The Object of extension

Agricultural education and authentic farmers in Pennsylvania

Amy Trauger, Carolyn Elizabeth Sachs, Mary Ellen Barbercheck, Nancy Ellen Kiernan, Kathryn Jo Brasier, Audrey Schwartzberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cooperative extension, as an outreach mechanism of land grant universities in the USA, has long served the educational needs of rural and agricultural communities. The educational programming of extension, however, is generally divided into areas that reflect, reify and reinforce the gendered division of labour on farms in the USA. While it is well documented that extension inadequately serves women in providing knowledge about production practices in contemporary agriculture, the mechanisms by which women's access to knowledge is hindered are not well understood. Using Freire's ideas about authentic educational subjects we explore the social construction of authentic farming and educational programming in the cooperative extension system. Using interviews with extension educators at a large land grant university, this article describe how extension educators identify certain types of farmers and farming as authentic, while certain types of farms are seen as inauthentic. This belief feeds into the institutional discourse that the educational opportunities offered by extension are appropriate for all audiences of authentic farmers. We conclude by offering insights into how cooperative extension can reorient its programming toward the emerging cultural economies of agriculture in rural communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-103
Number of pages19
JournalSociologia Ruralis
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010

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farmer
programming
grant
farm
agriculture
educator
cultural economy
education
university
educational opportunity
knowledge production
division of labor
social construction
rural community
discourse
interview
community

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Trauger, Amy ; Sachs, Carolyn Elizabeth ; Barbercheck, Mary Ellen ; Kiernan, Nancy Ellen ; Brasier, Kathryn Jo ; Schwartzberg, Audrey. / The Object of extension : Agricultural education and authentic farmers in Pennsylvania. In: Sociologia Ruralis. 2010 ; Vol. 50, No. 2. pp. 85-103.
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The Object of extension : Agricultural education and authentic farmers in Pennsylvania. / Trauger, Amy; Sachs, Carolyn Elizabeth; Barbercheck, Mary Ellen; Kiernan, Nancy Ellen; Brasier, Kathryn Jo; Schwartzberg, Audrey.

In: Sociologia Ruralis, Vol. 50, No. 2, 01.04.2010, p. 85-103.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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