolve relationships between stakeholders as key strategies to manage potentially conflicting health goals. In particular, it argues that organic farmers’ judgements concerning relevant sources of expertise and control affect their pursuit and assessment of health promotion. This analysis of the integration of health promotion as a function of organic agriculture thereby highlights many of the challenges of multifunctional agricultural development.

Rebecca Paxton is a doctoral candidate with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a Bachelor of Science in Geography at Victoria University of Wellington in 2007, a BSc Honors degree in Hazard and Disaster Management at Canterbury University in 2008, and a Master of International Relations from Victoria University of Wellington in 2009. This presentation covers part of her doctoral research on health as a function of Austrian organic agriculture.

When: Tuesday 18th June, 12-1 PM

Where: Ira Raymond Room, Barr Smith Library, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide (click here for campus map)

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