What if farmers and others in rural communities had more influence over the decisions that impact their lives?

With major changes in farming and food systems in the past century, the Interactivity Foundation recently published a discussion guide around rural communities and possible future directions with policy implications. The guide helps facilitate discussions on addressing these challenges: What will the future of agriculture and rural life look like? What do we want it to look like? Which values inform our hopes for the future?

The project explored various dimensions of agriculture including environment (land, water, and energy use; erosion, climate change, fertilizers), technology and research (genetic engineering, farming practices, big data, information dissemination), economy (subsidies, regulations, labor, big business, exports), governance (national, human, and environmental security), and food (sustainability, security, public health, production, storage, quality, distribution, rights).

Importantly, this project also focuses on the culture of rural life. In what ways are identitytraditionscommunitysense of belonging, and ethical norms derived from our relationship with land? The project examines this specifically in rural spaces, where connections to the land seem to be deeply rooted, intimate, but also fragile if not potentially fleeting.

Download the discussion guide and learn more about the project here.

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