How do farmers choose the professionals with whom they work to ensure herd health management? An approach based on the diversity of prescription systems in dairy cattle farming - Review of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Studies Access content directly
Journal Articles Review of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Studies Year : 2023

How do farmers choose the professionals with whom they work to ensure herd health management? An approach based on the diversity of prescription systems in dairy cattle farming

Abstract

Encouraged to design a more agroecological livestock system, farmers today must develop new practices to address herd health management. They must do this on their farms, alongside other farmers, but also with the support of various livestock professionals, such as veterinarians and agricultural advisers, each with their own skills and knowledge. This article analyses how these farmers enlist the aid of different professionals in their quest for a more agroecological approach to herd health management. Drawing on a conceptual framework, based on the prescription relationship concept, we refer to all the professionals involved as a "prescription system". The qualitative analysis of the 26 interviews conducted with French dairy farmers involved in an agroecological approach reveals five types of prescription systems: (i) one structured around the farm work collective and a few trusted prescribers; (ii) one organised around farmers seeking prescribers and concrete solutions; (iii) one extended around an autonomous operator; (iv) one oriented towards prescribers capable of promoting transition by encouraging discussions around health; (v) one designed to promote precise and technical herd health management. The question, then, is how do these different systems provide farmers with learning opportunities in their quest for agroecological approaches to health management? The extent to which these systems influence farmers' representations of health management, and the manner in which the latter's perceptions of health help to shape these systems, therefore appears to be worth exploring.
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Dates and versions

hal-04187416 , version 1 (09-10-2023)

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Eulalie Ramat, Lucie Gouttenoire, Nathalie Girard. How do farmers choose the professionals with whom they work to ensure herd health management? An approach based on the diversity of prescription systems in dairy cattle farming. Review of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Studies, 2023, 104 (2), pp.217-242. ⟨10.1007/s41130-023-00193-7⟩. ⟨hal-04187416⟩
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