Analytical Variables Leading Consumers and Farmers to Become Involved in Sustainable Agriculture in the Indianapolis Region

Olivia Holabird Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Jesse Van Gerven Butler University
200,000 people living in Indianapolis have low food access, most of whom live in
low-income areas. One solution to these food deserts is sustainable urban agriculture. I investigated what factors bring people living in the Indianapolis region to become involved in sustainable agriculture in the hopes of increasing future involvement. To do this, I conducted 12 semi-structured interviews with 6 farmers and 6 consumers across the Indianapolis region. I used Vermeir and Verbeke’s analytical categories of values, social norms, certainty, perceived availability, and perceived influence. I found that values and social norms could be combined into a sense of identity, which can be defined as “socially distinguished features that a person takes a special pride in.” Certainty and perceived availability were better explained as accessibility, which can be broken into social, physical, and economic and was a much stronger factor for African American interviewees than white interviewees. I did not find significant evidence of perceived influence. I also found two additional factors of health and community. Health was also divided among white and black interviewees, with it being a concern for the authenticity of produce for white interviewees and a complete shift of diet for black interviewees. Community can be further broken down into farmers within sustainable ag, the relationship between farmers and consumers, and the local neighborhood community. Each of the four factors further clarifies why people become involved in sustainable agriculture, which offers insights into how we can increase overall involvement in sustainable agriculture in Indianapolis.
Sustainability, Urban Ecology & Environmental Studies
Oral Presentation

When & Where

10:45 AM
Pharmacy & Health Sciences 212