737   Visual presentation

Fridays for "Farm": Campus farming and the transformation of community agri-food conceptions

Author: Chi-I Lin
National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan, Taiwan

Consumers' perception of food sovereignty has the power to shape the culture of agri-food commodity market, and moreover, benefits the health of the local farmers, the community, and the land. This study explores using campus-site farming practice as a communication strategy in increasing public awareness about current agri-food issues. It investigates the impact of the community farming practice on the participants' values and attitude toward sustainable agriculture. This study first discusses the operation of the campus/community small-scale farming. It will then look into the participants' concern about agri-food issues and their action for sustainable agriculture. In this study, there are142 participants including university students, staff, and local residents. Questionnaire survey and focus group interview are employed to collect research data through pre-tests and post-tests at the beginning and end of the semester. The text data of focus group interview transcripts are analyzed using content analysis. The results show that students' attitude toward community agriculture is positively related to values of "growing food by oneself", "buying food from the local regions", and "aesthetic appreciation". Also, campus/community farming and involves students to experience what can be done and how to do it regarding sustainable actions. This study concludes that campus farming facilitates a positive learning cycle through interacting with the locals. It suggests that campus/community farming acts as an effective strategy for communicating the values of sustainable agriculture.

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