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PERSPECTIVES FOR COOPERATION BETWEEN FARMERS IN LANDSCAPE AND NATURE MANAGEMENT MODELING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DUTCH ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATIVE IN THE UNITED STATES By MARIE FERRE A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2013
2013 Marie Ferr
3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First of all, I want to give a warm thank you to my promoter Prof. Dr. Burkhardt who believed in my topic, and encouraged me in each step of my progress. I would like to thank Prof. Dr. Sabine Duvaleix Treguer for her interest in my work and her precious guidance. I am very grateful to Dr. Evy Mettepenningen for her support and precis e input. I also would like to thank Prof. Dr. Guido Van Huylenbroeck and Prof. Dr. Rodney Clouser for their help during this work. Finally, I am very grateful to my family who supported me an d encouraged me all along this m work.
4 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 3 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 10 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 1 1 LIST OF ABBR EVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ........................... 12 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 16 Context Setting ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 16 Place of the Study within Emerging Issues and Global Shifts .......................... 16 Global challenges and shifts in agricultural patterns ................................ .. 16 Green practices incentives, conservation programs in the U.S. and in EU ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 19 Willingness for new forms of institutional framework within the agricultural sector ................................ ................................ ................... 23 Object of the Study ................................ ................................ ........................... 24 Historic Environme ntal Cooperation in the Netherlands ................................ ... 25 The U.S. Context ................................ ................................ .............................. 26 Problem Statement ................................ ................................ ................................ 27 Justificat ion of the Research Study ................................ ................................ .. 27 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ......................... 28 Hypothesis ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 28 Objectives ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 29 Methodology ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 30 Structure ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 31 2 DUTCH CONTEXT SETTING THE ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATIVES ........... 33 Emergence of the Environmental Cooperative in the Netherlands Reasons ....... 33 Willingness for a Shift in the Pattern of the Food Production System ............... 33 A Structure in Line with t he Concept of Rural Development ............................. 34 A Wish for More Self Regulations ................................ ................................ .... 35 Emergence of new forms of governance in Europe ................................ ... 35 A feeling of inadequacy of the environmental regulations with the agricultural system ................................ ................................ .................. 35 A wish for more flexibility of the environmental reg ulations and better understanding with the authorities ................................ .......................... 36
5 A Willingness to Improve the Integration of Environmental Conservation P ractices in the Agricultural System ................................ ....................... 37 The Environmental Cooperative Description and Purposes ................................ 37 History of the Environmental Cooperative ................................ ........................ 37 Definition of an Environmental Cooperative ................................ ..................... 38 Structure and Legal framework of Environmental Coope ratives ....................... 39 ............................... 40 Purposes of the Environmental Cooperative ................................ .................... 42 Combining natural environment and farm management ............................ 42 Responding to a logic of sustainability ................................ ....................... 42 The Environmental Cooperatives, a Novelty in its Own Kind ................................ .. 43 The Principle of Self Governance ................................ ................................ ..... 43 General definition and implications of self governance .............................. 43 Self governance in the case of the environmental cooperative .................. 44 The Integration of Environmentally Oriented Practices as Part of the Farm Management and Business of the Cooperative ................................ ............. 45 Functioning of the combination ................................ ................................ .. 45 Example of project VEL & VANLA ................................ .......................... 45 The Link between the Environmental Cooperative and Various Stakeholders and Entities of the Territory ................................ ..................... 47 Benefits of the collaboration between various stakeholders through the EC theory ................................ ................................ ............................. 47 Integration of non farmers in the membership of the EC ........................... 47 The EC and the government ................................ ................................ ...... 48 The EC and the community organizations ................................ ................. 48 Internal Functioning and Activities of the Environmental Cooperative .................... 49 Economic Management ................................ ................................ .................... 49 Start up funding ................................ ................................ ......................... 49 Life coopera tive funding ................................ ................................ ............. 49 Activities of the Environmental Cooperative ................................ ..................... 50 Products of the Environmental Cooperatives ................................ ................... 51 Impacts and Externalities of this Form of Cooperation ................................ ........... 52 Environmental Impacts ................................ ................................ ..................... 52 Reduction of the Transaction and Operational Costs ................................ ....... 53 Stronger Bargaining Power ................................ ................................ .............. 54 ................................ ........................... 55 Enhancement of the Rural Development of the Area ................................ ....... 56 Higher involvement of farmers and other actors of the territory in projects related to environmental issues ................................ ................. 56 Contribution to rural development ................................ .............................. 57 Constraints and Difficulties of the Development of the Environmental Cooperatives ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 58 Resistance from the Farmers and the Governmental Authorities ..................... 58 Development difficulties faced by the environmental cooperative .............. 60 Long Term Risks of the Structure for the Farms of the Area ............................ 60 Risks for the Internal Functioni ng of the Environmental Cooperative ............... 61
6 From the perspective of the cooperative ................................ .................... 61 From the particular perspective of the EC ................................ .................. 61 Factors Influencing Success of Environmental Cooperatives ................................ 63 3 U.S. AND ILLINOIS CONTEXT SETTING ................................ ................................ 67 Perspective setting ................................ ................................ ................................ 67 Choice of the U.S. study area ................................ ................................ ................. 67 Criteria of Choice ................................ ................................ .............................. 67 Justificat ion of the Choice of Study Area the State of Illinois ......................... 70 Illinois an intensive farming type of production ................................ ........ 70 Illinois ........................... 71 Presence of environmental issues and natural resource damage .............. 73 ................................ ................... 74 Agricultural Cooperatives Definition and Sta tus ................................ ............ 74 Statistical Data ................................ ... 77 In the United States ................................ ................................ ................... 77 In Illinois ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 78 U.S. Federal Org Cooperatives ................................ ................................ ................................ 79 Adaptation of the Traditional Cooperative to a New Environment .................... 80 A Potential to Simulate the Economic Development of U.S. Rural Areas and Communities ................................ .... 82 ................................ ...... 82 New generation cooperatives (NGCs) ................................ ....................... 83 Weaknesses and Challenges of the U.S. Cooperatives ................................ ... 85 .......................... 86 U.S. Conservation Programs and Institutions in Charge of their Implementation ................................ ................................ .............................. 86 Land retirement programs ................................ ................................ .......... 87 Working land programs ................................ ................................ .............. 88 Agricu ltural land preservation programs easements programs ............... 89 Common points of the U.S. conservation programs ................................ ... 89 ...................... 90 Illinois Environmental Conservation Incentives (Programs and Organizations) ................................ ................................ ............................... 90 Illinois environmental preservation incentives ................................ ............ 90 Illinois conservation organizati ons ................................ ............................. 92 Environmental organizations and collaboration between territorial stakeholders ................................ ................................ ........................... 94 U.S. Conservation Programs Reconsiderations and Challenges .................. 96 Impacts of U.S. conservation programs ................................ ..................... 96 Critical points and current issues regarding conservation programs .......... 96 Specific focus on the CRP ................................ ................................ ......... 97 U.S. Incentives towards the Valuation of Environmental Practices in the Farming System the water quality trading system ................................ ...... 98 Functioning of the water quality credit trading system ............................... 98
7 Difficulties faced by water quality trading systems ................................ ..... 99 Duties and Allowances of U.S. Farmers vis Regulations ................................ ................................ ................................ 100 Environmental U.S. ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 101 Group Actions and the Preservation of Natural Resources ............................ 101 Watershed Collaborative Groups ................................ ................................ ... 102 Conclusion Identification of Relevant Variables as Part of the U.S. Setting ........ 103 Distinction of Specific U.S. Elements ................................ ............................. 103 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 105 4 INVESTIGATIONS IN THE U.S.: RESEARCH DESIGN, METHODOLOGY, AND RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 115 Research Design ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 115 Information Needed and Material Design ................................ ....................... 115 Variables related to phase 1 ................................ ................................ .... 115 Variables related to phase 2 ................................ ................................ .... 116 Specific Variables from the Dutch Environmental Cooperatives Analysis in a U.S. Setting ................................ ................................ .............................. 116 Materials and Methods ................................ ................................ .......................... 117 Sample Design ................................ ................................ ............................... 1 17 Sample characteristics ................................ ................................ ............. 117 Target population ................................ ................................ ..................... 118 Sample selection procedure ................................ ................................ ..... 118 Research design method ................................ ................................ ......... 118 Limitations of the research study ................................ ............................. 119 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ............................... 119 Material ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 119 Survey realization ................................ ................................ .................... 122 Survey outcomes ................................ ................................ ................... 124 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 125 Data Preparation ................................ ................................ ............................ 125 Methodology of Analysis ................................ ................................ ................. 125 Process of the data analysis ................................ ................................ .... 125 Statistical models nature and purposes ................................ ................ 125 Extraction of the results method ................................ ............................ 127 Data Processing ................................ ................................ ............................. 127 Ordered logit model (OLM) ................................ ................................ ...... 127 Pr incipal Component analysis ................................ ................................ .. 129 Data General Results ................................ ................................ ..................... 130 Sample characteristics ................................ ................................ ............. 130 general highlight ................................ .......... 134 Data Results Ordered Logit Model step 1 ................................ ................. 145 Interaction of the farmer with the environment, landscape and natural resources ................................ ................................ .............................. 146 Perception of the farmer concerning the conservation programs ............. 146
8 non farmers ................................ ................................ .......................... 149 Interests and desires of the farmer related to the management of the farm and to the food production system at large ................................ ... 153 Interactions between the farmer and the authorities ................................ 156 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ............................... 156 Data results O rdered Logit Model step 2 ................................ ................... 158 the territory and to promote other unique characteristics of the region (V1) ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 158 in environmental projects (V2) ................................ ................................ .. 161 functionality (V3) ..... 163 farmers in environmental projects (V4) ................................ ................................ .. 164 Farmers and conservation programs ................................ ....................... 166 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ............................... 168 Data Results Principal Component Analysis ................................ ................ 168 the territory and to promote other unique characteristics of the region (V1) ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 168 environmental projects (V2) ................................ ................................ .. 169 functionality (V3) 169 farmers in environmental projects (V4) ................................ ................................ .. 169 PCA conclusion ................................ ................................ ..................... 170 General Outcome of the Analyses ................................ ................................ .. 170 5 CONCLUSIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 178 Results Interpretations ................................ ................................ .......................... 178 Answer to the Research Objectives ................................ ............................... 178 the U.S. ................................ ................................ ................................ 178 ............... 185 Results Interpretations, Concept by Concept ................................ ................. 190 Self governance ................................ ................................ ....................... 190 Cooperation with non farmers and other farmers ................................ ..... 192 New approach on the environment, and its integration into the farming system ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 193 Discussions ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 194 General Outcomes ................................ ................................ ......................... 194 Answer to research questions ................................ ................................ .. 194 ................................ ........ 196 Predictions of the implementation of an environmental cooperative in Illinois ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 197
9 Suggestions and Further Recommendations ................................ ................. 199 Empirical study ................................ ................................ ......................... 199 Targeting ot her actors present in the functioning of the environmental cooperative ................................ ................................ ........................... 201 Model design ................................ ................................ ............................ 202 APPENDIX: QUESTIONNAIRE ................................ ................................ .................. 204 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 222 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 230
10 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 codes and meanings ................................ ................................ ........................ 175 4 2 codes and meanings ................................ ............ 176
11 LIS T OF FIGURES Figure page 3 1 Acres of Land in farms as percent of Land Area in acres (USDA, 2007) .......... 107 3 2 Agricultural Cooperatives by County: average gross revenue per cooperative (USDA, 2007) ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 108 3 3 Agricultural cooperatives by County: Average membership (USDA, 2007) ...... 109 3 4 Level of nitrate leaching in Illinois (source: ISGS Illinois) ................................ 110 3 5 Pesticide leaching class in Illinois (source: ISGS Illinois) ................................ 111 3 6 Farm with less than $ 10.000 sales revenue in Illinois, in percentage, per county ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 112 3 7 Illinois Size of the farms levels of pesticides and nitrates leaching correlation ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 113 3 8 Location of the Community Supported agriculture in Illinois. (Source: Western Illinois University http://www.value added.org/communityCoop/csa.asp accessed on 07.11.2013) ................................ ................................ ................. 114 4 1 Representation of the 5 selected research study areas. ( Eco regions in Illinois correspond to areas of general similarity in ecosystems, type, quality, an d quantity of environmental resources. The delimitation of these regions was considered useful for establishing ecosystem management strategies (U S EPA)) ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 171 4 2 S ) ................................ ................................ ... 172 4 3 Outcome of the ordered Logit Model processing, Y = USIlconspgmsfulfilledgoals2 ................................ ................................ ............. 173 4 4 and willingness in working with neighboring farmers in environmental projects) ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 174
12 LIST OF AB B REVIATIONS BLWR Illinois Bureau of Land and Water resources CCPI Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative Program CRP Conservation reserve Program CSA Community Supported Agriculture CSP The conservation Stewardship Program CTIC Conservation Technology Information center EC environmental coope rative EQIP Environmental Quality Incentives Program GRP Grassland Reserve Program IEPA Illinois Environmental Protection Agency IFB Illinois Farm Bureau IRAP Illinois Recreational Access Program ISWCD Illinois Soil and Water Conserva tion District M2P Mud to Parks MCP Milieucooperatie de Peel NASS National Agriculture Statistical Service NCFC National Council of Farmer Cooperatives NGC New generation Cooperative OLM Ordered Logit Model PFC Partners for Conservation USDA United States Department of Agriculture VEL & VALNA Agrarisch Natuur en Landschapsbeheer Achtkarspelen (VANLA)
13 WHIP Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program WRP Wetlands Reserve Program
14 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the D egree of Master of Science PERSPECTIVES FOR COOPERATION BETWEEN FARMERS IN LA NDSCAPE AND NATURE MANAGEMENT MODELING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DUTCH ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATIVE IN THE UNITED STATES By Marie Ferr December 2013 Chair: Robert J effrey Burkhardt Cochair: Lisa Ann House Major: Foo d and Resource Economics This research is aimed at studying the agricultural environmental cooperative structure which exists in the Netherlands, and analyzing how this structure could be applicable in a certain area in the United States. As part of the specific objectives, the study determine d the variables at the human, organizational, and policy levels that have enabled the farmers to build this form of cooperation in the Netherlands. The study extracted the predominant variables identified as factors of success of cooperation (economica lly and contributing to the rural development of the area). The identified factors of success were then modeled on how they would match within a U S agricultural system. This study was descriptive research based on a cross sectional design and targete d a sample of U S farmers in the state of Illinois. Two data sets were used in this research study. Secondary data from previous studies were used to analyze the environmental cooperatives existing in the Netherlands. Secondary data from previous studies and primary data collected using questionnaires were used to investigate the applicability of this environmental cooperation institution among famers in Illinois. The data were managed and analyzed with the Statistical Package R; the
15 Ordered Logit Model and Principal Component Analysis were applied. During the analysis, the study compared the Dutch versus U S and Illinois social, economic and study concluded that most of the factors which had been extracted from the Dutch literature were present in the Illinois sample, although differently and to a different extent. Moreover, other factors, specific to the U S context were discovered, and were also identified as potent ial factors for the development of an environmental cooperative. From the correlation dimension of being either favorable or not to the development of an environmental cooperative. Combinati were associated with a specific typology. Obstacles and constraints to the development of an Illinois environmental cooperative were suggested by the results. Finally, predictions about the fut ure of an environmental cooperative in the Illinois U S and further recommendations were given.
16 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Context Setting Place of the Study within Emerging Issues and Global S hifts Global challenges and shifts in agricultural patterns The past few decades of modernization and intensification of the agricultural sector were associated with changes in food production and food consumption, which led to various short and long term consequences. The form of food produc tion generally adopted in the industrialized countries demonstrated its limits through the diverse types of pollution, environmental damages, and negative human externalities. The existing multiple and inter dependent global challenges call for a change in the production pattern and for the development of alternatives to the agricultural system, especially considering that the largest part of the world population lives in developing countries and relies on agriculture as the primary economic sector (UNDP, 2 007). Besides, this form of agricultural production has been generating disconnections between the farming system and its social and natural environment, reinforcing environmental problems, animal welfare issues, and other debated practices (V AN D ER P LOEG 2001). Based on the expected long term and diverse impacts of the current food production system, the concept of sustainable development applied to the agricultural sector was introduced, although, hardly debated. The concept of sustainable development ca n be applied to various fields of society, although it is difficult to give it a clear and explicit definition, especially because it is different depending on the perspective adopted (economic, ecological, and ethical). Basically, sustainable
17 development implies a change in the content of growth to maintain the stock of ecological capital, to improve the distribution of incomes and to reduce the degree of vulnerability to economic crisis. It refers to the optimal level of interaction between the biological trade OMANO 2003). The concept is better explained through the policy instruments, means, and organizational principles taking part to its creation, and it can be conceived H AGEDORN 2002, p.13). According to Hagedorn (2002) the achievement of sustainable development can be represented by several strategies. They are described as the improvement of re flexivity from the concerned actors to reinforce their sensitivity regarding their behavior in terms of ecological, economic and social side effects. This would then allow them to be able to suggest institutional and policy reforms, which reinforces self o rganization and participation to re connect the political processes with the citizens. The second main strategy is the harmonization of the interests to build constructive solutions regarding conflicts between different interests and values. A final strate gy would be the development of innovation to create new opportunities for actions in society ( H AGEDORN 2002). Emergence of the concept of diversification of agriculture. To deal with sustainable development in the field of agriculture and from the approac h of the rural and local economy, the phenomenon of diversification of the farming system has been more and more developed. Diversification within the farm is defined by the combination of different economic activities (e.g. food production and tourism) wi thin the same management unit ( V AN H UYLENBROECK et al., 2007). On farm activities are seen as a
18 possible answer to the economic difficulties of certain rural areas, and to the increasing urbanization. Diversification of the farm through, for instance, agro tourism, on farm selling, education, environmental conservation, and maintenance of cultural heritage and local values are associated with new opportunities for the farmer, new streams of incomes, and new potentials for the area ( G ROOT et al., 2010). Just as in Europe, the phenomenon of diversification of the farm has also been on the increase in the U S during the last decades with the U S aim at keeping small family farms and their rural areas alive (USDA, 2013). Emergence of the concept of multi functionality of agriculture. The notion of multi functionality of agriculture can also be a factor in the sustainable development of agriculture, as corresponding to the first and second strategies mentioned by Hag edorn (2002). This concept of multi functionality of agriculture will be an important focus during the current study. In this concept, beside food production, farming system provides non P OLMAN 2002, p.12)] such as landscape shaping, natural resources management, biodiversity preservation, and contributions to the socio economic viability of the rural area ( V AN H UYLENBROECK et al., 2007). This concept can more or less be emphasized and developed according to the f arm, the desires, and the possibilities of the farmer. Multi functionality in agriculture is a determinant concept for the link between the farmers and the consumers (the local people). In both Europe and the United States, there is a growing interest amon g farmers in reconnecting agriculture with the consumers and adopting alternative production practices that are more concerned about the natural environment and the preservation of natural resources. Multi functionality of agriculture in this sense holds
19 t he potential of being the reason for the creation of new forms of cooperation between farmers themselves and new interactions within the community at large. Its aspects could indeed have a higher potential at a collective level than at an individual level. This is linked to the fourth strategy described by Hagedorn (2002); innovating in forms of collective action in order to enhance the multi functionality of the agriculture and to ensure the sustainable development of the collective actions. The co operati ve approach is an example of such innovation, which has the potential to promote and enhance the non trade benefits provided by agriculture, especially in terms of environment. This study focused on the green part of multi functionality of farming and more specifically on innovations towards the enhancement of landscape and nature management, and environmental conservation practices as part of the farming system, and approached from the perspective of collective action. Green practices incentives, conservat ion programs in the U S and in EU The enhancement of environmental conservation practices in the food production system has followed a different pattern in the U S as compared to Europe. However, the effectiveness and efficiency of the measures implement ed is still today strongly discussed and can be improved in both regions. The development of concrete incentives towards the conservation and preservation of the environment in Europe has been formulated with the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (C AP) in 1992 and the creation of its second pillar. In the U S conservation programs were born in the 1930s in a climate of high crop prices. The Agricultural Adjustment program (1933) and the Agriculture Conservation Program (1936) led to the retirement of about 40 million acres, combined with cost sharing and technical support to farmers who adopted
20 approved land conservation practices ( F ERRIS AND S IIKAMAKI 2009). In the 1960s the Soil Bank Program (now referred to as the Conservation Reserve Program) was designed to retire a large amount of productive land as well. However the U S conservation programs were until the 1980s mostly means for rural investment, income support for farmers and supply control. It is in a second period that these programs had effective objectives oriented to the protection of natural resources. In the U S farm programs that reward production yields over environmental conservation have been very much predominant since the beginning. U S programs have been associated with te ndencies for uniform planting conditions, large acreages of production, and intensification of the agricultural management. The development of environmental practices as part of the production system is a relatively new trend, and is just beginning to deve lop. (CTIC, 2002) A different approach to environmental conservation measures In both the U S and Europe, conservation programs and agro environmental schemes regulate the effects resulting from agricultural practices. Some of them are part of general others ar e voluntary. However, the approach is very much different in the U S as environmental policies strongly push towards the increase of positive externalities from agriculture (e.g. the private delivery of public goods such as attractive landscapes produced by agriculture) ( B AYLIS et al., 2007). This mainly deals with nature and landscape management perceived as a sustainable way to secure both food production and the development of rural areas. In the contrary, U S
21 negative externalities from agriculture (e.g. soil erosion, non point source pollution) ( B AYLIS et al., 2007). deve externalities is necessary to recover the landscape and the natural resources (e.g. soil, atmosphere) which have been negatively affected. However, from a long term perspective, offerin g incentives and implementing measures towards the increase of positive externalities emerging from agriculture seems to be more beneficial, because this deals more directly with a logic of sustainable development and a focus on alternatives better for the in the past, is less likely to encourage the development of efforts and incentives enhancing the benefits of farming. Implementation scales of environmental conservation strategies. Discussion about the approaches to environmental regulations also raise concerns about the scale area of its application and implementation. It is especially important for water resources, specifically when water pollution from agriculture is determined to be non poi nt pollution. Measures towards the improvement of water quality require actions at the scale of the drinking water catchment or at the scale of the watershed, meaning they extend beyond farm boundaries. Therefore, regulations via zoning and designation of connected to the measures implemented at a larger scale, and then a risk of mismatch between the incentives provided on an individual farm basis and the area at larger. Based on this point, a re evaluation of the measures occurred through the Water
22 Framework Directive and also nitrate directive in Europe ( A MBLARD 2011 ). However, questions can be raised concerning the effectiveness and efficiency of a governmental directive aim ing at connecting different scales of implementation of a regulation to each other as compared to an incentive born from the people themselves willing to work integrating different scales of the territory in their projects -as it is the case through the environmental cooperative (EC). The top down approach. On a third dimension related to the application of environmental regulations in the agricultural sector, the process of allocation and have been criticized ( H ARRISON 1999), especially in Europe. The top down approach used by the government to impose rules and regulations has been largely contested in the last decade because of likely low effectiveness and low efficiency in re aching the results targeted. The delivery of unilateral directives about environmental regulations from the State to the farmers and the citizens at large has been shown to have some limits in the European context. ( A GRAWAL & G IBSON 1999) The present st udy dealt with the eventual possibility of designing initiatives towards first, the promotion and the development of positive externalities from agriculture in the United States, secondly, towards the collaboration of farmers and other actors around enviro nmental issues by considering the territory at large (rather than the individual level), and thirdly, towards the creation of new contracts and new interactions with the local and governmental authorities. The study focused on this vision considering the e nvironment and the conservation practices within the farming system.
23 Willingness for new forms of institutional framework within the agricultural sector From the points discussed above and the existing deficiencies of the general schemes and environmental regulations (e.g. lack of local characteristics considerations), it can be argued that there is a need for other forms of agricultural structures, new forms of governance and new forms of collaboration between key players (e.g. farmers), associated with a likely further development of the functions of agriculture other than just food production. One of the alternatives is the combination of the agricultural system to actions oriented towards natural environment and landscape, and this, as part of a cooperat ion between actors concerned (e.g environmental agencies and groups of farmers) (A MBLARD 2011). The structure of a cooperative offers a framework which can deal with this issue: through the existence of a common framework among its members, the sharing of marketing goods, the possible entrance of external stakeholders, and its special position vis vis the government and its influence on the area and on the local consumers, and its interactions with various institutions in agriculture and environment can be more effective. Its particular position in the region and its specific legal functioning make the alternatives combining the preservation of the environment with the farming s ystem. The environmental cooperatives existing in the Netherlands are a result of the willingness for changes in the nature and implementation of the environmental regulations for farmers. The mechanism of collective action, common responsibility, and ris desires related to environment, nature, and landscape management. Besides, it was
24 appropriate to the implementation of a rewards system, and the elaboration of strategies among the farmers and other stakeholders. The main point of the environmental cooperatives is the creation of an innovative institutional fr amework (described in the next C hapter 2 ). Object of the Study The study focused on the structure of environmental cooper atives (ECs) existing in the Netherlands. They are considered as novelties because they represent a new practice, a new insight, a new vision, and an unexpected but effective result. Novelties nventional V AN DER P LOEG 2006, p.2). They usually promise results, but at the same time are not fully understood in the beginning. The novelty represented by ECs is a step towards a pattern of co production. They were born in the Netherlan ds from the incentives of some farmers who wanted to share another vision of conservation practices and landscape and nature management with the farming system. They are still today very little developed outside the Netherlands under this form. ECs are ass ociated as a new look at the endogenous development of agriculture ( V AN DER P LOEG et al., 2006). Cooperation is the main feature of the environmental cooperative and the basis of its functioning. Nevertheless, negative assumptions about an incompatibility between communities and resource management have often been formulated. People were indeed considered as an obstacle to an efficient and rational organization of resource use because of the goals of conservation versus the interests of local communities as sumed to be in opposition ( A GRAWAL & G IBSON 1999). ECs prove that cooperation
25 between people who are users of the natural resources can benefit their management and conservation as well. In brief, the object of the study was on one hand the analysis of t he potential for incentives related to nature, landscape and environment in Europe versus in the U S. As a basis, this study used the structure of EC existing in the Netherlands. On the other hand the object of the study was the analysis of the potential o f cooperation between farmers and others actors at large to deal with this issue. Historic Environmental Cooperation in the Netherlands In the Netherlands, farmers manage wildlife and landscape through two main contractual arrangements: 1) a direct contra ctual arrangement established between the farmer and an entity such as a governmental agency or an environmental preservation organization, and 2) a indirect contract offered by the EC which contracts with both farmers and external entities ( P OLMAN 2002). In the Netherlands, there is a tradition of farmers working together for nature and landscape management in the countryside ( V AN DER P LOEG 2001). The so established in the Netherlands. The type of cooperatio n involved in the EC consists in making the environment, nature, and the landscape as a priority in the daily functioning and management of the agricultural operations ( W ISKERKE 2003 ). They work as s in obtain inputs (seed, fertilizers) and also to obtain better prices for their products ( W ALZER & M ERRETT 2002). What differentiates ECs is that they integrate other functions and an environmental and/or nature dimension. It is a unique innovation in t his regard.
26 The U S Context In the U S environmental cooperative concepts are not as developed as it is in the Netherlands, and in some areas possibly even nonexistent. However the S Farm Bill is second in term s of USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) budget behind only wheat, soybeans and corn subsidies (USDA, 2010). This is calculated without taking into account the spending devoted to the nutrition Title (70% of the USDA spending). The Conservation Title offers several programs which aim at giving incentives to farmers to fully integrate the protection of the environment within their agricultural practices. These programs are classified according to three main categories: the land retirement programs [i.e. the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP)] which basically puts land out of production in exchange of a rental payment; the working land programs which help farmers implementing conservation practices on their land s; and the easements programs which purchase rights to farmers in order to implement conservation activities on the land acreages (USDA, 2002). The U S produces the largest part of the world food relative to the other developing countries, including both emergency programs and development programs (USAID, 2006). Due to the vast investment in agricultural sector, plus the global challenges we are currently facing in the future in the form of degradation of environment, nature and changes in the global climatic conditions, there is an urgent need to create other innovat ive forms of agricultural production that promote environmental, natural and landscape conservation.
27 This research study aimed to study the application of the model of the Dutch EC in the North American setting. The study analyzed how this form of cooperat ion could be applicable in the U S considering the different political, legal, social, economic and environmental framework. Problem Statement Justification of the Research Study Despite the relative success of the U S conservation programs, future thr eats exist to their successes. As U S conservation programs are mostly voluntary based, the current high commodity prices are not encouraging the farmers to apply to these programs. Indeed they are not willing to put land aside from production for conserv ation purposes because they would get higher revenues from production rather than conservation ( S ULLIVAN et al., 2004). Besides, the rental payments provided by the federal government for the Conservation Reserve Programs (CRP) are not likely to be increas ed and the overall conservation budget will be significantly decreased in the next farm Bill ( H ELLERSTEIN et al 2011). These facts reflect the importance of other forms of incentives for farmers towards conservation practices. However, some suggestions e xist to promote environmental conservation. They mainly aim to put value, or more value, on the conservation practices initiated by the farmers and on their benefits for the environment. There are, for instance, ecosystem and carbon markets ( M ARSHALL 2012 ), and auctions which allocate payments by prioritizing the conservation incentives and by targeting the most relevant and most efficient conservation projects ( C LASSEN 2 012). ). Cooperation among farmers has over the time proved its positive results as be ing
28 development. The ECs in the Netherlands showed what is possible and profitable for the partners, to be an integral part of what is good for the environment, wh en the ( W ISKERKE 2003; V AN D IJK 1998, G LASBERGEN 2000; F RANKS 2010). The current U S environmental policies can be viewed as lacking in sustainability because they often depend on external variable factors such as the prices of the commodities. What if environmental conservation considerations and practices integrated into the agricultural system came to some extent from the willingness and mutual motivation of the far mers and among the farmers themselves? It is likely that a form of cooperation and collaboration based more strongly on these motives, and less production as well as t o conservation of the environment, nature, and landscape. Research Questions The research problems were summarized by three main research questions. First of all, the research was interested in determining the extent to which the predominant variables enabling the creation of environmental cooperatives in the Netherlands exist in the U S second, in the extent and how could the environmental cooperative model of the Netherlands be applicable in an U S setting. Thirdly, the re search dealt with predicting the consequences (in the short and long run), the benefits and the pitfalls of this form of environmental cooperative for the different actors involved and the community as a whole in the U S. Hypothesis Several hypotheses wer e formulated out of the expected r esults from the U S analysis. First, the study assumed that i n the U S there are similar values and interests
29 like the ones represented through the Dutch environmental cooperatives. Secondly, Farmers would be willing to implement this kind of structure. The current trend is an increase in preference of local or organic food and the care of the environment. Farmers would thus be willing to respond to the current demands and to contribute to environmental conservation issu es by forming environmental cooperation. The study assumed then that t here is a possibility in the U S for facilitating the conservation practice implementations, which could likely reduce transaction costs of the U S farmers and other organizations. T he last hypothesis concerned the obstacles and constraints to the implementation of environmental cooperatives in the U S which would certainly be linked to current policies (lack of means or stimulation from the process), types of farms, customs etc. Objectives The study aimed at modeling the structure of ECs in the Netherlands in an U S setting. The study also aimed at analyzing the eventual implementation of this form of cooperation in the U S or to address the factors that would obstruct this implementation. The specific objectives were detailed as following: 1. To study the agricultural environmental cooperation in the Netherlands and identify the variables at the human, organizational, and policy levels enabling the farmers to build this form of cooperation 2. To determine the predominant variables identified as factors of success of environmental cooperation towards nature and landscape management 3. To establish This includes the economic success ( the benefits of the structure for the farmers and for the functi oning of the cooperative itself), the environmental success ( the benefits for the environment, the effectiveness of the conserv ation activities towards nature), and i n a larger
30 extent in terms of positive impacts of the environmental coope ration on the community itself ( the contribution to the rural development of the area ). 4. To choose an appropriate area/State in the U S where it would be appropriate to model this structu re 5. To study and analyze the existing context in which agricultural cooperatives are functioning in the U S and more particularly in the selected State. The study will focus on their legislative (authorities, policies, and regulations), economical (sales, gains, importance) and social contexts, and the internal functioning of the cooperatives 6. To compare the Dutch and American social, economic and legislative contexts 7. To analyze how the predominant variable s of the environmental cooperative model would match with a U S agricultural system in order to predict how this form of environmental coope ration is conceivable in the U S. This specific objective could be categorized into two phases which were developed further in t he later stages of the research. The first phase concerns the study of the U S factors which could affect the decision making process of the farmers in implemen ting conserv ation practices through the ECs. In particular, it deals with observing whether the factors which have affected the decision of the Dutch farmers in deciding to create the ECs are present in Il linois and in which proportions. The second phase c oncerns the analysis of the means or the potential for developing these means in the U S which would enable the development of ECs and which would be likely to ensure the ir viability and sustainability. 8. To identify the obstacles, constraints, and negativ e externalities in implementing this type of cooperative model in the U S and suggesting way to overcome them based on the results of this research study. Methodology This study was descriptive research a cross sectional design and targeted a sample o f U S farmers at one point in time. Two data sets were used in this research study. Secondary data from previous studies carried out at the University of Wageningen (the Netherlands) were used to analyze the ECs existing in the Netherlands. Secondary data from previous studies and primary data were collected using questionnaires to investigate the applicability of this environmental cooperation
31 among famers in the U S. The U S area of investigation was the State of Illinois because of the presence of an i ntensive agricultural system combined with incentives towards the enhancement of connections between producers, the local population and the development of alternative food production, so a potential for new trends which could be compatible with the develo pment of an eventual EC. The data were managed and analyzed with the Statistical Package R. In the analysis, predominant variables between the U S and the Netherlands were compared to determine the degree of feasibility of environmental cooperatives in the U S. This consisted of correlation analysis (Linear Regression and Principal Component Analysis) and hypothesis testing. Structure The study gives first an overview of the Dutch environmental cooperative as it exists in the Netherlands and focuses on t he relevant features which will be associated to variables during the time of investigation. The second part deals with the situation in the U S considering the U S S programs in line with the study and the other r elevant factors which could explain U S behaviors. The third part deals with the research design of the study, the collection of the primary data in the United States, and the analysis. The fourth and last part presents the results of the investi gation, interpretations, conclusions and discussion. Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 respectively related to the Dutch and American situations are similarly structured and use the same kind of approach, from the description of the Dutch context and Dutch EC to the analysis of the U S setting. The purpose is to optimize the identification of the variables in the Netherlands and the analysis of their representations in the United States, and to facilitate the identification
32 of an eventual potential of implementat ion of an EC in the U S. Particularly, they focus on descriptive elements on which theoretical backgrounds will be developed, to constitute a support for the interpretations of the results and the answers to the research questions.
33 CHAPTER 2 DUTCH CONTE XT SETTING THE ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATIVES Emergence of the Environmental Cooperative in the Netherlands Reasons Willingness for a Shift in the Pattern of the Food Production System The intensification and modernization of the agricultural system result ed in the increase of volumes of agricultural production, the emergence of corporations leaders of the food supply chains -and the need of larger available spaces in the countryside. It led little by little to a disconnection between the agricultural s ector and the consumers. Besides, certain agricultural practices resulted in environmental pollution, e.g., nitrate leaching from chemical fertilizers and the spread of pesticides. Intensified agriculture is also linked to phenomena such as soil erosion, a mmonia emissions, and biodiversity losses within the flora, as well as other negative externalities such as the reduction of environmental consequences of the current food pro duction system. New forms of environmentally oriented agricultural cooperation have especially been studied. The structure of EC is an example of alternative which integrates environmental conservation practices and nature and landscape management as part of the agricultural system. It was created with a view toward re inventing farming activities and the food production system to be closer to the consumers and the living environment, thus creating new interactions between producers and consumers. In anothe r perspective and considering the current global challenges such as the climate change, the ECs were created to develop more sustainable forms of agricultural production.
34 A Structure in Line with the Concept of Rural Development The motivation of some far mers to change the pattern of the agricultural system has been strengthened by the growing interest of governmental agricultural policies nterpreted in different ways in Europe versus the U S. It depends a lot on the physical, technological, economic, socio cultural and institutional means developed in a given area which contribute to a specific vision of rural development with its own chara process that aims at improving the quality of life in the rural areas is commonly adopted by both Europe and the U S. Non farm activities are both a factor and a result of the rural development of an area. Farmers, by developing on farm secondary activities beside farm management (e.g. agro tourism) participate to increasing the economic value of their local countryside. Over time, European agricultural policies have mainly been driven by a high level guarantees (export subsidies), and measures towards the stabilization of food prices supplemented by additional policie s related to agricultural production and rural development. A new demand for a more sustainable agriculture and more innovative forms of the food production system at the local level emerged and resulted in the development of new institutional frameworks a nd other types of governances. (W ISKERKE et al 2003)
35 A Wish for More Self Regulations Emergence of new forms of governance in Europe In the 1980s, a movement towards the decentralization of authority developed. It was followed by divergences of EU Member authorities, and tensions related to the implementation of laws and regulation between the different levels of authority. It resulted in an attempt to reform the framework of the European governance in order to r estructure the institutions, to promote a higher involvement of the citizens, and to initiate a shift in the decision making process of the institutions and in the way they relate to each other. The structures of self organization are one of the new forms of governance which emerged from this period. (W ISKERKE et al 2003) A feeling of inadequacy of the environmental regulations with the agricultural system In the northern part of the Netherlands Frisian Woodlands the dominant type of farming used to b e small scale farming conforming more harmoniously to the landscape combined with relatively high levels of labor and high production costs. The application of general ecological and environmental regulations imposed by the government to these areas and many places with specific features -was then difficult. The mismatch between the local characteristics of the Dutch territory and the governmental environmental requirements was even considered as a threat for the sustainability of the local agricultural system. The creation of a structure of the increasing regulations related to environmental and nature conservation. ECs have therefore been created in the perspective of enabling higher compatibilities between
36 local agricultural practices and environmental conservation practices, higher levels of self regulation for the farmers, and possibilities for the farmers and the other territorial actors to develop locally effectiv e means to realize environmental objectives ( G LASBERGEN 2000). ( G LASBERGEN 2000; W ISKERKE et al 2003) Some of the ECs work on the introduction of alternative practices to reduce between farmers concerning the improvement of nutrient balances ( W ISKERKE et al., 2003). The MCP (Milieucooperatie de Peel) is an environmental cooperative located in one of the most polluted areas of the Netherlands due to the presence of intensive lives tock farming and greenhouse horticulture. The cooperative works on the accommodation of agriculture in the plans for protecting nature. (G LASBERGEN 2000) A wish for more flexibility of the environmental regulations and better understanding with the author ities Some Dutch farmers believed that most of the governmental environmental measures were too tight, too specialized, and offered too little flexibility for adaptation. solutions on a localized RANKS 2010, p.288). Besides, the farmers felt on one hand significant boundaries between their profession, desires, and approaches, and on the other hand literature m farmers were engaged with the policy process as they were discussing with experts who are not familiar with agricultural practices. The EC was a way to improve the relationship between the different levels of actors and to increase their level of understanding. ( F RANKS 2010)
37 The creation of the EC provided answers mainly to a contestation against the general environmental regulations vis vis the traditional and local farming practices and the features of the territory. An EC is basically an organization born from a oriented projects ( G LASBERGEN 2000). A Willingness to Improve the Integration of Environmental Conservation Practices in the Agricultural System From a survey carried out in 2005 on seven Dutch ECs (created between 1992 and 2004), the reasons highlighted by farmers to create an EC were concerns about the environment within the farming system and concerns about acknowledging and giving more value to the benefits of the farming practices on natural resources and the landscape. In addition, ECs were seen as a potential vehicle to involve non farmers, to keep traditional conservation techni ques, to increase the access to environmental management funds, to generate additional income streams, to increase farmers and landscape management, and to improve public rel ations and communication between interested parties. ( F RANKS 2010) The Environmental Cooperative Description and Purposes History of the Environmental Cooperative Lnsdouwe (VEL) and t he Vereniging Agrarisch Natuur en Landschapsbeheer Achtkarspelen (VANLA) were the first two cooperatives ( W ISKERKE et al ., 2003). Their creation was part of the context of new Dutch agricultural policies that aimed at renewing rural areas. Many regional co operative arrangements oriented towards
38 environmental conservation were developed during that time. The creation of an EC was supported by the grant of subsidy in 1994 for the development of the plan of action undertaken by five environmental cooperatives. In 1996, a subsidy of 19 million guilders (former Dutch currency about USD 10.8 millions) was made available for projects related to the renewal of the countryside. In this context, other ECs projects could find ways of developing. ( G LASBERGEN 2000) T oday, there are between 150 and 200 ECs in the Netherlands ( O OSTINDIE 2009). They are spread all over the Dutch territory ( D ANIEL 2012) and count in total around 10,000 members which represents approximately 10% of Dutch farmers and accounts for around 4 0% of Dutch agricultural land ( F RANKS 2008). The membership of an EC varies on average from 25 to 200 farmers, which gives it the status of a small organization ( G LASBERGEN 2 000). Most of the member farmers hold relatively large and full time farms ( V AN DER P LOEG et al., 2001) and most of the cooperatives include non farmers within their membership. The largest percentage of the members are dairy farmers (like Vel&Vanla), followed by cereals (e.g. De Kop Van De NOP and Zwartemeerdijk), pork (e.g. Milieuco peratie Pion De Peel, 1996), and then horticulture (D ANIEL 2012). Definition of an Environmental Cooperative Wiskerke (2003, p.10) defines environmental co and other rural stakeholders working at a regional level such as representatives of environmental organizations, local authorities, agribusinesses companies, animal welfare groups, and educational institutes. Franks and Gloin (2007, p.473) give a more conc ise definition of farmers who work in close
39 collaboration with each other and with local, regional and national agencies to integrate nature management into farming practices by adopting a pro active approa ch based on terms will be studied in a broader perspective later. marketing or supp ly cooperative, and is ruled by a constitution which sets the legal framework. Additionally, the cooperative works at making the environment, nature and landscape a priority in the daily functioning and management of the agricultural operations through ind ividual and collective initiatives. There is a conviction that land and nature management can be better accomplished when integrated in the farming system, and it is translated through a feeling of collective responsibility for environmental objectives set at a regional level. The other particular characteristics of the structure are the possibilities for new contracts and new interactions between local, activities. The se points will be developed more fully later in this study. (W ISKERKE et al 2003) Structure and Legal framework of Environmental Cooperatives ECs hold one of three types of status: they are registered as Associations with E SHUIS 2007). The members who are non farmers have the same rights and opportunities in the management board as the member farmers ( F RANKS & G LOIN 2007). The organization is organized around a tra ditional cooperative structure, with a Management board or Executive Committee consisting of a chairman, treasurer, and secretary. In the largest ECs, a Chair or Sub
40 Commonly, the management board meets monthly and the full membership meets twice a year (F RANKS 2008). as self governing organizations with self governance legally recognized. Typically, members of self gover ning organizations decide about future action plans by communicating their interests, results and progress with respect to the purpose of the organization. They have the duty to make transparent and to justify to society the decisions they make and activit ies they undertake, and they usually have to represent all stakeholders concerned with the issues discussed. The main principles the members governance responsibili ty, accountability, transparency, representativity, and accessibility W ISKERKE et al 2003). ol of their own production and business assets (e.g. land). ( F RANKS 2010) A survey carried out on six Dutch ECs revealed that the members are in general either relatively young or are older and retire d, are managers of full time farms, are interested in new approaches to the agricultural system, are formerly involved in scale and local projects, and convinced of the interdependency between nature and farming. The EC VEL&VANLA reports that some of the members also come from disadvantaged areas, and use agricultural practices specific to distinct areas of the Netherlands. ( F RANKS 2008)
41 The main motivation of farmers to join an EC is reported to be the economic aspects: through the EC there is the possibility to be financially rewarded for conservation practices and nature and landscape management, thus allowing farmers to develop other sources of revenue ( C ROSS et al ., 2007). A part f rom the economic combine farming and environment, the perception of the farmer as a manager of the nd the willingness to develop a new form of institutional framework which promotes dialogue and co operation between members, with other rural dwellers, and with governmental and environmental agencies. ( F RANKS 2008) The case of the non farmers is interesting and is variable among the ECs. Most of the ECs look at non farmers in the membership as a source of advantages through the supply of specific skills (e.g. organizational skills, financial management, network extension etc.). Besides, non farmer s have usually more time, and, through their communications, can significantly increase the credibility of the projects with local and national governmental representatives. However, others view the non farmers as obstacles to the development of the cooper ative by weakening farmer control, especially in the period when the group is just forming (F RANKS 2008). Many interviewees believed that ECs should offer non farmers membership but only after an agreement by the farmers concerning the organization of the structure and the establishment of the management board, so that activities mainly reflect the views of farmers.
42 Purposes of the Environmental Cooperative Combining natural environment and farm management Farming systems are open systems to their environ ment from which they withdraw natural resources as inputs and release outputs after transformation or conversion ( V AN H UYLENBROECK 2011). Agricultural systems are then inextricably tied to their natural environment through perpetual transfers and exchange s of energy and materials. Appreciation of this view was being lost during the era of modernization and intensification of the agriculture -when farming mostly focused on economic criteria. The creation of ECs had the purpose of re integrating or more co ncretely acknowledging the integration of the agricultural system into its environment. ECs start from the perspective that agricultural activities can no longer be isolated from its natural environment and from the characteristics of its physical surround ings. This type of cooperative aimed therefore at re considering the undeniable ecologic process ran by perspective. ( G LASBERGEN 2000) Besides and further than the enhance ment of the link between agriculture and nature, ECs had the purpose to increase the compatibility between these two elements, and to increase the value of the conservation action plans undertaken by local farmers (G LASBERGEN 2000). Responding to a logi c of sustainability An important point about the EC is its mission of long term development seeking the sustainability of the actions of the cooperative ( G LASBERGEN 2000). The financial rewards systems and the benefits offered by the cooperative to the fa rmers help to establish long terms contracts between the members and the cooperative, and to
43 ensure long term environmentally oriented projects. Moreover, the cooperative enhances the links between the farmers and other actors of the region or territory, s trengthening therefore both its agriculture and rural development The Environmental Cooperatives, a Novelty in its Own Kind of novelty and the features identifying the nove lty of ECs. The Principle of Self Governance General definition and implications of self governance The new forms of governances which emerged in the Dutch countryside in the 1990s have characteristics of self organization and self regulation in the sens e that their up governance system generated by local citizens to go beyond the market but short of the state. Practic ally, an intervention by the government means participation in the organization as an actor among the other actors. Interactions among members are typically carried out through negotiations, informal understandings, and trust rather than by official social control. Furthermore, the co ordination is considered to be non hierarchical (W ISKERKE et al., 2003) Self governing environmental organizations have different forms in different countries. The Conservation, Amenity and Recreation Trusts (CARTs) in the Un ited Kingdom ( H ODGE 2001), the Rural Environmental Protection Schemes in Ireland ( G OREMAN et al ., 2001), or the Community Supporting Agriculture in the U S are a few examples that stand beside the case of the environmental cooperative in the Netherlands. (W ISKERKE et al 2003).
44 the efficiency and effectiveness of policies and public administration and an increase in the active involvement of citizens through the willingness for more open decision making processes. Negative points concerning this form of organization are the risk of public control when the lack of authoritative supervision leads to less responsibility for performance. (W ISKERKE et al 2003) Self governance in th e case of the environmental cooperative Basically, the mechanism of self governance creates an opportunity to shift more responsibility over the implementation of environmental policies to local communities. Higher possibility of choice is then given to th e farmers for the strategies they decide to implement to comply with regional environmental measures. Farmers are allowed to adapt them to the characteristics and the specificities of their region or territory (W ISKERKE et al 2003) ECs start from the id ea that farmers are able to suggest and to implement adequate answers to local and specific environmental issues. This is due to the concrete knowledge farmers have of the area. Any goals set at the regional level can be then reached more efficiently. ( G LA SBERGEN 2000) Through the collective organization of the EC, the role of the government changes substantially. Its interventions are no longer manifested via unilateral regulatory frameworks which frequently reflect a lack of knowledge of the specific cha racteristics of the territory and the various types of farming. Rather, interventions occur with a higher level of dialogue and consultation, as an actor among the other members of the cooperative. Consequently the role of the government and local authorit ies involved in agriculture is more oriented toward the coordination of the
45 innovations rather than in defining, implementing and controlling measures. (A GGERI 1999) The Integration of Environmentally Oriented Practices as Part of the Farm Management and Business of the Cooperative Functioning of the combination Instead of tackling environmental problems at the level of the individual farm, the goals are set at the level of the region. This way, farmers can determine the most appropriate methods for them to contribute to the achievements of these larger goals. As the environmental plans adopted and implemented by the farmers are more adapted to their individual farming and management styles, the effectiveness of the conservation practices is increased and is likely to be more sustainable. It is worth noting that adaptation probably takes more time at the starting stage because farmers do not respond to a general rule but have to come up with their own plans. Nature of agreements made with the government G LASBERGEN 2000, p.251). The farmers who make special contributions to the environment by doing more than others or by doing it sooner are financially rewarded a t higher levels. ( G LASBERGEN 2000) Example of project VEL & VANLA The nutrient management project is one of the main projects carried out by the EC Vel & Valna It consists of field laboratories that were made possible by land offered by the government to farmers for the development of their own strategies. This project was centered on increasing nitrogen efficiency in dairy farming systems by cost effectively d ecreasing ammonia emissions and nitrate leaching. Deeper studies were
46 carried out on the farms with high nitrogen use efficiency. They concluded that to improve the nitrogen use efficiency at the farm level, the farmer needs to increase the nitrogen effici ency within the different subsystems (animal, manure, soil and fibers) as well as in the relations between these subsystems. The idea was a change in the look of the system as a whole, by making better use of the local resources available, to find a new eq uilibrium both ecologically and economically sustainable for the farming system. Scientists and farmers together analyzed nutrient flows and its management in the farm. The research could progress through the contribution of 60 experimental farms which imp lemented changes, adaptation and reflected on these latter. This research had led to a particular dynamic within the EC through the sharing of experiences among farmers and thus the creation of a learning system. ( V AN D ER P LOEG et al ., 2006) Within the Nut rient Management Project of Vel & Vanla, scientific research became more involved in developing novelties in the field of agriculture, and it highlighted the concept of co production in which resources and knowledge are continuously remolded by human pract ices (and vice versa ) to permanently adjust the equilibrium. The literature on this project underlines the potential of the farmers as sources of knowledge to better understand the ecosystems in their possibilities of being transformed and managed. Besides the technical knowledge, farmers know to what material environment in which they are S TUIVER et al ., 2003, p.36). This project is an example of ECs as unique field laboratories for innovation towa rds new form of environmentally oriented agricultural practices and sustainable rural development. ( S TUIVER et al ., 2003)
47 The Link between the Environmental Cooperative and Various Stakeholders and Entities of the Territory stitutional relations between the state agencies the stakeholders of the territory ( W ISKERKE et al., 2003 p.19). This part deals with these two social dimensions which contribute to the environmental cooperative as a novelty. Benefits of the collaboration between various stakeholders through the EC theory The strength of the ECs resides in the interaction of the organization with multiple and various actors of the ter F RANKS 2008, p.3). In other words, at an individual level, it is difficult to cost effectively build the plan enabling the inte gration of environmental practices into the farming management while matching to the social context and characteristics of the given area. The ECs help overcome this issue by bringing together diverse groups of actors with various and crossed interests and skills. (F RANKS 2008) Integration of non farmers in the membership of the EC An important and unique feature of the ECs is the participation of non farmers in the management board and functioning of the cooperative (for most of the cases). The non farmer s are for instance representatives of specialized environmental organizations, animal welfare organizations, regional and governmental authorities, and other local citizens. They have the same rights within the cooperative than the farmers. This mix contri butes to the creation of strong interactions among the various people of the region or territory
48 The EC and the government One of the main roles government has played is as supporter of the ECs through, for instance, agri environmental programs (e.g. Prog ramma Beheer in 2000) which encouraged collective management (F RANKS 2008). State agencies define quantifiable policy goals for the area covered by ECs with respect to landscape, nature and environment (e.g. the maximum amount of nutrient losses allowed). The government leaves the flexibility to the ECs for the implementation of the means to reach these goals, and farmers are allowed to choose the measures and instruments they consider being the most effective in their specific circumstances. The cooperati ve draws action plans and negotiates them with the government; both parties agree on the contract only valid for the farmers members of the EC (the other farmers of the area being under the regime of state regulations) ( W ISKERKE et al., 2003) The EC and the community organizations Through common projects, various links are created with agricultural organizations, authorities, agribusiness, environmental organizations, and agricultural schools for instance. New social networks are created at the local lev el (W ISKERKE et al., 2003) Agribusiness companies are a source of financial support and a source of knowledge for the ECs in terms of market opportunities (e.g. for environmentally friendly products). Research and academic institutions are also important for the development of the EC, as a source of advice and reliable science based answers to specific problems. One example is the partnership with Wageningen Agricultural University to help with the formation of the action plans. (G LASBERGEN 2000)
49 Internal Functioning and Activities of the Environmental Cooperative The EC works as a reward system for the farmers, considering their involvement and initiatives. Economic Management Start up funding Initial funding fundamental during the start up of the ECs co mes from either the Ministry of Agriculture or the Province (e.g. in Zuid Holland), or from specialized bodies like the Water Board. Concretely, the Dutch ministry of Agriculture (MinLNV) has new spraying techniques. A further grant of the same amount helped pa y environmental maintenance and landscape management. Later in 1996, a second round of grants of further research and deeper projects on better integration of farming and e nvironmental management. Funding were also granted to Universities in exchange of their expertise and suggestions related to forms of cooperation and environmental practices. ( F RANKS 2010) Life cooperative funding Farmers involved in ECs are rewarded for their actions and gain extra revenue through their participation in projects aiming at implementing conservation practices activities the higher will be their financial gai ns ( DE R OOIJ 2006) A survey about Vel & Vanla calculated an average extra annual income of about 5500 (about USD 6700) per
50 farm resulting from the conservation activities engaged in the framework of the EC, through it is very variable from farm to farm ( V AN DER P LOEG ET AL ., 2001). agri green funds (e.g. Midden Delfland), public agencies and direct supports ( A MBLARD 2 011), investments by citizens (e.g. Lunters Landfonds), marketing contracts such as regional typical products and region branding, and educative projects ( O OSTINDIE 2009) Along the life and development of the EC, funds are mainly ensured by the activities and projects managed by the members. Besides, members pay an annual subscription. ( F RANKS and al. 2007) Activities of the Environmental Cooperative The activities carried out by farmer members are much diversified and are underta ken at both the individual and collective level. They can be categorized into four plans: environment and landscape maintenance, nature conservation, environmental care, and business bookkeeping ( G LASBERGEN 2000). Some examples of these activities are fie management (e.g. meadow birds and geese), parcel management (e.g. later mowing grassland, botanical management, set aside for nature), landscape management (e.g. hedges, pools and ponds, plan collaboration and meeting between members to share on management methods ( O OSTINDIE 2009 ). The EC is founded on the idea of acknowledging and valuing actions towards the environment in the agricult ural system. It promotes the idea that a market should be created for environmental pursuits and that farmer must be able to financially benefit
51 from doing something towards environmental conservation and nature and landscape management. As part of the fra mework of the EC, the reduction of regional environmental load carried by environmental agencies enables the development of a valuation and rewards system (G LASBERGEN 2000) The activities of the EC can be roughly summarized as information sharing and adv ice provision, coordination of changes in agricultural practices, fund raising, and representation and lobbying ( A MBLARD 2011). Products of the Environmental Cooperatives ECs organize the supplies and sales of high quality and environmentally friendly products, help at maintaining the nature and landscape, deliver environmental quality at a specified price (as existing environmental markets), and organize and manage technical aspects (e.g. storage, removal, processing, and sale of manure). In brief, ECs G LASBERGEN 2000, p. 254). Besides, the EC is a source of advice on environmentally friendly agr icultural management and on relevant and new administrative systems (G LASBERGEN 2000). Some of the non material products offered by the ECs are the organization of trainings about certain conservation practices, the assistance in the access and applicatio n of farmers to environmental schemes, and providing public information on innovative cooperatives ( F RANKS 2007). Each EC has its own specificities depending on the group of farmers involved, the local natural environment, and the institutional environmen t. Each EC contributes then in its own way to the development of the area.
52 Impacts and Externalities of this Form of Cooperation Environmental Impacts The principal long term externalities targeted by ECs concern the environment and the landscape. Dutch e nvironmental issues caused by agricultural practices are mainly the contamination of water (infiltration in arable lands at term), the leaching of minerals (e.g. nitrates) in the soils, the emission of ammonia, the discharge of waste water, the treatment o f solid waste from livestock breeding (e.g. manure) and the high consumption of energy ( G LASBERGEN 2000 ). Vel & Vanla is the oldest Dutch EC and thus among the most developed ones. This study used it then as a case to obtain indications and predictions of the potential of ECs in terms of economic and environmental benefits over the time. As part of a project, increasing the efficiency of the use of internal farm resources in order to reduce the level of environmental pollution in their farming operations. To give an idea of the environmental benefits, through their operations, this EC managed to reduce nitrogen surplus from 346 kg N/ha (about 140 kg N/acre) in 1995 96 to 269 kg N/ha (108 kg N/acre) in 1998 1999 (in line with the national policy goals set for 2003), while the reference (regional average) had gone from 371 kg N/ha (150 kg N/acre) in 1995 96 to 306 kg N/ha (124 kg N/acre) in 1998 99 (V AN DER P LOEG et al ., 2 001). As thi s example shows, the EC enabled greater efficiency in the conservation practices and positive impacts on the environment, through collective action environment because there is no co mparison studies demonstrating what would be the effects in the absence of the EC. However, ECs result in higher rate of submissions to
53 environmental schemes and therefore lead to a faster process of implementation ( F RANKS 2007). Mostly, pollution resulti ng from agriculture practices are non point source pollutions types (e.g. pollution from nitrates). They are very diffuse and have a high spatial variation depending on external factors such as meteorological conditions. Adaptation of environmental measure s to local conditions is thus of importance for an effective reduction of water pollution. However, designing precise measures may be very costly for the public agencies, considering the need for the collection of information, processing and analysis. Rely ing on collective action is thus an undeniable and local environment. (A MBLARD 2011) Reduction of the Transaction and Operational Costs Two of the main benefits ECs deliver to the Dutch ministry and to the farmers themselves, are significant reductions of transaction and operational costs involved in the process of conservation practices implementation. ( P OLMAN & P EERLINGS 2002) In the context of environmental policies, tra nsaction costs include search and information costs, bargaining and contracting costs, enforcement costs, and monitoring costs ( A MBLARD 2011). The reduction of these transaction costs is achieved through the sharing of the fixed transaction costs among me mbers (e.g. costs linked to applications to agro environmental schemes, costs of implementation). Although the structure generates extra fixed transaction costs such as membership fees and administration costs (e.g. enforcement and monitoring costs), the o verall reduction of transaction costs, compared to the situation in which farmers sign individual environmental contracts, is significant.
54 A survey carried out on sixty seven Dutch ECs ( P OLMAN 2002) revealed that the amount of wildlife and landscape mana gement done by farmers does not change significantly with the type of contract, whether it is via direct contract with the government or via the EC. However, the number of farmers willing to implement conservation practices and to take part in nature and l andscape management is likely to be much higher in the case of EC because of the overall reduction of transaction costs. The reduction of the operational costs is also an important element resulting from the cooperative. This mainly deals with operational costs incurred by the work of specialized environmental agencies. Part of the activities and conservation plans carried out by those organizations are indeed implemented directly by the farmers members. Meanwhile, farmers benefit from the advices and exper tise of the environmental organizations, some of whose representatives are members of an EC. V AN D ER P LOEG per ha (USD127 per acre) in the farm (considering the transaction costs, state agenci of 30 ha (USD5,000 for a farm of 74 acres) The structure of ECs can be considered economically efficient due to the collective contract which brings together forma lization, screening, and monitoring ( F RANKS 2010 ). It enables a better overview and more efficient implementation of the Stronger Bargaining Power The EC brings togeth er farmers with common interest around specific issues. As part of this structure, farmers find a means to concretely demonstrate their interests and to practically implement what corresponds to their beliefs. Together, the members
55 constitute a unity with a higher power of negotiation than there would be if the farmers acted alone. Furthermore, the government and nature organizations are more willing to deal with such an organization rather than with a single farmer because public transaction costs are also substantially reduced (P OLMAN 2002). The authorities are more disposed to discuss and negotiate regulations with a cooperative whose farmers have previously agreed on specific issues. The cooperative is therefore a means to create new and stronger inter actions between the farmers and the authorities. Moreover, members of the EC are strengthened at the regional level, which is a factor of diffusion of concrete knowledge, and a factor to highlight the environmental, historical, cultural, and social charact eristics of the given region. They take on a role of representative in sharing environmental issues they solved by bringing concrete solutions. ( G LASBERGEN 2000). Besides, ECs are supported by environmental interest groups who find through the structure a potential for more credibility with national and international authorities than would have activist groups alone. (G LASBERGEN 2000) The involvement of various stakeholders of the territory within the EC leads to a higher level of credibility between the agricultural actors and the legislative body. Greater transparency apparent in the EC about its activities and projects creates a heightened climate of confidence between the different levels of professional actor s, and especially with the authorities. ( F RANKS 2010)
56 Enhancement of the Rural Development of the Area Higher involvement of farmers and other actors of the territory in projects related to environmental issues in complying with environmental regulations and working on objectives set at a higher level. It is related to the fact that those members need to deal with environmenta l measures they have contributed to design, rather than externally imposed. It is directly linked to self governance. (A MBLARD 2011) Through the EC as a source of knowledge and dissemination of information, itizens through networks and collective projects, an improvement of the quality of application to environmental schemes, an increase in the initiation of projects and for the creation of local monitoring. ( F RANKS 2008) The higher involvement of people is also linked to the EC as a structure able to bring together people of similar backgrounds from a same area. They may share similar occupations, depend on the same resources, speak the same language, and belong to the same ethnic or religious group. These s imilarities facilitate regular interactions among group members and increase their level of understanding between each other. It assumes homogeneity among the interests and concerns of the members. This homogeneity reduces hierarchical and conflicted inter actions, and promotes better resource management. It is represented within the membership of the cooperative and very much reflected outside, on the community as a whole. (A GRAWAL & G IBSON 1999)
57 Contribution to rural development The positive consequences of the EC go beyond the effects on the environment and landscape. It creates social capital through the creation of links between the local stakeholders. It also encourages to the emergence of local coordinators who bring different actors and farmers toget her. They are also empowered to imagine alternatives and to develop mechanisms in response to specific issues of their territory. It therefore contributes directly to the vitality of the area and the cohesion of its people. ( W ISKERKE et al 2003) From a vertical approach, the potential of the EC resides in dealing with issues/subjects in an integrated way, at the local as well as at the regional level, rather than from a fragmented approach, which appears to be less efficient in the long run. Despite the fact that the starting members are generally strongly oriented toward performance and willing to get concrete results in a short period of time in order to prove the success of their cooperation. The eff ect on the rural development of the area is then quickly visible ( G LASBERGEN 2000) development of non farm activities such as on farm selling and agro touristic activities. Ne w patterns taken up by the farmers of the area participate in the development or improvement of the reputation of the area as a tourism destination. It encourages farmers in pursuing their efforts towards the development of the area, directly and indirectl y, and meanwhile expands interactions with the tourism sector (e.g. environmental cooperatives with local tourism agencies) ( V AN DER P LOEG et al ., 2001). Making an area more attractive and enhancing rural development opportunities are
58 common driving forces in forming such cooperation. Specific drivers vary then among regions and countries. ( F RANKS 2008) Constraints and Difficulties of the Development of the Environmental Cooperatives Resistance from the Farmers and the Governmental Authorities Studies carr ied out on Dutch ECs report the existence of a certain resistance from farmers in incorporating environmental concerns in the system of production. It is mainly due to the fact that environmental requirements in agriculture are perceived as additional cost s. From the famer perspective, there is no economic interest to adopt more environmentally sound production methods (except for the niche of ecological markets). Even for the farmers who could meet environmental costs, settling up environmental practices w ithin their farming systems does not generate extra revenue; those are therefore often considered as not interesting enough. The structure of EC offers something more attractive in respect with these resistances. Part of the explanation for the obstacles implementation on the farm resides in the general lack of effective markets that value environmental benefits produced by farmers. Many in the agricultural sector would like to change their production methods provided that it wo uld be economically rewarding to do so. In addition, many farmers regard stricter environmental policies as a necessity to the continuation and the sustainability of their production, and as long term opportunities. ( V AN D IJK 1998 ) According to other stud ies, the motivation of farmers to join an EC is differently reported. G LASBERGEN (2000 ) asserts that subsidies to farmers made only a limited contribution to the conservation of natural value in agrarian areas. In other words,
59 farmers need to be convinced by something else than financial payments to implement conservation practices. F RANKS & C ROSS environment participation rates, but the trade offs between payment and management he study can probably conclude that the overall motivation of farmers in integrating farming conservation practices in their farming resource specificities and the group o Moreover, the lack of support from governmental authorities is often reported in the Dutch case studies, especially concerning the acknowledgement of the characteristics of self governance. The challenge resides in the mobilizati on of more stakeholders such as local and regional agencies in the management board and functioning of the ECs. Difficulties to Implement the Terms of Self Organizations The action plans which are put forwards by the ECs and their exemptions from the governmental rules are re negotiated frequently with the governmental authorities. ECs had been first authorized and supported by the government under the title of cooper atives were considered as scientific research projects, implying fewer rights for the organization and its members, and more administrative constraints. (W ISKERKE et al 2003). A determinant aspect to the successful development of the EC is the identific ation of leaders able to take initiatives, inspire the other members and influence the management of the EC. Usually farmers lack the time to take this responsibility,
60 even if they have great potential in this position. Indeed, communication from farmers m embers to potential new members is a crucial factor, in particular for the explanation such a structure are then very important in guiding its development. (F RANKS 2008) Development difficulties faced by the environmental cooperative requires the acquisition of infrastructure, machinery, and specific equipment and services related to conservation practices operations. This implies investment to which members partially contribute. Studies about the difficulties and concrete challenges met by the EC along its creation and development are spare, and possibly non existent. The study assumes that these problems and difficulties can be more easily overcome by an EC. Thanks to collective action, collaboration between members and partnerships with the government and other collaborative institutions, financial management, strategies of development, and choi ces of the projects and activities can be easier managed. Long Term Risks of the Structure for the Farms of the Area G LASBERGEN ( 2000) underlines that small farms are not always able to comply with the functioning and the rules of the EC, in particular wi th the elaboration of the strategies and the implementation of the operations. It obviously depends on the region where the cooperative is located, but small farms can be at a risk of survival, because of lack of time, investment capacities, etc. Besides, projects initiated as part of the ECs are often planned for the long term, therefore the presence of a plan of succession for the farm and the management plans related to the conservation practices are of importance. ( G LASBERGEN 2000)
61 Risks for the Intern al Functioning of the Environmental Cooperative From the perspective of the cooperative U a defensive reaction, usually linked to the nature of the market. The characteristic of the cooperative giving to the user/member the role of investor can be a sourc e of problems during the life cycle of the cooperative. These problems are described as the free rider members and therefore the development of the cooperative on the long te rm, the portfolio problem, the control problem, and the influence costs problems (c.f. the study in 5 stages which the last one can be fatal (because results in eithe mainly resulting from the property rights features, can be overcome. To name a few of them, the collective action via cooperative can persevere if the to exchange multidimensional goods that possess the properties of both private and public good chosen to name those latter overcoming ways because of the likely potential of an EC to include them. From the particular perspective of the EC One of the risks of becoming a member of EC is the inadequate benefits in the short run. The projects are in most of the cases planned on the long run; sometimes the
62 measures associated can lead to short term effects which are contradictory to the ultimate purposes. Consequently, the government and the other institutions which give support to projects can lose confidence and resist granting financial supports to the environmental cooperatives. Hence the clarity and transparency of projects about the methods and the expected results over time are all critical. A second risk for the internal development of the EC lies in the degree of professionalism, perceived as insufficient in certain cases, because they are the farmers implementing the projects. Active mem bers need an effective access to knowledge and expertise to reorient themselves, with the purpose of new operational plan linking the daily management of the farm with environmental conservation. A third risk concerns the internal accountability of the coo perative and the problem of free riders. Free riding is at risk of emerging in cases of collective action or regarding the management of a common pool resource. This risk is explained by the fact that some of the users of the given structure or of the natu ral resource enjoy its benefits and services without paying anything or contributing to it. This underlines the necessity for external monitoring and auditing capable of carrying an internal control and applying sanctions when need arises. ( G LASBERGEN 200 0) The size of the cooperative is also a matter which needs to be considered to avoid long term risks. Transaction costs are likely to increase with the size of the EC, but on the other hand, small size can be a limiting factor to attract the resources nee ded A MBLARD 2011). It is worth noting that the bigger the EC, the higher it is likely to be fragmented into smaller groups. There is a compromise that corresponds to the heterogeneity or homogeneity of the members. High het erogeneity is a source of enrichment, but has implications such as a higher cost of bargaining.
63 Considering its local, overall context, and these variables, it is up to the cooperatives to find an equilibrium ensuring its viable and sustainable functioning ( A MBLARD 2011) Factors Influencing Success of Environmental Cooperatives This section focuses on the main environmental, economic and social variables practices system, and community effects. A parallel with the U S setting was also designed to form ass umptions and prepare the chapter 3 of this study. The following factors were considered to influence success of the EC: The support and assistance from the government during the start up of the project. This is a key factor for EC development, especially during the first years. In the up grants and the Dutch government revised its agri environmental program (Programma Beheer) to include options for joint submissions from EC members. (F RANKS 2008). For the U S perspective, the question is whether the Federal or State authorities would be able to support such an initiative coming from the local level. Does such support exist? The structure of cooperative. The structure enables farmers to coordinate supply and d emand in the same unit, which is a big economic advantage for the individual farmers as it reduces the transaction costs. Structure reinforces the position of individual farmers in the markets and creates a stronger cooperation between farmers. ( G LASBERGEN 2000) For the U S to be observed. Do farmers in the U S in general or in Illinois who are members of a
64 cooperative get more involved at the global market than those who are non mem bers. If yes, how are the transaction costs affected? The high level of cooperation between members. Cooperation enables farmers members to benefit from market opportunities (e.g. promotion of regional products and creation of labels), reinforces or create s sales channels at the local and regional level, enables a high capacity of negotiating with external partners, which favors the creation of opportunities for collaboration and the credibility with governmental authorities ( G LASBERGEN 2000). For the U S perspective (Illinois), the question is whether there are local products which could be developed further at the market level if better opportunities were provided. Do local farmers or organizations feel that authorities do not give them the attention the y need to achieve this goal? Self governance. Self W ISKERKE et al ., 2003). Indeed, the institutional environment and political structures significantly determine the mode of existen ce of rural governance. Self governance varies from country to country, regions and cultures, and depends on the local norms and the mode or habit of people to participate in cooperation organizations. For the U S perspective, the objective is then to a nalyze the significant differences with the Netherlands in terms of culture, legislation, policies, and institutions which could allow or prevent the development of a structure such as an EC. In addition, what are the levels of interaction between the coop eration organizations and the Federal authority or the State authorities?
65 The self regulation. Self regulation enables reciprocity between public and credible accountabi (W ISKERKE et al., 2003, p.21). For the U S perspective, the question is whether a change in or deviation from the general rules, policies and legislation is possible in the U S and especially in Illinois. What is the level of flexibility? Which cr iteria would be necessary in a U S setting to make a self regulation framework effective? What would be the role of the other local stakeholders to contribute to the rural development? The efficiency of the action plans through collective action. This dev elops the ability to respond to specific issues related to the characteristics of the environment, higher possibility of adaptation and higher efficiency to solve the problems. It also enables higher levels of trust between the actors through respect, righ ts of others, and appreciation of their motives. For the U S perspective, analyzing the different areas of Illinois considering their differences in characteristics, environmental issues, etc., is important. The high diffusion and sharing of information. This enables a consideration and higher awareness of the non farmers vis vis the structure of EC. The economic viability of the environmental conservation projects and landscape management This enables closer interactions based on trust with the authori ties, a significant reduction of the public costs and the development of a system of financial rewards to the farmers.
66 For the U S perspective, it would be interesting for instance to predict the cost effects of an EC in the U S. The limitation to this is that there are no reference case study calculations which have been done in the Netherlands An innovative and experimental model. This enables the promotion of alternatives for the agrarian business operations by the suggestions of new perspectives and n ew institutional approaches for the future of the agricultural system ( G LASBERGEN 2000). For the U S perspective, the objective is to analyze how farmers are sensitive to agricultural innovations, and to innovative approaches engaging interactions and co llaboration with stakeholders they are not used to work with. This enables a regional approach and a higher feeling of confidence between the different partners. For the U S perspective, the objective is to analyze whether there are factors enabling a regional (more local) approach in Illinois as far as environmental regulations are concerned (e.g. analysis of the duties and position of the county at the level of the State). From this base, this study therefore focused on the U S setting in which EC could eventually evolve. The relevant variables extracted from the Dutch literature for which the representation was analyzed for the U S setting through the primary data col lec ted, will be addressed in C hapter 4 about the research design of this study.
67 CHAPTER 3 U S AND ILLINOIS CONTEXT SETTING Perspective setting Both European and American farming systems have been highly intensified during the last decades. However, agricultural models and farming practices between customs, and agricultural history. This study aimed at putting in perspective for both continents, an innovative form o environmen tal conservation practices. C hapter 3 gives an overview of the U S setting concerning agriculture, the existing forms of agricultural co operations, and conservation practices and the organizations in charge of their implementation. It also introduces the study area of the research and highlights the U S characteristics which could be favorable to a structure similar to an EC. Choice of the U S study area Criteria of Choice This research used both p rimary and secondary data. The primary data was collected in the state of Illinois in the U S and aimed at evaluating the applicability of the model of EC in the U S. This state was chosen based on the predominant variables extracted from publishe d studie s of the Dutch EC (cf. C hapter 2 ; F RANTZ 2007, 2008, 2011; G LASBERGEN 2000; P OLMAN 2002; W ISKERKE et al 2003). In order to facilitate the construction of a cooperative model for the U S setting, the social, economic and legal environment of the region needed to have elements which seem favorable to such construction, including similar elements to the Netherlands. The research area was
68 therefore chosen based to its relevance in terms of i ts characteristics which could more likely predict the acceptance of the EC model in the U S. To select the research area, the study identified the following factors: The number of cooperatives (any kind) relative to other U S States The density of farme certainly reflect the willingness of farmers to collaborate and to share activities The topography/hydrography/landscape; a diversified landscape (streams, pools, forestlands, and fragile areas) a nd a variable topography (e.g. mountains) would certainly imply a stronger interest by the locals in protective measures that combine agriculture and conservation of the particular landscape ad environment The acknowledgement of environmental issues such as soil erosion, water pollution, endangered species of fauna or flora, and deforestation to justify conservation practices as part of the farming systems The importance of the agricultural sector; farming acreage, money invested by the State, and reven ue share generated by a State compared with the total U S agriculture revenue. A high economic importance of the agriculture could lead to forms of resistance in changing the pattern of production The nature of the agricultural products grown; diversity to identify the relevance of a certain type of cooperation compared to another. Farmers producing same crops would see perhaps more sense in a form of cooperation among them, through a cooperative for example. However, they could also perceive the cooper ative as risky due to the existing competition existing among them distance between farms (if far from each other, the cooperation between farmers is challenged), farming type, e.g. conventional, organic. Different productions, ambitions for the farmer The legal framework; particular incentives for environmental conservation as part of the agriculture p ractices The number of environmental organizations regulating pesticide uses, water pollution and other natural resources related issues to give an impression of the The number of farmers involved i n conservation measures, and the types of conservation programs they join and environmental conservation they practice
69 The current study aimed at analyzing how farmers can, on the one hand, collaborate in the implementation of environmental conservation measures, and on the other hand integrate environmental conservation practices as part of their farming system. The target region had to consist of relatively large agricultural land acreage, because the study is primarily interested in agriculture and th e producers. However, a small number of large farms would not facilitate cooperation. A moderate level of agricultural acreage per farm combined with a high number of farms seemed therefore a good intermediary. Figure 3 1 shows the percentage of farming la nds as part of the total land area per county in the U S. Agricultural activities are intensively performed in what is called the Corn Belt in the middle region of the U S. The northeast section of the Corn Belt fit with the criterion large number of mediu m sized farms. This section includes the states of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Figure 3 2 highlights the high concentration of agricultural cooperatives in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota. The average revenue per coopera tive is also high in these States relative to most of the other States. Figure 3 3 highlights a high average membership per cooperative in Indiana, Illinois, Wirconsin and Iowa. The study area could therefore have been located in one of the four states: I llinois, Indiana, Wisconsin or Iowa. The State of Illinois was selected as the study area. The reasons of this choice are discussed below.
70 Justification of the Choice of Study Area the State of Illinois Illinois an intensive farming type of production Illinois is composed of 102 counties, 57.900 squared miles (or 14.5 million ha) (25th in the U S ) of which about 80 percent is farmland, and has a population of around 12,869,000 people (ranked 5th in the U S ) including Chicago which is the third most de nsely populated city in the U average it has an altitude of 180m and though slightly higher in the South. Its hydrographic network is tracked by the confluence of the Mississippi and the Ohio Rivers, and the climate is continental with cold winters and warm summers, and characterized by well distributed annual precipitation (USDA & NASS, 2011). These factors enabled the development of an intensive agricultural system composed of soybean (second highest U S soybean producer, comprising 33% of total Illinois commodities sales), corn (second highest U S corn producer, with 40% of Illinois commodities sales), hogs, cattle and beef cows (23% of farms (Illinois Department of Agriculture, 2013)), wheat product ion, and dairy products (dairy cows account for 3% of Illinois farms, (Illinois Department of Agriculture, 2013)). Illinois has about 28 million acres of farmland and 76,000 farmers (Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force, 2009). The average operators consider farming as their principal occupation (USDA & NASS, 2011). Beside crop and livestock productions, Illinois is a leader in food manufacturing and meat processing, with Chicago long k is the largest manufacturing activity in the state with more than 950 companies. As part of the agri related industries, farm machinery and agricultural real estate also contribute to the Illinois agricu ltural economy. In 2009, Illinois was third in the U S
71 ( J ENNINGS 2009) Illinois Leader in Cooperative support and farming management training. The Illinois Bureau of Marketing and Promotion is in charge of increasing market access opportunities for Illinois food and agribusiness products. It participates in cooperative sponsored activities which mainly target small and medium sized Illinois agribusiness and food processing companies. Also, the Department of Agriculture organizes workshops and deals, for instance, with manure management training for livesto ck producers to meet the Netherlands, manure management and nutrient balance within the farm is a fundamental concern for farm management and requires a lot of attention In the framework of an environmental cooperative, this kind of training would typically be organized by the cooperative itself, which would likely reduce the transaction costs generated by the authorities in charge. The possibility or potential of the tr ansfer of activities from external and specialized organizations to the cooperative itself and its farmers is part of the object of the study. ( J ENNINGS 2009) Illinois national leader in local food systems. only several thousand produce for local markets, but the number is increasing (Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force, 2009). With a generally industrialized agriculture, it is a national leader in the delivery of vast quantities of low cost commodities i nto the global food system thanks to a focus on the benefits from growing their own Illinois farm and food economy (Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force, 2009). Nevertheless, the State of Illinois is the U S Midwest leader in local
72 and orga nic food and fiber production (ERS USDA), and there are strong incentives towards local food and short food supply chain strategies, and connections between producers and consumers. This suggests a willingness from the actors involved in the food productio n to collaborate. To name a few of these incentives, Illinois House Bill 3990 established a local food, farms, and jobs committee in charge of developing Chicago (in t Furthermore, the Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force was established in 2007 by the F ood, Farm, and Jobs Act of 2007. It has the responsibility to develop and organic food system, including an increase in locally grown food and local organic food producti developed marketing strategies ( J ENNINGS 2 009). The latter initiative -at the State level -reflects a feeling of territorial identity and identification with to a certain image o f the area, an image of local food production which can be marketed. This element is fundamental for the present study. The presence of a typical U S intensive farming system combined with the development of local incentives towards local food productions and consumption, and closer connections between farmers and producers made this State a very interesting area for the present study. Illinois is a place with many innovative projects, indicating the potential for a shift in the pattern of the food product ion system towards more sustainable forms of food productions
73 Presence of environmental issues and natural resource damage Illinois is characterized by very soil types and fertility, climate and rai nfall (Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force, 2009). Apart from the soil resources, the hydrographic includes the Mississippi, Illinois, and Rock Rivers, and Lake Michigan. There are also a large number of small lakes throughout the state. Ti mberlands (about 10% of the Illinois land cover), minerals petroleum, lead, flourite and coal are the other important natural resources of Illinois. Because of the particular climate including periods of extremely hot a the very intensive agricultural system. The main environmental issues caused by agricultural practices are nu trient leaching, soil erosion, and biodiversity reduction. Figures 3 4 and 3 5 illustrate the impact of agriculture on the Illinois territory, affecting the natural resources in the long term. These figures give an idea of the likely areas of high levels o f nitrate and pesticide leaching. Figure 6 gives a representation of the distribution of the farms over Illinois according to their size (in annual sales). One of the assumptions of the study was that the smaller farmers would be more willing to accept an environmental cooperative, as com pared to the biggest ones (cf. C hapter 1). This assumption was tested via the application of statistical models. From the three previous figures, Figure 3 7 (based on figures 3 4, 3 5, and 3 6) highlights the likely correla tions
74 nitrate leaching found in Illinois. The large east middle area corresponds to the most intensive area of Illinois in terms of agricultural production. In Illin ois, the relative high levels of environmental damages and future threats to the quality of the natural resources and landscape, which are partially the result of the agriculture system, imply a strong focus on the elaboration of environmental restoration and conservation strategies. They also imply perhaps the reconsideration of existing conservation programs in order to make them more appropriate regarding the current environmental damages. Innovative forms of conservation through a new approach in the in stitutional framework could be very much welcomed. S and Incentives There are different kinds of cooperation among farmers. The legal status of the cooperative is the most common one. This section deals therefore mainly with an overview of the agricultural cooperatives in the U S cooperatives were the object of analysis because of the possibility of an eventual reorientation of their strategies towards the integration of environmentally oriented and collective projects. This section aims at characterizing the legal, economic and social setting of U S cooperatives into which they operate in order to attempt an e valuation of desires. Agricultural Cooperatives Definition and Status The first American cooperative was established in 1752 in Philadelphia. A cooperative is defined
75 T HE N ATIONAL C OOPERATIVE M ONTH P LANNING C OMMITTEE 2005) o use they are member owned and operate for the mutual benefit of members, with earnings returned on an investment basis. Farmer cooperatives are governed by a board of d irectors elected by their farmer members generally based on one member one vote, rather than on the basis of shares or percent ownership as in other types of businesses re similar to Dutch ones. A survey carried out by the U S Department of Agriculture (USDA) identifies producing agricultural and aquacultural products and to associations of such conducted with non members which has to be lower than the value of business con (P ENN & E VERSULL 2011). is their need to operate by continually adapting to the economic and social environment, and evolving T HE N ATIONAL C OOPERATIVE M ONTH P LANNING C OMMITTEE 2005). Cooperatives are usually formed in an unfavorable economic context in wh ich
76 the market cannot provide goods or services at affordable prices and acceptable quality. Cooperatives are then a means to strengthen the bargaining power of the members, maintaining the access to competitive markets, offering cheaper inputs and service s and new market opportunities, reducing costs, improving income opportunities, and managing risks (NCFC, 2013). The development of cooperative arrangements over the last century mainly reflected a desire to raise farm incomes. The structure follows seven member control; member economic participation; autonomy and independence; education, training and information sharing; cooperation among cooperatives, concern ( T HE N ATIONAL C OOPERATIVE M ONTH P LANNING C OMMITTEE 2005). competitors or investor owned agribusinesses may not always have access to ( H OUSE C OMMITTEE ON A GRICULTURE 20 04). U S rural areas are much more differentiated and at a greater distance from urban agglomerations. European rural areas tend to be closer and more integrated with cities. Space availability is greater and the population density is lower in the U S. Th e differences between the continents perhaps explains why rural America is characterized by individual initiative and self reliance as part of the U S culture and character (NCFC, 2013). The natural characteristics of the territory and the historical popu lation dynamics impacts the way people work and collaborate together, especially in agriculture. On the one hand, U S farmers would tend to have a higher spirit of working together as they are far from the decision centers and the urban poles. On the othe r hand, owning large
77 parcels of land can lead to a stronger feeling of competition with neighboring farm, which can negatively affect cooperation. Statistical Data In the U nited States There are over 40,000 cooperativ es in the U S whose members represent around 100 million American people ( H ERMANN 2003 ). These include cooperatives pertaining to agriculture, to child care, to credit, health care, housing, insurance, telephone, and electricity (NCFC, 2010). There are about 2,500 U S agricultural cooperatives (farmer, rancher, and fishery) that market 30% of U S farm commodities ( H OUSE C OMMITTEE ON A GRICULTURE 2004). Marketing cooperatives comprise half of the agricultural cooperatives, ( P ENN & E VERSULL 2011 ) althou gh there are supply cooperatives (manufacture, sale and distribute farm outputs, inputs, and energy related products), bargaining cooperatives (help farmers obtain reasonable prices for their products), and credit cooperatives. The latter are banks and ass ociations of the cooperative Farm Credit System which provide farmers with a competitive source of credit and other financial services (NCFC, website). Grain supply cooperatives constitute of 66% of U S cooperatives. Dairy cooperative memberships accounted for 2% of the total U S ( P ENN & E VERSULL 2011 the past d ecade while the net business volume of cooperatives has increased ( H OUSE C OMMITTEE ON A GRICULTURE 2004 ). This correlates to the decreasing number of farms in the U S ( P ENN & E VERSULL 20 11). This is especially visible in the dairy sector: from 1973 2002 the number of dairy cooperatives decreased by almost 70%, while their
78 share of total milk sales increased from 80% ( H ANSEN 2009). This increasing market share for dairy cooperatives exists in both the U.S. and the EU 15 in recent decades. The cooperatives S in 2010 (4000 more than in 2009) of which 715,000 were members of marketing cooperative ( K ENKEL et al ., 2011 ). U S cooperatives employ full time, part time and seasonal employees, therefore not only far mers but also other employees are important to the functioning of the cooperative. According to F LORY (2004), Board member of the Farm Credit Association, U S reduce their costs for supplies and business services. Cooperatives have been an effecti ve economic development tool to meet challenges of market failure linked to deficiencies in the system of providing goods and services (F OLSOM 2003). In Illinois The State of Illinois hosts 74 marketing cooperatives and 45 supply and service cooperatives ( P ENN & E VERSULL 2011 127,500 members and run a net business volume of USD10,6 Billion ( One of the uniqueness of Illinois is the high presence of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) which c ontributes to Illinois being referred as a leader in local food production and consumption (see Figure 3 8). CSAs are in the core of short food supply chain and contribute to the formation of local network within the community and the region. Besides, thes and systems of food production. Generally, though CSAs, consumers get to know where and how the food products are produced. Consumers are consequently more
79 interested in production issues an d externalities (positive and negative) resulting from farming. ( D E M UTH 1993) U S For the purposes of this study, providing an overview of the different organizations which support U S organizations shape the context into which agricultural cooperatives operate and Extension Service in 1926. In 1993 National I nstitute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA; formerly CSREES) was created, which includes a branch organization of Regional Research and Extension Committee for cooperatives ( K ENKEL et al., 2011). Before the USDA Reorganization Act of 1994, the Agricultural Coo perative Service was a separate agency aiming at encouraging and promoting cooperative initiatives from farmers. It has been recombined today into the Rural Business Cooperative Service ( H OUSE C OMMITTEE ON A GRICULTURE 2004). This service is in charge of p roviding assistance in terms of management and education, and works with cooperative leaders and Federal and State agencies to improve the organization, leadership, operations and development of cooperatives. It gives incentives and assistance to rural far mers for the development of These federal organizations are the main dealers in the setting of institutional framework of the U S agricultural cooperatives. In addition, the Farm Credit System (cooperatively owned) helps farmers, ranchers and their cooperatives have a competitive way to finance their operations by providing loans, leases to farmers ranchers, agricultural cooperatives mainly. The system has been created in 1916 to
80 provide a source of credit to the U S farmers and ranchers. It provides today more than one third of the credit needed by those who live and work in rural areas of the U S (Farm Credit System, 2013). Bank, the Rural Business Opportunity grants and the Rural Business Enterprise grant are Federal programs supporting U S Adaptatio n of the Traditional Cooperative to a New Environment During the last decade, U S agricultural cooperatives have been changing significantly in terms of focus, purpose, and composition. One of the causes is the increased foreign competition in agricultura l commodities, which has led thinner profit margins for the producers. In response, cooperatives have moved towards value added (H OUSE C OMMITTEE ON A GRICULTURE 2004) This shift is associated with a call f or more non producer investors. Producers mainly look at the cooperative as a better way to compete with large and monopolistic global food producing corporations. The current challenges and the restructuring of U S agriculture (the trend toward larger f arms combined with a diminution of their number, similar to the European situation) demand adaptations and operations. U S cooperatives are also buying inputs from larger, fewer and more sophisticated companies. To cope with this, U S rural development programs have put the cooperative model as a top priority to assisting farmers and ranchers in this increasingly competitive environment. (H OUSE C OMMITTEE ON A GRICULTURE 2004) In the Northeastern U S a significant increase in the n umber of small scale fruit and vegetable cooperatives (sales above $10 million ( ) has been observed
81 in the last decades. It was induced by a growing demand for high quality fresh and arkets. This was coupled with the growing interest of local agencies and non governmental organizations in the development of innovative agricultural opportunities. A rise in small scale grower cooperatives is related to the growth of consumption; total ve getable consumption increased 28.0 percent from 1976 to 2000 (from 359.2 pounds (162.9 kg) per capita to 459.8 (208.6 kg)). However, relative to this trend, little public policy has focused on cooperatives in meeting the growing demand for fresh, high qual ity fruits and vegetables. ( H ILCHEY et al., 2006) new U S -and more specifically Illinois -emerging pattern of food consumption and food production. Furthermore, the model of ECs offers the potential to combine it with greater care about the environment and thus to deal with the current global challenges ass ociated with the environment. The current study considers the fact that a context/environment conducive to local food productions is also a conducive environment for environmental practices incorporated into the farming system. First of all, local food pro duction reduces the energy consumption used as part of the goods transports, and reduces as well a part of the waste of products (due to spoilage, etc.) which is inevitable during the process of importation from one place to another. Furthermore, people wh to be interested in how the food products are produced. According to a survey conducted in Rhode Island (U S ), the reasons mentioned by the consumers of this State to buy locally are after the
82 R OHEIM 2007). Furthermore, buying local products may be associated with an awareness of the economic impact of these purcha ses on the community and rural development of the area. A Potential to Simulate the Economic Development of U S Rural Areas and Communities In July 2011 the U S Senate declared the y their communities, and to highlight the role of agricultural cooperatives in giving farmers an ownership in the food and agricultu re system from the farm to the grocery store (NCFC, 2012). The U S development. Beyond helping producers compete cooperatives also help contribute to the economic well being of certain rural areas and help meet community needs (NCFC, 2012). U S farmer co operatives are considered roviding jobs to 250,000 Americans, strengthening the agricultural economy, promoting interactions and enable the reinvestment of the money earned through it not only in t he agricultural production system, but also in the community itself ( H OUSE C OMMITTEE ON A GRICULTURE 2004) The impact of cooperatives in the community and region has been assessed through a case study approach related to fiscal and employment impacts and annual
83 communication, education, leadership capacity, and also environmental concerns (F OLSOM 2003). The results of that survey highlighted the value of locally owned busine sses, including cooperatives which have an economic effect on the area (revenue) and on direct and indirect employment. The structure of cooperative is indeed aroun W ALZER & M ERRETT 2002). Besides the economic and social impacts of the cooperatives, these structures are among the biggest financial supporters of departments of agricultural economics in the U S with more than USD20 million ( illion) invested in scholarships, faculty, research and other endowments ( K ENKEL et al 2011). New generation cooperatives (NGCs) Losses of jobs in certain rural towns combined with the prevalence of small farms which have difficulties facing for example why rural farmers look for off farms jobs for extra revenue. There is a need to revitalize many U S rural communities and economies. To do so, the development of food processing or manufacturing plants is see n as an alternative to focusing on local development strategies solely based on the agriculture sector. So created in the U S in the 1990s. These are opport unities for incorporating agriculture into broader local economic development initiatives. The NGCs are defined as processing business with the hopes of receiving a higher price for their products and a W ALZER & M ERRETT 2002, p.2). They are owned by the producers but generate employment also
84 for non farmers. The main challenges NGCs deal with are the identifi cation of markets, the development of an efficient production process and marketing of outputs. A study conducted on U S NGCs revealed facts which are interesting in the context of the present study. Most of the NGCs studied were located in the Middle Nor th of the U S. discussions to the development of the NGC. Among the respondents, 63% reported that those were farmers mostly because of an unfavorable economic context. Accord ing to the study ( W ALZER & M ERRETT 2002), the initiation of the NGCs came mainly from the agriculture sector rather than from local development groups who seemed more interested in traditional business and manufacturing than in food processing. One of the main observations was that farmers prioritize their financial security as do other most of the farmers were also interested in promoting local economic expansion through n on traditional means. ECs hold many of the same characteristics of New Generation Cooperatives to the extent that ECs also aim at developing farmers marketing of regional products, and the promotion of a nontraditiona l processing and other practices. Also, ECs and NGCs share many common purposes and challenges. The NGCs are innovative U S forms of co operations between farmers; they therefore can be characterized as novelties. to the economic strength of the rural areas in the U S (similar to Europe). In the context of this study, these assessments
85 becoming more like ECs are important. The level of s ocial network in any cooperative is likely to be based in part on mutual trust and confidence, which diminishes the need for control and monitoring within the projects and between the different partners concerned. Furthermore, members of traditional cooper atives and NGCs could develop an interest in further cooperation around environmentally oriented projects in order, for instance, to make their region more attractive and to develop the local economy. Weaknesses and Challenges of the U S Cooperatives Des S agricultural economic environment, they face a variety of challenges and issues. According to a study which used interviews of U S affected by external factors such as the volatility of the commodity and input markets (hence the need for strong risk management strategies), changes in consumer preferences, global competition, and regulat ions at all levels. Internal factors challenging agricultural cooperatives included the need for effective strategic planning and cooperation with other cooperatives. In particular, governance is mentioned as an important challenge for U S cooperatives. The main aspects of governance perceived as a challenge by U S agricultural cooperatives are the identification of leaders hol type and degree of involvement of the members within the cooperative and the board. Other governance issues are related to the performance of the board of directors and the involvement of non farmers (a recent deve lopment in U S agricultural cooperatives). Finally, communication is mentioned as challenging for the success of a
86 influences their participation in decision making (managemen t), reaching young producers and new employees, and improving public understanding of the cooperative business model. Successful supply chain partnerships and supporting networks was also highlighted as challenges. ( K ENKEL & P ARK 2011) The points highligh ted above were partially mentioned in the case of the Dutch EC. However, economics was not the main reason for the creation of ECs in the Netherlands. The EC was viewed as a means through another type of institutional approach to face the different iss ues more easily (e.g. application process to environmental schemes), that is, with more transparency and with a stronger and larger territorial network (especially inclusion of non farmers). One question at this point is whether some of the challenges faci ng U S cooperatives (e.g. external communication, partnership creation, and influence by variations of the market) could be better faced if the framework of an EC were adopted. S U S Conserva tion Programs and Institutions in Charge of their Implementation Environmental issues in agriculture such as related to nonpoint sources of pollution make regulation and monitoring difficult. This is why the U S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U SDA rely mainly on voluntary incentive programs to address environmental issues. A range of more than twenty environmental protection and conservation programs is offered to U S farmers and other landowners. An overview of the main current programs (based on the 2008 U S Farm Bill) is presented in this section. Land retirement programs capture the largest share of U S conservation spending (46%), knowing that U S farm Bill conservation programs had a budget of about USD2.749 million ( 22.03 million) in Fiscal Year 2010 (USDA, past 2010).
87 Funding for working land programs stood at about 35% of the total budget allocated to conservation programs. (USDA, 2011) Land retirement programs The conservation reserve program (CRP). The CRP is the largest voluntary public private partnership for conservation and habitat protection (annual budget of nearly $2 billion ( ). Participants enroll in a contract up to 10 years (renewable) to take a certain part of their acreage out of production in exchange of a nnual rental payments and cost share assistance from the government. This program targets highly erodible or environmentally sensitive lands. Most of the landowners carrying out CRP conservation practices receive a 50% cost share, on top of which can be ad ded payments from local authorities. Rental payments vary among States according to the type of soil. Common CRP practices are the establishment of permanent grasses and legumes, permanent wildlife habitat, field windbreak, tree planting, and restoration o f wetland conditions. In 2009 the enrollment was about 33.6 million acres (13.6 million ha) (over 8% of all U S cropland). The CRP program is one of the most effective and efficient program in terms of restoration of the wildlife habitats and preservation of the fauna and flora. (F ERRIS & S IIKAMAKI 2009) The Wetland Reserve Program (WRP). The WRP is functioning similarly to the CRP but targets conservation on wetlands by providing technical and financial assistance to farmers. About 80% of WRP easements are permanent and 3 million acres (1.2 million ha) are enrolled; they are mainly farmed wetlands and lands that were previously converted from wetlands. (NACD, 2007) The Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentives Program (VPA HIP). This program, launched in 2010, provides grants to States to encourage owners of farm,
88 ranch, and forest lands to make land available for public access (contracts leases up to 5 years). It includes natural recreation area, hunting or fishing areas. Working land programs The Environmental Quality Incentives P rogram (EQIP). EQIP provides technical assistance ( e.g. engineering design, management plan) and financial assistance (to offset the costs associated with the installation, the materials and the income losses) to farmers who install or manage conservation practices on land in production. It can deal with n utrient management, conservation tillage, and fences to exclude livestock from streams (USDA, 2011). Other more specific programs deal with energy management plans or organic production transition. T he C onservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Created by Congress in 2008, the CSP encourages landowners to improve their conservation performance by adopting additional activities, and managing existing activities on agricultural land (cropland, pastureland, rangeland are eligible) and nonindustrial private forest land. Lands enrolled in CRP, WRP or Grassland Reserve Program are not eligible for CSP payments. The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) (2009). WHIP aims at developing or improving high quality habitat to maintain the fish and wildl ife populations. The Natural Resource Conservation Service provides assistance to landowners to help develop likely areas on their property for endangered species of animals and flora (such as upland and wetland). Landowners apply for entering given lands into WHIP by suggesting a plan of operation this is the basis of a cost share agreement. The WHIP program has proven its efficiency by targeting wildlife habitat projects on all lands and aquatic areas. It is often the program chosen by the landowners wh o are unable to meet
89 the specific eligibility requirements of other USDA conservation programs. (NRCS, USDA, 2011) The Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative Program (CCPI). This program is a complement to major conservation programs such as EQIP, CSP and WHIP. Under CCPI, the NRCS enters into partnership agreements with eligible entities conservation outcomes on agricultural and nonindustrial private forest l ands. The main mission is to encourage producers to cooperate in meeting environmental regulations, by implementing conservation practices and promoting the development of innovative conservation methods. (USDA, 2011) Agricultural land preservation program s easements programs The farm and ranch lands protection program. This program purchases rights to certain land uses (through conservation easements) such as housing and other developments in order to maintain land in agricultural use. The Grassland Rese rve P rogram (GRP). The GRP aims at restoring and enhancing grassland, including rangeland and pastureland. The healthy forest reserve program. This program assists landowners in restoring and enhancing forestland resources on private land. Common points o f the U S conservation programs Candidates for government backed conservation programs need to comply with eligibility criteria to be able to apply. These programs often involve long term contracts due to the type of issue targeted; environmental benefits of the measures require time before being visible. Orders of priority are also established in funding the projects. They are based on an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) (Soil & Water Conservation Society
90 and Environmental Defense Fund, 2008), on locall y identified natural resource needs, and on its consistency with state and national objectives. Different evaluation methods are used within the easement programs, like the appraisal method to determine the Fair Market Value in the case of the rental payme nts of the CRP. Three main agencies deal with the regulations, the implementation, and the examination of the outcomes of the policies. The Farm Service Agency (USDA) develops indicators to determin e the payment amounts, such as soil rental rates in the case of the CRP. Some are critical about payment calculation methods and updates ( H ARDEN averages on other parameters. Th e Economic Research Service (ERS) examines the economic effects of farm programs on producers, consumers, taxpayers, and rural communities, analyses alternatives, and compares new and previous Farm Bills vis vis certain measures. Trade offs between diffe rent programs are also analyzed. Illinois Environmental Conservation Incentives (Programs and Organizations) Illinois environmental preservation incentives The main environmental conservation programs which are relatively specific to the State of Illinoi s are the Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP), the Mud to Parks (M2P), and the Partners for Conservation (PFC) (Illinois Department of Natural Resources). One of the problems facing the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is the provision o f public recreational access and outdoor opportunities. IRAP uses USDA funding to compensate landowners for allowing public access for certain types of recreation including fishing, hunting, bird watching, and outdoor photography. It helps
91 connect families to the land and outdoor opportunities. It is extended to private lands through payments to eligible landowners who agree up to a three year lease for the IRAP activities. The Illinois Mud to Parks Program (M2P) aims at taking river mud and returning the dried mud (as soil) to the land. It was created in the late 1990's to address the problem of sedimentation affecting Illinois' rivers, by removing the sediment and reusing it for parks and wildlife habitats. Soil eroded from rural and urban areas settles o ut in rivers, wetlands, detention basins, and lakes, which leads to a reduction of water storage capacity and navigability, and a destruction of the habitats. This program attempts to find beneficial and innovative uses for sediments, and provides financia l assistance for related projects (e.g. reuse of sediment as landscaping materials, soil amendments, construction fill). The Illinois challenges in managing its natural resources and preservi ng and enhancing biological solutions. It deals with an ecosystem based management and the enhancement of landowners unlike the traditional focus on areas owned by public agencies and dedicated to public recreation. This program is based on incentives rather than government regulations. It aims at enhancing locally organized efforts, the incorporation of the interests and participation of local communities, and of private, public and corporate landowners. (Illinois Department of Natural Resources, 2013).
92 Il linois conservation organizations Various organizations deal with the management and the conservation of natural resources in Illinois. The ones presented in this section are the most relevant ones in the context of this study, considering their functions impacts, and the interactions among the various act. The Illinois Bureau of Land and Water resources (BLWR). The BLWR is in including the Erosion and Sediment Control Program the Soil and Water Conservation Districts Grants In Aid Program, the Partners for Conservation Fund Program (PFC formerly the Conservation 2000 Program), the Farmland Protection Program and the Mined Land Reclamation Program. (Illinois Department of Agriculture and BLWR, 2010) The Illinois environmental protection agency (IEPA). Just as at the U S level, the IEPA deals with the environmental quality of the State, with the objective of protecting health and well being. The agency mostly addresses environmental damages which result from point source pollution from businesses or industries. Three bureaus comprise the IEPA: the bureau of air, the bureau of water and the bureau of land. The organization develops for instance programs for com plying with the U S Clean Air Act Amendments, addresses hazardous waste management, deals with water quality, with pollution prevention, and develops environmental planning. (IEPA, 2013) One of the branches of the Illinois EPA is the Office of Community R elations (OCR) oriented toward the interaction and the diffusion of information to the public. This office is in charge of the explanation of the environmental laws and regulations to the g with environmental groups and local officials, organization of public meetings, organization of activities to
93 raise people awareness about environmental issues, and with sending technical staff into the field to meet with the community and local official s. One of the main roles of the programs, such as air, water and land pollution control permit section, and Watershed Management Program. The main objective is to encourage and facilitate communication reception of accurate information and gives people the chance to provide inputs on environmental decisions; OCR fosters communication between technical staff and the community, and they help overcome obstacles to the implementation of Agency programs. (IEPA, 2011) IEPA serves then as a link and intermediary between farmers and governmental or state organizations by interacting with both l side s. Unlike an environmental cooperative, where there is integration of these different entities into the same unit IEPA incurs considerable transaction costs. An environmental cooperative offers a place of common discussions and potential for negotiations w ith the authorities. not have the same weight in the decisions, and there is a higher probability that an The cons ervation technology information center (CTIC). The CTIC promotes experiences of conservation practices in certain areas of the U S. No till and conservation buffers have for example proved to be an efficient tool for the reduction of soil erosion, the prot ection of the ground surface, groundwater, and the provision of wildlife habitats. These practices have especially been effective in the North Central
94 region of the U S including the states of Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin because of the high fertility of their soils and consequently the potential of erosion. The National Conservation Buffer Initiative reported nationwide 1.2 million miles of conservation buffers installed through April 2002. Half of those miles were enrolled in the CRP or CREP. (CTIC, 200 2) The main difficulty for the implementation of any of the environmental practices described above associated with novelties Convincing growers of their economic and environmental benefits often requires one o n one communication. It is maintained here that ECs offer a framework for this communication, enabling faster diffusion of necessary information and offering the (e.g. knowledge sharing) that constitutes the EC. Environmental organizations and collaboration between territorial stakeholders The association of Illinois Soil and Water C onservation D istricts (AISWCD). Conservation districts were born in the 1930s after the ecological disaster referred to as -the period after a time severe dust storms that caused significant the result of drought combined with poor farming methods (lack of crop rotations, cover crops, soil terracing, and wind breaking trees). The drought and farming methods led to severe soil erosion. Therefore soil and water conservation became a nati onal policy and priority declared by the Congress. Incentives for active and voluntary support of landowners were created, because it was perceived that voluntary participation would be the best guarantee for effective and efficient conservation practices on private land.
95 In 1937, legislation in the different states authorized local landowners to form soil conservation districts. (AISWCD, 2013) There are around 3000 conservation districts across the U S. They aim at advising and encouraging local people abo ut land, water, forests and wildlife conservation. Their mission is the coordination of the different sources of assistance existing at the public and private, local, state and federal levels, in order to develop conservation districts help at the restoration and conservation of wetlands useful for water purification and wildlife habitats, the protection of groundwater resources, the soil maintenance through plant trees a nd other land cover, the development of alternatives towards environmentally sustainable management of the land, and the organization of practices, nutrient, manure an d woodland management, buffer and filter strips, grassed waterway, and Integrated Pest Management. Various programs such as the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), the water quality protection programs funded by the Illinois EPA 319 Clean Wat er Act Grant, and the Storm water Management program are funded by the Illinois EPA Green Infrastructure Grant, and are organized through the SWCDs. Soil and Water Conservation Districts aim at communicating and demonstrating at a local level to farmers and also to the rural community generally, to businesses, and in school programs technologies related to environmental practices. (AISWCD, 2011) AISWCD is a non profit organization governed by a board of directors who Water Conservation Districts; each local District is
96 governed by an elected five member board mandated by state statute to protect the land, water and other natural resources located within its borders (AISWCD, 2013 ) U S Conservation Programs Reconsider ations and Challenges Current U S conservation programs are the object of criticism about their effectiveness and efficiency. Impacts of U S conservation programs After more than 25 years of CRP and 20 years of WRP, those programs continue to be viewed positively by both conservation and agricultural communities. CRP is beneficial for farmers because of its voluntary basis, its income guarantee during the length of the contract and its absence of property rights transfers. In addition, it temporarily sup ports commodity prices by removing part of the land from production. However, the effectiveness of these programs is closely linked to the volatility of market prices. As a response to rising commodity prices and without any modifications to the program, f armers reduce their reenrollment. The alternative to land retirement programs focuses on working lands conservation. The EQIP is one of them and enables farming in a more environmentally friendly manner without retiring land from agriculture. The green pay ments made to producers as compensation for environmental benefits generated from the farming activities are received under the Conservation Stewardship Program and serve both farm income and conservation objectives. Combining agriculture and conservation can involve a tradeoff, often to the detriment of the conservation objectives. But this is not always the case. ( S ULLIVAN et al 2004) Critical points and current issues regarding conservation programs The demand for major commodities is strong and the ma rket prices are high. This results in a decrease in the enrollment of land in the CRP Program. This has
97 recently been occurring: there has been a reduction in CRP acreage to 32 million acres (about 13 million ha) (cap for 2010 2012), and an increase in cro pland rental rates. In addition, the percentage of lower quality land placed in the program increases, which carries with it a drop in ecosystem services. The phenomenon is difficult to overcome unless annual payments are increased in order to match with t he profits from crop production. In addition, USDA will likely have to cut the amount of the next budget devoted to conservation issues, given U S versions of the 2013 Farm Bill. An (expected) expansion in ethanol pr oduction similarly is estimated that the amount of acreage that would maintain the environmental benefits currently provided by the program would require doubling CRP r ental rates over the long term. ( H ELLERSTEIN et al. 2011) Specific focus on the CRP The CRP is a major object of criticism, since it is perceived as a source of the U S preservation. Critics suggest that it pays farmers for something they should be doing anyway; farming highly erodible lands should be avoided to maintain production capacities of the soil. consider wildlife in lands chosen for enrollment, the ability of farmers to pla ce marginal agricultural lands in the program while they continue to farm the better lands, and the lack of a requirement for planting native vegetation in the lands enrolled, which would favor wildlife population development if it were required. The most important factor
98 concerns commodity prices: landowners cancel their enrollment or fail to renew it when commodity prices increase. (CRP was thought to be a way of keeping farm incomes stable). Regarding the other existing U S conservation programs, W UERTH NER ( 2008) suggests that a better alternative to the CRP would be the outright government purchase of lands for conservation. Finally, CRP does not guarantee public access to lands, but this does not raise public interest and concerns for the preservation of these lands. ( W UERTHNER 2008) U S Incentives towards the Valuation of Environmental Practices in the Farming System the water quality trading system Functioning of the water quality credit trading system Broad guidelines for water quality trading have been established by the EPA, but it is up to the individual states to establish specific policies regarding their needs, possibilities, eligible conservation practices, etc One of the organizations dealing with environmental goods as marketable objects is the CTIC. CTIC addresses agriculture's needs and attempts to develop water quality trading systems. Workshops are organized to bring producers, advisors, potential quality trading aggregators and municipal wastewater facilities together in order to expose the concepts, benefits, challenges and development steps of water quality trading (e.g. work on nutrient management alternatives to improve water quality). Through water q uality trading programs, farmers get paid for their stewardship practices to facilities like wastewater treatment plants that can thus meet the regulatory requirements abou t the amount of polluted substances that may be discharged in their
99 wastewater to local water bodies. These water quality standards correspond to total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) declared by the Clean Water Act. It is generally less expensive to pay produ cers to implement conservation practices rather than installing new treatment technologies. Through such an agreement, the actors involved benefit financially from it and water quality is improved with lower investment. Water quality trading is a market ba sed tool that enables a higher cost effectiveness of the industrial and municipal facilities to meet regulatory requirements related to the quality and the management of the natural resources. It also serves as an effective incentive for farmers to impleme nt conservation practices. Trading programs have the advantage of addressing the specific characteristics of an area and to focus on the needs of local stakeholders. The form of trading system varies, then, depending on the area. According to the CTIC, a w ater quality trading system can be summarized in the following elements: 1) the assessment of the potential for water quality trading; 2) the determination of the environmental benefits and the amount the producer is able to trade; 3) the determination of the trading partners; 4) the elaboration of the agreement between the partners; 5) the monitoring of the implementation of conservation practices; 6) the report of pollutant reductions; 7) and trade results. (CTIC, 2006) Difficulties faced b y water quality trading systems This kind of trading system reveals high transaction costs generated by the complexities of the contracts between partners and by the hesitation of farmers to participate (e.g., for fear of periodic checks by government officials on their lands). A weak point also consists in potential variations in the rules governing trades, because producers often depend on funds from conservation programs which determine their potential costs and expected benefits over time. In the case of an EC, this l atter risk is
100 lower or nonexistent. The EC does not deal with an individual farmer but with a group of farmers, who can support each other to some extent. With an EC, the external environment is therefore less variable; in case of unexpected event, farmers can cope with it together. In the case of the U S trading system, seasonal variability also affects during wet seasons (e.g. preventing runoffs) do not generate any po llutant reduction during dry seasons. Hence, in the dry season the farmer may not have products to trade. (CTIC, 2006) Duties and Allowances of U S Farmers vis Regulations This section deals with an evaluation of the flexi bility of U S environmental regulations imposed on farmers at the different levels of government. In the centered agro any deviation from the imposed rules ( V AN D ER P LOEG et al ., 2006, p.3). The link between the governmental regulation and farmers is therefore very important in this study. U S conservation programs are mostly voluntary. Some of them are conditions for farmers to be eligible for subsidies or other payments. Once enrolled in a conservation program, the requirements are relatively generic and farmers must comply at the risk of getting penalties. Farmers are relatively tied to the environmental
101 regulations which they apply for; the level of flexibility and adaptation to the local characteristics is low. At the State level, there is an extent of flexibility in the implementation of the conservation programs. The State offers also a dditional environmental regulations and programs. Then, at the county level, there is also a degree of variations, visible for instance through the various Soils and Water conservation Districts which can decide different strategies according to the existi ng issues. U S This section deals with the existing U S forms of cooperation between farmers based on other engagement apart from farming. The study focuses on legal frameworks for U S forms of co operation and what this implies for the management of the environment. These frameworks can provide an interesting point of comparison concerning the model of EC as discussed in this study. Group Actions and the Preservation of Natural Resources interests to achieve the enhancement of the quality and economic value of a community resource. Groups dealing with resource preservation often take the form of a cooperative or a nonprofit association which has a cooperative form of governance. One kind of cooperative, for example, manages the shared use of common pool resources resource by the group is then combined with sharing operating costs. From an U S perspective, the determinant attribute for a successful management of common pool resources is democratic governance. Two typical examples of local democratic
102 governance are grazing associations and fishery cooperatives. There are in the U S 60 grazing associations with FS (Forest Service) permits, many of them incorporated as cooperatives. They receive an allotment of permits which are allocated among their members. The asso ciation coordinates both public land use and access to other lands through leases, grazing agreements, or purchases of pastureland. Besides the implementation of controlled grazing, they oversee grassland maintenance projects. The cooperatives are also a m eans to implement technical information and Watershed Collaborative Groups Watershed groups (sometimes called watershed working groups) were created in the U S in the 1990s as a result of the increase in non point source pollutions as the primary contributor to water quality degradation, and the increase in perception that regulations and actions of the federal authority were insufficient. By 1999 there were around 1500 locally based watershed management initi atives. Watershed groups are locally oriented, and use Federal funding from the U S program, part of the Clean Water Act Amendments (1987), which helps develop watershed management plans. They use a watershed scale approach based o n collaborative and community based management ( K OONTZ 2004). Watershed groups consist of people living and working within a same watershed and collaborating with local, state, and federal governments. The watershed works as an umbrella by linking agencies and by connecting the groups working in the watershed community. The creation of such alliance enables an increase in the accuracy of the watershed knowledge. The group serves as an advocate for resource management and protection in the watershed. This
103 collaborative approach has led to marked improvements in water quality, fisheries enhancement, and wildlife habitat. Watershed collaborative groups share common characteristics with the Dutch ECs such as the notion of working together with various st akeholders of the territory and the design of strategies dealing with pollution resulting from agricultural practices. However, the actions of the U S watershed organizations are largely focused on restoring water quality and negative externalities result ing from agriculture, while Dutch ECs work strongly on projects increasing positive externalities of agriculture (e.g. encouraging farmers taking care of the landscape, animal biodiversity). This contrast is a general difference between the U S and the EU (detailed in C hapter 1). Emphasizing the benefits and the positive potential of agriculture on the environment leads probably to higher motivations of farmers in integrating conservation practices and landscape management, as compared to restoring the env ironment and preventing further pollution. Further, the results of positive efforts are usually visible quicker than in the case of actions aimed at restoration or recovery, and, consequently, are probably more encouraging for farmers. Conclusion Identif ication of Relevant Variables as Part of the U S Setting Distinction of Specific U S Elements The above review aimed at establishing the U S context for this study. Understanding existing U S forms of cooperation between farmers and other stakeholders and the incentives and programs with environmental orientations, leads to distinguishing certain elements which could favor/enable the implementation of a system of ECs in the U S. They are as follows.
104 Collaborations among different environmental organiz ations and between Rather than the creation of partnerships towards the protection of the environment coming from environmental organizations, the question is whether it would be more efficient if these partnerships were initiated by the farmers themselves. The environmental organizations would then be collaborators under the mission of advising, providing expertise, diffusing information, etc. The elaboration of contracts with these organizations would then come from the willingness of farmers considering their interests and desires. Thus, complying with environmental regulations would not be about applying a certain rule, but about responding to a collective agreement. Resource quality trading sy stems. This system helps at putting value on a beneficial activity carried out by farmers on their natural environment, although it mostly focuses on decreasing negative externalities. The weakness of this system is the generation of high transaction costs because of the need for intermediaries to build organized into a single agency, in other words, if this system would involve actors who are staff from the same unit, all with the same status (such as an EC), and it would project. In addition, there is resistance to environmental trading programs because of the fear of strong monitoring by t he government. An EC would likely compensate this by focusing more intensively on mutual monitoring among farmers and on the trust between each other. The institutional framework of the EC stipulates additionally greater
105 flexibility from the government, wh ich may reduce or eliminate any feelings of governmental control. Presence of a very intensive farming system The impact of the Illinois farming sector on the Illinois and U S agriculture economy is huge. Therefore a willingness to maintain this agricult ural system can be assumed, to make it sustainable over the time and maybe to adapt it to new consumers demands and global challenges. The question is whether the EC could be an appropriate mechanism for maintaining sustainability and encouraging adaptabil ity. Presence of important environmental issues. There are several important environmental issues in Illinois which require a system of conservation practices suitable for the stakeholders in food production in this area, and can effectively deal with envi ronmental damages associated with the high level of intensification of agriculture. Co operative actions and initiatives dealing with natural resources issues and environment. Watershed collaborative groups are an example of support and financial aid from authorities which encourage local organizations to design their own strategies in tackling a natural resource problem. From the perspective of the authorities and its methods of dealing with environmental regulations, this kind of action and collaboration suggests that the structure of EC could be accepted by the authorities, especially concerning the criteria of self governance. Conclusion There are organizations and collective initiatives in the U S and in Illinois specifically that reflect values simila r to the ones represented by the ECs in the Netherlands. The data collected for this study therefore aimed at gathering information on how these values are represented in a U S
106 characteristics such as the type of farmin g and the size of the farm. Current U S environmental cooperative efforts, initiatives and programs involve Commodity Stewardship Program, food cooperatives, Community Supporting Agriculture, and watershed collaboratives. In particular, this study tries t o identify the variables (based on literature about ECs in the Netherlands) which could be responsible for the development (or not) of ECs in Illinois from the farmers who are part of these initiatives. For instance, the willingness to connect the farming system in an area closer to the consumers is represented via CSAs. In addition, there present in the ECs which are not represented by these organizations or forms of cooperation. The Dutch struct ure would then constitute a novelty in a U S setting because of its special association of stakeholders, purposes, and activities. The U S investigation aims therefore at observing how these components could be represented in a different way among Illino From this summary of the U S setting, the questions remain about the applicability of the structure of EC in the U S. In particular, we question the existence of a possibility which emphasizes the willingness and collaboration of the farmers towards environmental strategies integrated within the farming system and less tied to the authorities and general regulations, and whether this would be beneficial for the sustainability of the agricultural production system, conservation of the environm ent, and the development of the local rural area.
107 Figure 3 1. Acres of Land in farms as percent of Land Area in acres (USDA, 2007)
108 Figure 3 2 Agricultural Cooperatives by County: average gross revenue per cooperative (USDA, 2007)
109 Figure 3 3. Agricultural cooperatives by County: Average membership (USDA, 2007)
110 Figure 3 4. Level of nitrate leaching in Illinois (source: ISGS Illinois)
111 Figure 3 5. Pesticide leaching class in Illinois (source: ISGS Illinois )
112 Figure 3 6. Farm with less than $ 10.000 sales revenue in Illinois, in percentage, per county
113 Figure 3 7 Illinois Size of the farms levels of pesticides and nitrates leaching correlation
114 Figure 3 8. Location of the Community Supported agriculture in Illinois (Source: Western Illinois University http://www.value added.org/communityCoop/csa.asp accessed on 07.11.2013)
115 CHAPTER 4 INVESTIGATIONS IN THE U S : RESEARCH DESIGN, METHODOLOGY, AND RESULTS Research Design Information Needed and Material Design The information needed for this study can be categorized into different phases as described below and correspond to the two first phases of the specific objective number vii (cf. Chapter 1). Variables related to phase 1 The general characteristics of the U S farms such as the type of production, the type of markets the farms sell to, farm size, and the demographic characteristics were obtained from secondary sources. A questionnaire was used to obtain specific information about variables related to the: Added value of f farming activities: number, nature, purpose, level of benefits (extra revenue), etc., in order to assess the degree of diversification of the farm and its potential in terms of multi functionality Attachment of the farmer to his territory or community (notion of regional/community identity) these programs and regulations match with a specific agricultural system (e.g. egree of awareness of the need for adoption of new orientations in farming practices, and feelings about stricter environmental policies Current degree of cooperation and collaboration among farmers and with external actors: degree of knowledge sharing wit h other farmers, degree of cooperation of members of existing cooperatives, perceptions of the economic benefits of being part of a cooperative, feelings about constraints and regu lation from the authorities, and thoughts about cooperative self governance Degree of importance/value that farmers place on the farming profession, making process the farmer employs (either based on econo mic outcomes or on environmental
116 characteristics), the way farmers perceive their jobs, the degree to which they seek compatibility between their farming practices and their specific environment, and their thoughts about the growing consumer demand for a m ore sustainable agriculture and healthier products. Table 4 1 gathers t he complete list of variables related to general characteristics of the farm and the farmer, gathered from the questionnaire. Variables related to phase 2 Information about the current orientation in terms of support from the authorities, the cooperation capacities of farmers, the degree of ease or difficulty to combine the environmental practices into the agricultural system, and the degree of possible effectiveness of new policy approa ches compared to current approaches. Data were obtained from public sources and a questionnaire via the identification of the following variables related to the: Effectiveness of the authorities: i.e., whether current incentives by the government or the st ates toward environmental markets work, what flexibility is provided by the authorities to farmers in implementing conservation practices, to what degree are regional specific characteristics considered in regulations, and how transparent are regulations I nteractions between various stakeholders of the territory: how frequent are interactions between farmers and other stakeholders of the territory, and how frequent are interactions with external actors Perception of future results of environmental cooperati on for the farmers in terms of market opportunities, to assess their perceptions of cooperation as in terms of its contribution to marketability. Spe cific Variables from the Dutch E nvironmental Cooperatives A nalysis in a U S S etting The aim of this study was to discover if there are already existing variables in the U S that can promote EC development, and to identify those that are lacking (vis vis the situation in the Netherlands). In other words, what would be necessary in order to
117 successfully establish ECs in a U S setting? From the review of Dutch ECs and the previous analysis of the U S setting, the study summarizes below the variables which S (Illinois ) investigation and the design of the questionnaire. following categories (cf. table 4 2 for the : Trust with other farmers Specific regional environmental issues Willingness t o collaborate with other farmers and with non farmers Vision of the current conservation programs: adaptation, effectiveness, suitability Link between the farmer and his region or territory (e.g. identity) Extra farm activities Perception of the local resources as linked to the farming system Importance of the local/traditional farming practices Sharing knowledge of the profession landscape management Image of the farm and the f arming system Link with the consumers Materials and Methods Primary data were collected in the State of Illinois. Sample Design Sample characteristics The sample of farmers that participated in this study was selected at random population, although it depended first on the willingness and type of intermediary for the diffusion of the questionnaire, and then on the willingness of the farmer. There had been no previous studies about the involvement of U S farmers in ECs.
118 The revi ew of the Dutch setting showed that involvement of farmers in voluntary organizations and environmental organizations was not correlated to their decision to be part of an EC. Studies observed a significant number of dairy farmers (the largest proportion o f the environmental cooperative membership) who are members of Dutch ECs; the dairy sector is important in the Netherlands. However, this does not mean participation in dairy farming leads to membership in an EC. Criteria are certainly different in the U S It was the aim of this study to highlight and identify the relevant factors in the case of the U S. The State of Illinois as a whole was selected as the area of study for reasons that will be discussed below. Target population The target population for data collection was farmers. According to the literature review on ECs in the Netherlands, farmers are the fundamental actors for the design and functioning of an EC. They are indeed the ones who initiated this form of cooperation in the Netherlands an d who are leading its management and viability Sample selection p rocedure The sample selection procedure for the U S study was based on an a priori judgment about how the target population matches with the intent of the research. The sample set from th e target population was then selected at random. From the already published studies of the ECs in the Netherlands, characteristics of the various actors who might be involved in the establishment of an EC were identified. Research design m ethod The study employed a descriptive research method which was carried out through a cross sectional design targeting a sample of U S agricultural actors in Illinois at one point in time. The main objective was to analyze the perceptions and willingness
119 of the farmers to establish an EC; it was a perception/behavioral approach. The second stage of the study concerned inferring hypothetical impacts of the implementation of an EC system in the U S. Limitations of the research study The value and accuracy of the data in th is study relied on participants' willingness to divulge business and personal information. The information reported by the respondents was assumed to be reasonably accurate, but the possibility that some respondents either would not have accurate informati on about their cooperatives or farms, or would not wish to provide accurate information is acknowledged. This possibility has been overcome by providing for instance, as part of the questionnaire, written assurance that participants' identities would not b e revealed. This was especially skip or try to fake an answer with the aim of conforming to some social norm. Other limitations to the accuracy of the data were data in terpolations and subjectivity of the investigator (especially visible in the case of open ended questions for which an interpretation was necessary for it to be coded). Very few open ended questions were used in this questionnaire, and the answers to the o pen ended were treated as qualitative data. Data Collection Material Questionnaire content The collection of primary data in the U S was carried semi structured type including both closed and open questions. The responses for the closed questions, were either in the nominal (e.g. yes or not) or ord inal (ranks and
120 intervals) form. These questions applied a Likert type scale method of measurement and had 6 very subjective. The questions therefore did not propose neutral answers; the participant had to take a position and choose the right or left side of the scale (either a negative or positive answer to the questions). Since this study used a behavioral approach, this methodological choice was appropriate to facilitate drawing of answer, e.g., level 4 on a 7 point Likert scale. Questions were designed with inclusion of explanations of the meanings of the lowest and highest levels on the scale. Nevertheless, the questionnaire included other questions which offered neutral choices as answers Based on the variables identified earlier on, the questionnaire (cf. Annex 1) was divided into several parts as follows: General characteristics about the f arm and its manager The farm and its geographical and community identities Extra farming activities Community environmental issues Perceptions of conservation programs Collaboration and cooperation between farmers Perceptions of the farming profession The first set of questions was related to the general characteristics of the farm and the type of farming system for this particular farmer. This information was necess ary to create eventual associations and correlations between the general farm vis an eventual EC initiative. For instance, the Dutch literature demonstrated that criteria such as the
121 pre sence of a successor to the farm and the size of the farm were determinant factors for the adoption of agri environmental schemes and involvement in ECs. This was linked to the long term perspectives on projects related to environmental conservation. The size of the farm and the type of farming seemed important criteria. While the size of the farms which form an integral part of ECs in the Netherlands is relatively small (although it is very heterogeneous among the cooperatives), the U S farms are on aver age much bigger. However the study needed to look at this criterion as part of a whole group of U S criteria. The system had to be analyzed as a whole in the American setting, and more specifically, the Illinois context. The fact that the size of the farm s was generally bigger in the U S imply a non applicability of structures such as ECs. There were indeed in the U S other variables which could make it feasible. According to previous Dutch s tudies, a large farm size could see ECs as advantageous due to the higher investment potential, innovation management in the long term, and low financial risk. Questionnaire purposes The questionnaire aimed at analyzing and evaluating the behavior and would be willing and ready to take part in an EC structure. To do so, the questionnaire aimed at gettin in an EC in their territory. For the farmers involved in an agricultural cooperative, this entailed finding out whether farmers were satisfied with the services offered by the co operative, and whether they would be willing or open to a reorientation of the cooperative towards a higher incorporation/integration of conservation practices.
122 The motivating factors towards the creation of an EC by farmers varies; one of the primary reas ons for joining a Dutch EC (as environmental stewardship schemes) is the economic benefit a farmer gets as a member ( C ROSS AND F RANKS 2007). For a new farmer to be integrated as a member, he/she is required to be convinced and to strongly convince the EC governing committee that the rules and practices of the EC are consistent with his/her farming objectives and values. Believing in the principles of the EC and accepting them as a future guideline for conduct is a determining criterion and a factor of succ ess for the cooperative in the long term. As it is the case in the Netherlands, U S farmers are obviously also interested in earning extra revenue. This study also looked at the economic motivations and tried to assess the willingness aspects of the U S farmers regarding environmental initiatives in these terms. Survey realization Initial preparation In addition to choosing Illinois as the general study area, other geographic characteristics, characteristics of natural resources, proximity to urban area different sample areas, which created sufficient variations among the samples of farmers throughout the State of Illinois. The study assumed that these criteria were part of external factors which did not influence directly the behavior of the farmers but which constituted the environment in which the farmer is living and where his choices are made. Through the combination of data related to the criteria mentioned above, the following five study areas were therefore identified (shown in Figure 4 1 ). The map resulted from an association of different database/layers associated with the criteria mentioned, and using ArcGIS software.
123 Distribution a ttribution method Because of the limite d access to U S questionnaire were carried out through intermediaries. These intermediaries were Farm Bureau Agency Statistical Service (NASS). An email was sent to the representat ives or questionnaire to their farmers members either by forwarding the link to an onlin e survey through emails (the survey had been made available on the research server of the University of Florida in which a short article of this study was published and included the onli ne link of the questionnaire and was diffused to farmers and other rural stakeholders. Hardcopy U S Postal Service mail that included the link and hardcopies of the questionnaire itself were diffused to farmers through their representatives. The study ass umed that the use of different ways to distribute the questionnaires, and thus different situations surrounding the completion of the questionnaires by famers, did not significantly affect the results of the survey. This is based on the fact that the surve y aimed at gathering information which was very general and which did not relate to something which needed to be evaluated or estimated for particular conditions. Only the organizations (and their members) located in the areas identified in Figure 4 1 were contacted in the first stage of the study.
124 Challenges. The willingness of collaboration from these organizations was very than 650 people in total) answered positively. However, about 1% supported effectively the study by diffusing the questionnaire. As a consequence, the primary target areas in Illinois that had been selected previously were not adequate and therefore, the study extended to the whole of the Illinois Stat e. The participants of the survey were then distributed all over the State of Illinois. However, since the general location (county and town) was one of the questions in the questionnaire, the data analysis focused on categorizing farmers based on their lo cation in Illinois. Survey outcomes Participants outcomes sample size. In total, more than 900 farmers were contacted, but only 55 questionnaires were fully useable. This number was sufficient to ensure the recommended statistical representation of t he sample (30 sample units is generally considered as the minimum to the statistical representation), although very low considering the scale and variability of the study area. Many U S farmers fear any connection of a survey with anything even remotely c onnected to the federal administration, which they feel which could disadvantage them later on (this was also is one of the primary explanations for the relatively lo w participation rate, although, to counter this fear, points to the contrary were clearly stated in the invitation Implications. From the clearly low representativeness of the sample obtained from the survey, the data analysis of the study changed to cons ideration of the qualitative data which was obtained through both the literature review and the data collection. The relatively high number of questions and the presence of open ended
125 questions in the questionnaire indeed enabled farmers to bring further i nformation and thus provide a more precise idea of their perceptions and characteristics. Data Analysis Data Preparation Data preparation included the checking, editing and coding of the questionnaires. It also included the cleaning of data, identifying er rors and the hypothetical reasons for them. The questionnaires which were not considered for the final sample were mainly ones in which the relevant questions to the research study had not been answered; these questionnaires could not help solve our resear ch questions. Methodology of Analysis Process of the data analysis Data analysis consisted of processing of the data obtained from the questionnaire using statistical models. The outcomes of the process were then analyzed and interpreted. The relevance and accuracy of their interpretations was optimized by crossing and co mbining the results and also comparing the results with the literature review. In the framework of this study, the results obtained and the correlations of variables were interpreted from a local perspective. Indeed, the results of this study could not be extrapolated to represent the state of Illinois due to the small sample size. However, the combination of qualitative data (e.g. about specific perceptions and characteristics of the participants) and the quantitative data constituted a good basis for prov iding answers to the research questions. Statistical models nature and purposes From the first and second phases of the study, descriptive statistics of the sample were obtained. The study then conducted further analysis using the models
126 explained below. To ensure the validity and accuracy of the results, one statistical model constituted the basis for data analysis: the Ordered Logit Model (OLM). Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used on a smaller number of variables to refine some o f the outputs. Data processing was carried out through the R statistical software, including the packages R studio for the OLM, R interface for the PCA, and R Commander (Rcmdr). Ordered logit model (OLM). The Ordered Logit Model was set up to include more than two independent variables. This model enabled us to draw associations extra cted from the Dutch literature). On the other hand, the model allowed drawing OLM in two steps. Quantification of the effects of the independent variables on a given dependent variable could be realized through the measure of the marginal effects, alt hough, as the sample was relatively small, the use of the p values was sufficient: that is, we could determine the significance or not of an effect. No accurate or strong interpretation of the marginal effects could have been expressed in this study. Princ ipal component analysis (PCA) This method of data analysis was used between selected relevant variables and aimed at refining the results obtained from the correlated to othe
127 set of variables analyzed through the OLM, the PCA would likely confirm or infirm the results and interpretations. Model predictions Running the models presented above was fundamenta l to determine the factors required to optimize the integration of conservation practices as part of the farming system in a U S setting, and to maximize the correlation between conservation practices and cooperation. Based on the results on how variables identified in the Dutch setting are present in Illinois, and the analysis of the U S economic, legal and social setting based on the primary qualitative data collected and the literature review, the study therefore focused on drawing general predictions related to the future of an EC in Illinois. Recommendations about further analysis and predictions are presented in the last part of this study. Extraction of the results method From the outcomes of the statistical analysis, the study extracted the varia bles for which the effect of the respective estimators was stated as significant at a 95% level of confidence (estimators associated to a p value inferior to 0.05 imply rejection of the val was chosen to optimize the accuracy of the results and their interpretations. After observing the p value, and in case of a hypothetical significant effect of the independent variable concerned on the dependent variable Y, the sign of the estimator was then observed to determine whether the independent variable influenced the dependent variable negatively or positively Data Processing Ordered logit m odel (OLM) As explained previously, the Ordered Logit Model was applied in two stages.
128 Theory. The Order ed Logit Model can be presented as below. yi* is an index of of feeling concerning a given issue (e.g. perception of the success of U S and Illinois conservation programs). yi includes the values (1,2,3,4,5,6), as the questionnaire applied 6 Linkert scale questions for the quantifiable questions. An interval decision rule is then set, considering the indicators ui: yi=2 if u1 < yi* yi=5 if yi* > u4 The threshold values (u1, u2, u3, u4) are unknown. In theory, they are different for each farmer. The model can then be written as following: yi* = x1i x2i xki k + i i, with i the disturbance term The xi are the independent variables for i = 1,.,k. The statistical package Variables of the OLM step 1. The independent variables considered in step 1 of t variables related to general characteristics of the farm and the farmer. (See table 4 1 ). variables which relate to perceptions/desires/behaviors of the farmer vis vis the issues and criteria considered in the Dutch EC (See table 4 2)
129 Variables of the OLM step 2. The independent variables considered in step 2 of the analysis are the of these Ill inois farmers to be interested in, to accept, and/or to take part in an EC. Principal Component analysis From the Ordered Logit Model, the Principal Component Analysis aimed at identifying how certain variables influence other variables in the Illinois con text, and thus ECs. Theory. A Principal Component Analysis has two main purposes. On one hand, it deals with observing profiles/variability of responses among farmers regarding the profiles of respon ses. On the other hand, it deals with observing connections and relationship between variables and designing variable indicators which could synthetize these correlations. In the framework of this study, it was difficult, even unfeasible, to study any resu variables represents dimensions of maximum variability. The first principal component has therefore the largest possible variance. Each succeeding component has the highest variance possibl e under the constraint that it is not correlated with the preceding components. The components are designed through calculations of the correlation coefficient between the variables, via the correlation matrix. Variables.
130 dependent variables. They had specifically been selected because they refer to the way the farmer would see himself as part of an EC. They could be qualified as direct e in terms of multi functionality environmentally farmers in environmentally oriented projects. Purpose. Throu gh the PCA, the study was able to determine groups of variables respectively correlated to these four specific variables. Out of this model, the study was then able to answer the questions: how do the feelings/perceptions/wishes of farmers concerning issue s related to the environment, to co operation, and to the authorities, influence their interest and potential in complying with the attributes defining an EC? this set of Data General Results This section presents general results of the data collection which characterize the sample and highlight the representation of certain Dutch variables within the Illinois sample popul ation. The results presented as a certain average level/degree observed in Likert scale type. Sample characteristics Figure 4 2 shows the locations of the samp farmers. The background of this map is the Illinois land cover. The different landscapes and the diversity of agriculture can be distinguished. The red points indicate the location
131 indication of th eir location in Illinois (these latter were grain producers with large participants as part o f the invitation and distribution process). Most of the farmers were over 55 years old which corresponds to the average age of U S and Illinois farmers and 70% achieved an academic level equal to or higher than college/univer sity completion (17% have a level parameter is important because it defines the exten t to which the farmer is willing to pattern. That is, if the farmer is passionate about his/her job, he will not mind putting in efforts towards improving the landscape in hi s daily practices, and working on the combination of the landscape and nature management in the production system. In case the farmer is not enthusiastic about his job, there is a possibility that it would be difficult to convince him to engage in extra fu nctions such as improving the landscape. This is despite the fact that the integration of activities linked to landscape management and environmental conservation could give another dimension to his job that he had not considered previously. The farmer mig ht then change his/her negative perception regarding his job. Similarly, care about the public image of the farm was high (over 5). Furthermore, all farmers mentioned a relatively high feeling of civic responsibility (4.8 on
132 average). This parameter was im portant because it is linked to the intensity of the involvement of the farmer in his territory and with other actors. The level of risk the farmer is ready or able to take as part of the management of his farm was ascertained via a question about the freq uency of new farming practices/technologies undertaken by the farmer. Evaluating the attitudes of the farmer concerning risk taking (e.g. innovations) was fundamental in this study considering the eported trying one or more than one new practice/technology per year, which reflected some risk taking as compared to the farmers who try one or less than one new practice/technology every few years. The latter, interestingly, were mostly over 55 years old ). A priority in the EC is the consideration of the environment, from which the making process is important. Of the sample, 62% of the farmers affirmed having a farm management decision making process strictly based on expected revenues. Of the total, 14% of the farmers reported basing their decisions on local and natural characteristics of the environment. The remaining 24% either combined both types or mentioned another type o f decision The way a farmer perceives his farm as part of the food production system as a whole gives indications of the degree of possible interactions of the farmer within the system and with oth er actors in it. Over the sample, 37% of the farmers (all of whom
133 while the rest perce -implying collaboration both horizontally and vertically. One of the farmers gave his opinion about the position of Production characteristics Grain producers were the most represented in the sample (86%). 35% were livestock producers with from 4 to 10,000 head of hog, beef, cattle, calf, or horses. Some of them combined both grain and livestock production. The remaining few were either fruit and vegetable producers (highlighted in green in figure 4 2 ) or dairy farmers. The acreage managed by the farmers varied from 10 to 15,000 acres (4 to 6 ha), with an average of 1700 acres (688 ha). It was observed that 39% of farmers had average sales above $ very large farms by the USDA). They are represented by the points highlighted in yellow in figure 4 2 and are mostly grain producers. These farms are mainly located in the upper east part of Illinois and along the Illinois River the Illinois surface covered by the most intensive and uniform cultured fields (soybean and corn). Most of them evaluated their production to be greater than the Illinois average level of production. In addition, 17% of the sampl e reported average sales lower than $100.000 per year (about The way a farmer plans for the future of his farm is a determinant factor regarding the characteristics the projects which lead to involvement in an environm ental cooperative. For instance, farmers who do not know whether somebody will take the farm over would be reluctant to start and/or invest in an environmental cooperative. In
134 this study, 50% of farmers affirmed that their farm enterprise would remain rela tively stable over the next 10 years, while 35% thought that it would expand significantly in the same time period. The object was to find out whether the enterprises with expected longevity would, based on other criteria, be willing to join an environment al cooperative. While Illinois includes one of the most intensified systems of production and important agrarian areas relatively to the total U S enterprises still plan to expand their business, although there was no indication from the farmers about the specific field of expansion (e.g. technology, acreage, market). Farmers were asked to state the level of impact of certain factors on their production levels. The study would then distinguish the results accord ing to the type of production. The impact of the level of inputs (e.g. fertilizers, genetics, and labor) on the grain production systems was on average 4.7, and about 4.1 on the livestock production resources (e.g. through production systems and 3.3 on livestock production systems. It was observed that crop production demanded a higher supply of external inputs and higher focus on the efficiency of the use of natural resources as compared to livestock. esentations general highlight Farmer and territory The questionnaire aimed at assessing the degree of territorial identity/image perceived by the farmer, which is, determining whether he feels part of a larger system to which he is contributing and which shapes his territory and values. The willingness to identify with a region, to be proud of it, and to promote it are important factors in the deve lopment of an EC. The identity of a territory is characterized by the sharing of social values, the existence of networks, the strength of social
135 coherence, and the sense of belonging to the same community (some of these factors explain the existence of th e Dutch ECs). Most of the farmers affirmed that they contribute to the identity of their territory (mean of 3.8, varying from 1 to 6). They f many u commented about this questio contributing to the identity of the territory is interpreted by the farmers mostly in terms of agricultural practices. product that they would like to expand and market, but for which they are not able to do so. Most of them thought that higher cooperation with other farmers of the area would not enable them to successfully expand and market this specific product mainly because of the constraints it would lead to (e.g. less freedom, increase in competition). The rest (part of them fruit and vegetable, and organic producers) thought that they co uld through cooperation be markedly stronger in the market. Organic farmers perceive cooperation very positively, according to a representative of an Illinois organic farming cooperative. Besides, the part of Illinois
136 farmers who would like to develop specific products but are not able to do so as part of the current farming system constitutes a real potential regarding the purposes of the EC. These farmers probably lack the means and incentives for the development of markets for alternative products. Multi functionality As part of this study, the aspect of farm multi functionality was a fundamental criterion to be analyzed. From the perspective of the farmer, working towards multi functionality implies the development of specific strategies related to natural resources to make it compatible with the existing farming system. In this study, 64% of the farmers carried out at least one of the activities associated with the definition of multi functionality, either consciously or unconsciously (only 47% hav e heard about the concept of multi functionality). The activities related to farm multi functionality are categorized into several dimensions defined by the second pillar of the European Common Agricultural Policy: landscape management, wildlife habitat cr eation, biodiversity maintenance; improvement of nutrient recycling and carbon sequestration; water management, improvement of water quality; renewable energy (wind, solar, biomass); contribution to rural cohesion, historical heritage, agro tourism activit ies; contribution to local food security and food safety. The first three categories were the most prominent in our sample; each of them representing 40% to 50% of the farmers studied. It was also observed that 50% of the farmers reported focusing on at le ast two of these categories; these farmers were mainly grain, fruits and vegetable producers. The focus on multi functionality therefore seems to apply more in the case of crop production systems as compared to livestock production systems. Among the farme rs, 70% defined their profession as a resources protector. The investment by the farmer in
137 activities towards farm multi functionality reflects the willingness to focus on non commercial benefits of the farming practices, on the surrounding natural environ ment, and on the management of the natural resources and landscape. It is closely related to the importance of the resource protection as part of the profession. In particular, these farmers could be interested in a structure such as an EC as they would ge t the opportunity to be rewarded for their actions. Farmer and extra farm activities The study looked at both farm multi functionality and diversification. The study focused on the one hand how the farmer thinks about multi functionality of agriculture, w hich is defined by increasing the positive externalities resulted from agricultural practices, for example, nature and landscape management ( V AN H UYLENBROECK 2007). On the other hand, we looked at how the farmer diversifies his farm and engages in off far m and non farms activities. Evaluating the importance of extra farm activities aimed at assessing the degree of diversification of the farm and its potential for multi functionality. The identification of both the extent to which farmers are performing act ivities other than pure farming in their day to day lives and the value these activities add to the farm, was useful to assess the degree of feasibility of integration of additional or different conservation practices into the farming system. An EC would p robably be more suitable to a farm which is diversified rather than to one only focusing on the production aspect. However the latter could also be interested and motivated in taking part in an EC because of opportunity to gain extra revenue and to benefit from advantages and contracts they had not been previously offered. These approaches were analyzed in more details in the statistical models and the identification of correlations.
138 In this study, 36% of farmers carried out at least one non farm activity (e.g. environmental and landscape management, on farm sales, agro tourism) and 70% were involved in off farm activities (e.g. farmers' organizations, other associations, political involvement). Off farm activities are of great importance to Illinois farmer to day lives. Compared to Europe, the U S in voluntary organizations. Among the farmers who specified the reasons of their extra farm activities, almost 50% of them mentioned their desire to impro ve the image of the agricultural sector. This explanation which was mentioned most was followed by the me that farmers involved in extra farm activities (either on farm or off farm) do so partially in the perspective of contributing to the identity of the region. Those activities were generally not implemented by default (e.g. to compensate for bad times fo r the farming products). business as For the farmers who rely on extra farming activities for extra revenue, the revenues generated from these activities varied from 50% to 90% of the total revenue (production system in second place in terms of total househo ld income. For the other farmers, extra farm activities generate from 0.5 to 10% of their revenues. Farmer and environment The place of the environment from the perspective of the farmer was a fundamental factor in the framework of this research. In this study, 77% of the farmers affirmed the importance that farmers play (as determinant actors) in
139 solving environmental issues, and similarly 79% felt that they play a key role in the management of regional landscapes. These significantly high rates were acco mpanied by 92% of farmers who reported implementing conservation practices as personal initiatives, and 75% reported implementing nature and landscape management because of personal incentive. Although some farmers did not accept partial responsibility of prerogative; If others would like to care for land in a different manner they have as much know farming system to stop or prevent further environmental degradation. Those who wheneve hold sample every acre to determine what fertilizers to apply, in order to avoid over applyi ng h Almost half of the farmers perceived the increasing demand for more sustainable agricultural production and more environmentally sound products as an opportunity, and
140 25% as a pote ntial for adaptation. Fifteen percent of the farmers perceived it as a constraint on change or a threat. A few comments of the farmers about this question were interesting; some reported that a more sustainable agricultural production and more environmenta lly The EC has proven to be an alternative and opportunity for more sustainable agriculture. The study assumed that the farmers approaching this increasing demand as an opportunity would be more likely to participate in the functioning of an EC. Nevertheless, some farmers have an opposite approach. One of Sierra Club, PETA, HSUS (Human Society of the U S ). Groups like these pose the greatest threat to farmers and consumers paying a higher cost for food. We have the cheapest and most abundant supply of food in the world. By the year 2050 we will need to double world food production and 75% of this will come from technology increases. Groups like these do nothing but hinder pr oduction and increase regulations and costs In this study, only one farmer mentioned previous enrollment in the Chicago Carbon Exchange Market. Carbon sequestration markets were criticized vehemently by some farmers, especia lly regarding their usefulness, costs and consequences for business. They might as well just raise taxes on Americans because the public is ultimately going to pay through higher costs due to
141 Although Illinois is characterized by an intensive farming system, most of the farmers are (or say they are) open to change in their practices towards a greater focus on the environment. Farmer and conservation programs The questions related to the conservation programs S conservation programs. This criterion was the main reason for the development of EC in the Netherlands. This study specifically attempted to assess the degree of match of the programs with th e characteristics of the territory and the way farmers feel about them. programs and 33% were not. The given conservation programs were the CRP, WRP, EQIP, WHIP, CSP, cover cro ps, filter strips, Hill Prairie Restoration, windbreaks, nutrient management, controlled drainage, CREP, and minimum tillage. There were no enrolled from those who were not However, application of the statistical models gave more indications about this. Most of the farmers (58%) explained they enrolled in er secondary reasons reported by farmers include of the farmers reported enrolling in conservation programs as a requirement to receive commodity payments. These few fa rmers were relatively young (around 30), grain producers, with an average acreage of about 900. One of the farmers reported to have for conservation programs.
142 The questio nnaire also looked for the barriers in the application and enrollment in conservation programs. Most of the farmers who are already enrolled also reacted to le achievement of what the programs espouse at less cost and without approach in dealing with the environment and conservation programs was particularly criticized as adaptation to the programs is difficult. Farmers judged the transaction costs associated with the conservation programs (bureaucracy, administrative procedur e, time, pre evaluation etc.) relatively high (4 on the Likert 6 scale). However, they put their investments costs, operational costs and time spent on conservation practices at a relatively low level (3.3). A significant percentage of farmers (25%) declin ed to enroll in conservation programs because of the investment costs involved. One farmer reported his failure to enroll in conservation programs was not Twenty perce nt of the farmers said that they had already adopted an environmental practice against their will. The farmers said that conservation programs apply/fit to their particular farming practices at a level of 3.6 on average. The farmers who reported the lowest level of suitability of the conservation programs to their farming practices were mainly small farms. Twenty five percent of farmers (considering both the ones who
143 enrolled into CPs and the ones who did not) claimed that they wished for more advice from a uthorities or external advisors regarding the application of conservation practices. There was a relatively neutral position among the farmer about the way conservation programs possibly constrain the management of the farm. An important finding is that 60 % of the farmers clearly wished for more freedom in the choice of conservation practices to accomplish given environmental objectives, 23% were neutral on this point, while 17% did not so wish. There was a clear disagreement among farmers about stricter en policies were either similar or more positive. With an average score of 3.2, farmers judged that conservation programs have been relatively unsuccessful in fulfilling their objective to restore and preserve the environment and landscape. Basically, Illinois farmers want more freedom in the implementation of conservation practices and fewer requirements/less monitoring from the authorities. For instance, one of the participants strongl y stated his disagreement with the way environmental policies are implemented by the authorities and the specialized improving their farming practices to become more efficient and conscious of the environment. Government policy is the worst kind of regulation because it is usually a one size fit for all situations that doesn't really work for everyone because it is neither Environmental groups are the enemy of farming as well because of their lack of understanding of farmers as well as
144 environmental policies did not seem a solution to the environ mental issues. However, more targeted environmental policies seemed welcomed. In this study, significant part of the farmers showed disappointment with if not negative opinions about the conservation programs offered by the government and their process of implementation. The application of the Ordered Logit Model aimed at specifying this assumption, and analyzing the causes and consequences. Beyond the conservation programs, certain farmers claimed their high dissatisfaction with all governmental regulatio how to run their operation. They work hard to do what is right most of the time and having a government as corrupt and useless as ours telling us how to run our business doesn't make much se nse. Farmers working together to establish guidelines not regulations that then give them an opportunity to earn money for their land will be the best opportunity. The problem is that it is highly unlikely to establish a conservation program that pages lik Farmer and cooperation In this study, 55% of the farmers were part of a S farmers are part of an agricultural cooperative, including any type of cooperative). The types of coope rative of which the farmers were part of include credit, supply, marketing, finance, and input buying cooperatives, but also rural electric cooperative. The study aimed at analyzing differences of perception of an EC from both the perspective of farmers wh o are farmers
145 did not get any of these kinds of benefits through the cooperative, but it was only the way they could conduct their business (the cooperative was the only way to maintain an economic advantage). Other benefits from the cooperative might be present but co uld not be captured by the questionnaire. Further, the members of cooperatives felt relatively not tied to the goals and guidance of the cooperative (on average 2.1). It was observed that 86 % of the members reported being satisfied by the services and opt ions offered by the cooperative (they correspond with their expectations), but 35% affirmed that there were some options missing on the part of the cooperative. Interestingly, 27% wished for greater independence from the cooperative, in relation to the aut horities. of knowledge and skill sharing, or a learning system, which was reflected by ano ther by the farmer rated at 3 on average. The farmers concerned were mainly grain producers with a high level of acreage in production. Data R esults Ordered Logit M ode l step 1 The results of the Ordered Logit Model are presented based on the various issues this research study was concerned with, based on the perspective of the Dutch EC. From the observations, interpretations were formulated. Relevant statistics extrac ted from the data collection, as well as relevant qualitative data, were also incorporated. The variables whose values are affected by general characteristics of the
146 farmers or by other relevant variables (ref. step 2) were the ones which this study focuse d on. Interaction of the farmer with the environment, landscape and natural resources Concern of the farmer about the degradation of the environment and landscape, and the exhaustion of some of the natural resources (e.g. biodiversity, bees, water quality) All p values associated to the estimators of the independent variables (cf. table 4 1 for the list of independent variables) were above 0.05. There was no significant effect of any of the independent variables on the degree of this concern by farmers. Be sides, this question had an ethical dimension, therefore any significant effect would have needed to be taken with precaution because it was very tempting for the farmer to manifest his concern about this issue in such a questionnaire in order to conform w affirmed that they were not concerned at all by this issue. Perception of the farmer conce rning the conservation programs The opinion of the farmers about the appropriateness or sui tability of the environmental conservation plans on the territorial or regional environmental issues was a main reason for the development of ECs in the Netherlands. The application of the OLM aimed at highlighting any correlation between general farms or characteristics and the feeling of the farmer concerning the conservation programs. The OLM farm size. In Europe, some studies demonstrate the curious relationship which exists between the size of the farm and the implementation of conservation practices and landscape management. On the one hand, it is observed that mostly small and middle
147 sized farms are i nvolved in conservation practices. On the other hand, the big farms have more capacity in their business systems and budgets to implement conservation practices. It is more cost effective in terms of investment because of their larger acreage. There is a p aradox in that, as some Dutch studies have shown ( G LASBERGEN 2000, p.13), small sized farms sometimes face difficulties being members of ECs because of the need to develop environmental strategies to meet some collective objectives, and to imagine and imp lement innovations in certain cases. Small farms can therefore be at risk of survival when undertaking environmental initiatives. In the present study, most of the farmers who were not enrolled in conservation programs (65% of those not enrolled) are engag ed in livestock production. It was the only qualitative data available from which a connection could be drawn. The conservation programs offered seem more designed for crop producers than for livestock producers. Impression that appropriate conservation me asures and environmental regulations are implemented to handle the existing environmental issues The p values results indicated that the higher the average sales of the farm, the more likely the farmer to think (or report) that appropriate measures have b een implemented to address cooperative also more likely had the impression that environmental issues were properly addressed. However, only 32% of the farmers in this study report ed having observed environmental degradation or environmental pollution in their neighborhoods al corn and
148 soybean farming which degrade the health of the soil, polluting the ground water and well water, destroying natural habitats, causing soil erosion, decreasing biodiversity of had observed environmental degradation were relatively spread over the State. From major streams, or near an urban area. From the above resul ts, it was observed that farmers running bi g farm businesses (relatively) do not seem connected with environmental issues or are not sensitive to them, perhaps because environmental issues do not appear as a limiting factor in the productivity of their far highlight and deal with territorial environmental issues as part of their strategies/planning (e.g. promotion of incentives towards environmental protection). The study therefore assumed that either the farme rs have other goals and priorities than environmental preoccupations (e.g. output), or farmers believe that environmental issues are effectively well handled in the area where farmers are operating in. l U S and Illinois conservation programs have fulfilled their objective to restore and preserve the environment and landscape Figure 4 3 is the outcome of the application of the Ordered Logit Model on this specific variable. It was observed that the high er the average farm sales and level of multi functionality of the farm (number of activities
149 associated with multi functionality), the less likely farmers think that conservation programs have fulfilled their goals. Besides, the higher the efficiency of th e use of resources (e.g. through application of precision agricultural technologies), the more likely farmers think that conservation programs have fulfilled their objectives. From this result and the previous one, the study can then assume that the larg est farm owners expect more outcomes from the conservation programs other than only dealing with environmental issues. These farmers probably perceive the conservation programs as capable of improving the farm productivity, for instance by improving soil f performance (e.g., use sophisticated technology) are satisfied with the results of the conservation programs. Farmers who focus on multi functionality within their farm pr obably do so to compensate a lack of effectiveness or adaptation of the environmental conservations plans and practices offered by the conservation programs. armers and non farmers Feeling of trust with the other farmers Extent to which farmers are open to work collaboratively and share information with the farmers in the area A quarter of farmers in this study reported to fully trust their neighboring farmers in what would be termed as busi ness collaboration (maximum level on the Likert scale). From the OLM outcome and the detection of the significant independent variables, the higher the level of pride for the territory, the more likely the farmer trusts his/her neighbor. Pride for the terr itory is indeed related to a certain level of well farmer about his/her territory and consequently with the rest of the farmers in the region. However, the higher the average sales and the importance of the level of inpu ts in the
150 farming system, the less likely the farmer is willing to work in collaboration and share preferring a high level of external guidance negatively influenced the feeling of trust for other farmers. Farmers with smaller farms were more likely to express a high feeling of trust for other farmers. Farmers who considered themselves independent from regulations regarding the farm management manifested a higher feeling o f trust with the other farmers. The study can then assume that governmental authorities do not implement a framework encouraging confidence for farmers to work together, and therefore a climate of trust among farmers themselves and with governmental author ities. This was reflected in the fact that Illinois farmers, and probably U S farmers at large, were extremely reluctant to any investigations or surveys targeting them, even if it was only concerning an interest in their work and situation. To illustrate this point, one of the anyone I know. I get survey solicitations all the time, mostly via computer but in the past it was via phone calls at inopportune times. The vast maj ority of farmers are annoyed by this and rarely complete a survey. To get farmers to respond, survey companies pay ~$25 37) for a survey which takes 20 40 minutes to complete. Sometimes, perhaps twice per year, I get invited to a local hotel confe rence room for a focus group survey meeting where the payout is $100 110). I do a lot of surveys each environmentally or iented projects OLM indicated that farmers enrolled in
151 conservation program were more likely to work with their neighboring farmers to address environmental issues. The higher the contribution of a farmer to the identity of his/her territory and his/her f requency of trying new or innovative agriculture practices (risk taker), the more likely the farmer is open to co operate with neighboring farmers on environmentally oriented projects. Farmers who are members of a conservation programs were naturally more open to innovative forms of actions aiming at environmental conservation than the one who were not, which represented a high majority of the farmers in this study. The level of risk the farmer is willing to undertake in his farm management decision making significantly affected the interest of the farmer concerning that particular issue; collaborating with other farmers in environmentally oriented projects could be associated with something uncommon requiring a certain level of risk taking. The farmers vie wed this type of collective action as a sort of contribution to the development of the identity of the territory. farmers A significant percentage of the farmers (40%) chose the highest lev el of the Likert scale (level 6) concerning their level of knowledge sharing, and 25% chose the level 5. According to the OLM, farmers who engaged in voluntary organizations appeared more likely to share knowledge about their profession with other farmers (65% of the farmers are members of at least one voluntary organization) than farmers who were non members. The voluntary organizations mentioned by the farmers are the church, intentional community, farmers' market, Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Farm Bureau, Annie's Project Education for Farm Women, Soil & water conservation district,
152 Land use council, Resource, Conservation & Development, peer groups, University of Illinois Cooperative Extension B oard, Cattlemen's Association, Illinois Stewardship Al liance, American Herbataurus Society, community theater group, community jazz band, Volunteer Firemen, Ogle county Prairie Preservation Society, and local Corn Growers Association. far mers) It was observed that the higher the level of income generated from off farm activities, contribution of the farmer to the identity of the region, and his desire for compatibility between farming practices and surrounding environment and natural reso urces, the more likely the farmer shares professional skills with external stakeholders (non farmers). Also, the higher the importance of the efficiency of the use of the natural resources, the less likely the farmer shares professional skills. s involvement outside the farming profession, his contribution to the identity of the region and his consideration of the surrounding environment positively influenced whether he shared his skills with non farmers. In order to get the best out of the exter nal stakeholders and thus to improve his farm as well as considering the regional identity and the environment, the farmer is probably required to expose his situation and farming interests. A hypothesis for the negative effect may be that a high focus of the farmer on the efficiency of the use of the natural resources requires efforts and maybe leads to a feeling of competition with other farmers in order to remain in a better position than others. e to improve the management of the farm External assistance is mainly characterized by the
153 intervention of specialized organizations or agencies bringing expertise or suggestions related to a certain issue in the farming system, (e.g. production technique s, accounting practices, investment strategies). On one hand, it reflects the openness of the farmer. On the other hand, a high level of use of external expertise can reflect uncertainty and lack of confidence concerning the farm management. It all depends on the intervention Farmers who have livestock, are enrolled in conservation programs, and/or seek compatibility with the surrounding environment tended to use external assistance in relation to the management of their farm. The higher the number of non farm activities carried out by the farmer, the less likely the farmer uses external assistance. The desire for suitability and optimal compatibility of the farming practices with the natural environment often requires in tegrating different fields of knowledge to evaluate the most optimal method. This, then, frequently leads to the need to access external expertise. Some conservation programs cannot be implemented by the farmer alone. Farmers often need the help and suppor t of external agencies to implement their conservation plans. This may involve extra costs to be considered when applying for membership in conservation programs, and sometimes these costs are not predictable. Livestock production appears seems to require evaluation (at least in the Illinois context), hence the increased need for external advice for livestock. Interests and desires of the farmer related to the management of the farm and to the food production system at large I nterest of the farmer in doing more towards the multi functionality of the farm The OLM results indicated the higher the variety of activities related to multi
154 functionality, and the higher the average sales and the revenue generated from extra farm activ ities, the more likely farmers show interest in the multi functionality of the taking and his pride in the region, the more likely the farmer is interested in enhancing or focusing on farm multi functi onality. In addition, farmers involved in cooperatives and voluntary organizations, and those enrolled in conservation programs, were also more likely to be interested in o civic responsibility, the less likely the farmer is interested in multi functionality Thus, with respect to this variable, farmers who already carry out activities related to the concept of multi functionality are more likely to increase the efforts in this direction. This is probably due to the fact that the analysis of the strategies and their suitability with the farm system most difficult part of the process is already established. Enhancing the process is then easier. In addition, the activitie s linked to multi functionality seemed perceived as costly by the farmers, because the higher the average farm sales, the higher is the interest in multi functionality. Therefore, more likely the highest revenue can facilitate firm development of farm mult i functionality. The EC could face this aspect due to the strength of the collective action which implies that it is no longer solely at the individual level where farmers have to deal with this issue. However, farmers who own very large production acreage s might not be aware of how to exploit such strategies by implementing them on large scale. Smaller farms feel more concerned or affected by this aspect. The higher the focus of the farmer on external inputs, the less likely he considers the natural enviro nment, and therefore the less likely he is interested in farm multi functionality. Cooperation with other farmers and non
155 farmers may then be seen as a positive, as they develop strategies related for multi functionality which in the long term positively a ffects farmers as well as the territory and community as a whole. There is an existing willingness among Illinois farmers (as far as this study sample is concerned) to engage themselves in their territory by not only focusing on the production aspects of t he farming system, but also on environmental conservation and resource protection. No correlation with general characteristics (e.g. age) has been observed through the statistical model relative to the level of pride felt by the farmer for the territory. F consumers The higher the importance of the identity of the region for the farmer, the level of multi functionality and the average sales of the farmer, the more likely the farmer feel s a disconnection between the food production system and local consumers. Also, the higher the level of off farm activities carried out by the farmer, less likely the farmer feels the disconnection. Focusing on farm multi functionality and thus on aspects other than food production reflects a willingness towards re connecting with consumers. Large scale farmers appear conscious of the distance between farming and the consumers. Only 8% of farmers in this study participate in local food systems such as the R ed Cross, CSA, u similar to the proportion of these farmers in the overall Illinois farmer population. The main benefits from the short food supply chain initiatives reported by t hese farmers
156 representation of the category of farmers who are members of local food systems could have given a more clear indication of the potential of those farmer s who would adopt the structure EC. Finally, as could be expected, farmers involved in off farm activities collaborate with stakeholders from other professions. Interactions between the farmer and the authorities r enough say from the authorities in the environmental policies that affect him/her The higher the number of non farm activities carried out by the farmer, the more likely he feels deprived of any or enough say by the authorities. There may be shortage of incentives, efforts and structure towards the support and help for the farmer in developing extra farm activities on farm. Farmers did not feel encouraged and listened to regarding their willingness to develop new source of revenues within their farm whic h could contribute to economic development of the area in the long term. Regarding this issue, the EC could enhance the ability of farmers to negotiate with authorities and enhance their opportunities to be listened to. Conclusion From the first applicatio n of the OLM, a few of the relevant variables which had been identified as part of the Dutch environmental cooperative were observed in the Illinois setting. More detailed conclusion and interpretation about their representation will be given in the discus sion section of this report. However, some general features of the Illinois farms can be underlined from these results. In this study it was observed that there was relatively a high level of sharing of knowledge among farmers, and between farmers and non farmers, a relative openness to innovative forms of environmental conservation, a certain level of dissatisfaction with the conservation programs, and pride
157 of farmers for their territory. The specific farming types or farmer features which need to particu larly be underlined were mainly the livestock producers, the small scale farms, farmers engaged in multi functionality, and the farmers engaged into off farm activities. These criteria could indeed contribute to potential for acceptance of and eventually i ntegration into an environmental cooperative. More e xplanation will be given in C hapter 5 The other variables processed in the OLM step 1 have not been significantly affected by any of the independent variables (general characteristics of the farmer and practices unde landscape management farmers on environmental general characteristics on those dependent variables, through the OLM. However, this does not mean that they are nonexistent, especially if the whole of Illinois was to be
158 considered. Step 2 of the OLM will bring further indications about the role of these variables and their connections. Data results Ordered Logit M odel step 2 them was analyzed as a dependent v (independent variables). A higher focus was put on four specific variables mentioned willingness to do more in terms of multi functionality of the environmentally farmers in environmentally oriented projects. The model aimed at designing correlations between these four specific variables reflecting the potential for the implementation of an EC. territory and to promote o ther unique char acteristics of the region (V1) Logically, the higher the interest of the farmer in increasing his contribution to the responsibility to implement conservatio n practices and his trust for other farmers, the more likely V1 is high. There were no specific criteria distinguishing the farmers who felt a high responsibility to implement conservation practices from those who did not, except that all of those possesse d the highest level of education on the Linkert 6 type scale. Contribution to the identity of the territory was slightly associated with taking care of and preserving the environment, and according to the way the farmer interacts with other farmers (his/he r well
159 a farmer shares his professional skills with external stakeholders, the less likely is variable V1 to be high, perhaps because the choice to contribute to the identity of the territory is very personal. Also concerning the identity of the territory, the model showed his feeling that appropriate measures are implemented to deal with the environmental issues, the more likely the farmer is interested in increasing his contribution to the identity of the territory. Pride in the territory was a relevant criteria in the frame of this research study because it determined the extent to which the farmer was re ady to get involved and to contribute to the development of his rural area. The application of the interest of the farmer in contributing to his/her territory, his feeli ng of responsibility to implement conservation practices, and his/her level of confidence working collaboratively with other farmers, the more likely the farmer is proud of his/her territory. The influence of other farmers was significant in Illinois and a ffects the way farmers are involved in their territory. Illinois farmers are (naturally) more likely to promote a territory with minimal environmental issues. The interest in promoting the territorial identity did not seem to be associated with working on actions towards the restoration and protection of the environment because the farmers who thought that appropriate environmental measures are implemented were mainly the one interested in developing the identity of the territory. However, when it concerns putting a lot of effort into preserving the identity of the territory, this was associated with the implementation of conservation practices. At the level of effective actions towards the development of the regional identity, there was a feeling from certa in farmers of the need to deal with
160 the current environmental issues because they can more likely be a threat to the identity of the territory and Illinois as a whole. From this perspective, conservation practices are perceived as a way to improve and sust ain the development and the image/identity of the territory. into consideration the external appearance of the farm and its functioning, and pay attention to the effects of t he farm on the territory. Also, this notion reflects an openness of the farmer outside his farm, for instance on the attractiveness of the surrounding interested in contribut ing to its identity and consequently the more the farmer contributes to the identity of the territory as a whole. The application of the OLM on the farmers who feel influen ced by other farmers, who implement nature and landscape management because of personal initiative, who use external assistance and advise related to the management of their farm, who trust other farmers, enjoy farming, and feel a disconnection between the producers and the consumers were more likely to pay higher attention to taking care of their farm. When a farmer reported that he/she wished stricter environmental policies and would consider being involved more in nature and landscape management if there were more financial supports, the less likely that farmer sees importance in the public image of the farm. The well being of the farmer in his territory and with other actors determines the importance of the image of the farm to the farmer, and it is rein forced by the support of other farmers from the same area. Also, it is likely to be an incentive to get closer to
161 farmers who have a positive opinion about stricter environme ntal policies and financial supports in nature and landscape management could be relying on these external supports to take care of the image of the farm. The organizations in charge are then viewed as substitutes to the activities that the farmer could in tegrate into his/her day to day practices. in environmental projects (V2) practices, the more likely variable V2 is higher. environmental issues is more likely to be higher the identity of the territory, willingness to participate in efforts to enhance the identity of the territory, willingness to do more towards the enhancement of the agriculture multi functionality, feeling that he is not given any or enough say from authorities in the environmental policies that affect him, his wish for stricter environmental policies, his feeling of confidence working with other farmers, and sharing of professional skills with external stakeholder s are also higher. As previously discussed, the importance and contribution towards developing the identity of the farm and the territory is generally a personal rather than a collective idea. This explains why the higher the interest of the farmer in cont ributing to the identity of the territory, the less likely the farmer perceives issues. The influence of the neighboring farmers also affected this variable (type of coope ration) negatively. There is therefore no emerging incentive among farmers
162 towards cooperation to deal with environmental issues. Besides, the higher the feeling that the involvement of the farmer towards conservation practices should be increased, the les may be difficult for the farmer to say whether the cooperation among farmers concerning the environment would be a strength or not (some farmers mentioned in the questionna ire that it was not possible for them to comment and thus failed to answer the question). Furthermore, the higher the feeling of the farmer enjoying farming, the less likely the farmer thinks about cooperation as an advantage concerning environmental matte r. suitable for farmers who are willing to act and put efforts for development of regional identity and towards farm multi functionality, who are looking for an alternative beside s the governmental environmental policies which they feel are inappropriate, and those who feel obviously confident working with other farmers and sharing their skills with external stakeholders. In general, Illinois farmers, as far as this sample is conce rned, are relatively independent and do not imagine cooperation with others as a beneficial alternative. Another result supporting this idea is the higher the concern of the farmer about the degradation of the environment and the depletion of natural resou rces, the less likely the farmer perceives cooperation as a way to face these environmental issues. Co operation with other farmers implies the sharing of knowledge and knowledg
163 feeling of the farmer to be influenced by other farmers and to trust them, the more likely the farmer shares knowledge and information about his/her profession with the other farmers. However, the higher the pride of the farmer for his region, the less likely the farmer shares about his/her profession. As previously stated, it seems that independence is a characteristic highly present among Illinois farmers, which is again associated w ith the pride in the region. Besides, the feeling of trust among farmers is more likely to be higher when the feeling of responsibility to implement conservation practices is also higher. It seems that the feeling of confidence is reinforced by the s proximity and concern about the surrounding environment. s farm multi functionality (V3) From the first application of the OLM, the higher the feeling of disconnection of the farmer from the consumers, the more like more towards farm multi functionality) is higher. Investing in the aspect of multi functionality of the farm requires personal initiative from the farmer and the elaboration ans to focus on other and non marketable benefits of farming than the farm product, especially concerns on the impact of farming to the environment reflect efforts of the farmer to pay attention to his surrounding natural environment and natural resources. A similar approach is needed in order to be able to implement conservation practices within the farming system. That is why this latter variable V3. This feeling of respo nsibility, as a farmer, towards the implementation of his role in solving environmental issues and in landscape and nature management, a high impression of being denied any or enough say by the authorities, and a high feeling
164 conservation practices implementation. As evidenced earlier, the higher the perception of the farmer that he is re sponsible to implement conservation practices and that there is a disconnection from the consumers, the more likely the farmer thinks that more From the side of multi func tionality as contributing to the management and shaping of be higher with a high feeling that environmental issues are appropriately handled by conservation programs. Illinois farmers feel highly responsible to implement conservation practices, but do not seem satisfied with the conservation programs which are offered to them. Illinois farmers would highly welcome extra financial support from the government to facilita te in connecting producers to consumers and to implement environmental conservation farmers in environmental projects (V4) ling of disconnection from consumers, the more likely the farmer is willing to work with non farmers in environmental projects. The higher the less likely the farmer fee ls willing to work with non farmers. The last significant negatively.
165 Illinois far mers demonstrate once again in this study that they prefer to be relatively independent in terms of actions linked to the environment in the case they feel it is their role to deal with it. Finally, higher external support reaching the farmers is contrary to the idea of working with non farmers in environmental projects. Illinois farmers in this study seem more open to receiving extra financial support than to cooperate with other farmers for the sake of environmental practices. Representatives of authoriti es are also part of the membership of an EC. The way Illinois farmers perceive the authorities (non members too) and their intervention is region, his being influe nced by other farmers, his use of external assistance and advise, his openness to work with neighboring farmers around environmental projects, his enjoyment of farming, and his feeling of disconnection from consumers, the more likely the farmer thinks ofte n that he is not given any or enough say by the authorities. It appeared that the more the farmer was involved in his territory and with relating to external stakeholders, the more he did not feel encouraged by the authorities. The use of external assistance and advice from external stakeholders demonstrates sharing between the farmer and experts in certain fields, and therefore show a higher potential to also work with these actors in environmental projects. The application of t he OLM on this variable showed that the more the farmer is willing to participate in efforts to enhance the identity of the region, to increase the farm multi functionality, the more he feels that he is not given any or enough say from authorities, and wis hes stricter environmental policies, the more likely the farmer uses external assistance and advise. On the other hand, the more the farmer shares about his/her
166 profession with other farmers, shows his openness to work with neighboring farmers in environme ntal projects, and has positive opinions regarding cooperation to deal with environmental issues, the less likely the farmer uses external assistance. Also, the more lik ely the farmer shares professional skills with external stakeholders. External assistance appears to be a good support for farmers who want to focus on the concept of identity development and farm multi functionality. Also, the use of external assistance c ould be also associated with being a substitute for the authorities. Farmers who do not feel listened to by the authorities or do not find in the Federal programs what they aim at achieving, seem more likely to proceed by themselves, with the help of exter nal expertise and stakeholders. However, working with other farmers, external assistance or advice is not preferred. Concerning the Federal regulations and threat to advice could reflect a need for external guidance, at terms detrimental, according to this farmer. Far mers and conservation programs From the application of the OLM step perceptions about existing U S and Illinois conservation programs can be extracted. This aspect is fundamental in the frame of this study as it determines the extent to which farmers would welcome another approach o f conservation practices and institutional framework. The higher the feeling of trust among farmers, and the more they share professional skills with external stakeholders, the more likely the farmer feels that appropriate environmental measures are used t o handle the environmental issues.
167 concern about the degradation of the environment and depletion of natural resources, the less likely the farmer thinks that a ppropriate environmental measures are applied. Therefore, the higher the proximity of the farmer with his environment, landscape and the image of his region, the higher the concern of the farmer about the effectiveness and adaptation of the conservation p rograms and other environmental regulations regarding territorial environmental issues. However, the higher the feeling of well being by the farmer in his/her territory and with other actors, the less likely the farmer sees and feels affected and concerned by the existing environmental issues. conservation practices, the more likely the farmer welcomes financial support as a right way to improve his involvement towards conservation practices. This observation supports a previous assumption. Cooperation among farmers in environmental issues, should be associated with extra financial supports from external agencies or the government. Farmers who use external assistance and advice, who are open to work with neighboring farmers in environmental projects, who enjoy farming, and who feel disconnected from the consumers, are more likely to desire stricter environmental policies. Furthermore, the wish for more targeted environmental policies was more likely to occur with a wish for stricter environmental policies and with a high concern about the degradation of the environment and the depletion of natural resources. Stricter environmental policies could be mainly related to more targeted envir onmental policies.
168 Conclusion From the application of the OLM step 2, some main correlations among the relevant variables analyzed could effectively be drawn. The PCA model, for which the results are presented below, will give further indications on thes e correlations. Data Results Principal Component A nalysis dependent variables. The results are presented according to these variables, as follows. The PCA was complementary to the OLM -step 2 in the sense that it aimed at confirming that the four specific variables are really determinant variables which can t in and willingness to take part in an EC. The PCA also gave indications about whether or not these specific variables could be predicted by a few of the other relevant variables. the territory and to promote other unique char acteristics of the region (V1) participate in efforts to enhance the identity of the territory and to promote other unique character istics of the region) the first dimension could effectively be associated with the (Dimension 1 aggregates 21.4% of the variability, Dimension 2 = 13.8%). The other variables which were also highly correlated to axis 1 are the feeling of contributing to the identity of the region, the pride of the territory, and the care about the public image of s farmers towards the promotion and the conservation of the characteristics and farming practices
169 of the territory, associated with the other variables. Furthermore, as the first dimension was assumed to be associated with variable V1, the three other vari ables could be to the identity of the territory, the level of pride of the farmer for his region, and the extent to which the farmer care for the public image of his farm (all of those three combined), the value of V1 can be estimated. in environmental projects (V2) The axis 1 was correlated at most with variable V2 as was done above, so V2 could be associated with the dimension 1 (Dimension 1 = 20%, Dimension 2 = 14%). From Figure 4 4 the study observed that the variables which could serve as predictors of V2 are: t he feeling of contribution to the identity of the territory, the pride of the region, the influence of neighboring farmers, the openness to work collaboratively with other farmers, and the care about the public image of the farm. ing more toward s farm multi functionality (V3) From the outcome of the PCA for this variable, V3 aggregated a low variability, therefore it could not be associated with one of the dimensions. It was not a synthetic variable which could be explained by oth er variables (regarding this sample of farmers). farmers in environmental projects (V4) The PCA concluded that V4 could be associated with the first dimension. The variables which could predict the valu e of this variable are the importance of the identity of the region, the pride of the region, the influence of the neighboring farmers, the feeling of responsibility to implement conservation practices, the wish for more targeted environmental policies, an d the care about the public image of the farm.
170 PCA conclusion The three of the four variables studied above which work as synthetic variables, participation in an EC. And they can be predicted through other variables more specific to the farm and farmer. General Outcome of the Analyses characteristics and relevant variables, to the design of predic tions of certain variables, the study made observations of the perceptions, interests, possibilities and potential of the study corresponding with the structure of an EC. From these results an d observations, further interpretations and discussions are constructed as part of Chapter 5 last chapter of the research
171 Figure 4 1 Representation of the 5 selected research study areas ( Eco regions in Illinois correspond to areas of general simi larity in ecosystems, type, quality, and quantity of environmental resources. The delimitation of these regions was considered useful for establishing ecosystem management strategies (U S EPA))
172 Figure 4 2 S )
173 Figure 4 3 Outcome of the ordered Logit Model processing, Y = USIlconspgmsfulfilledgoals2
174 Figure 4 4 and willingness in working with neighboring farmers in environmental projects)
175 Table 4 1. codes and meanings Meaning age future.farm Expectations about what will happen to the farm in the next 10 years education Highest level of education prod.type Type(s) of farm production crops.acreage Acreage livestock Annual total livestock av.sales Average farming sales/year prod.levels.il.av imp.lev.inputs Impact of the level of inputs (capital, labor, natural resources) on production levels imp.eff.useR Impact of the efficiency of the use of the resources on production levels farm.mngmt.status Status of the farm management civic.resp of civic responsibility to you try.new.farm.pract Frequency of trying new farming practices or technologies non.farm.act Engagement (or not) in non farm activities off.farm.act Engagement (or not) in off farm activities income.extra.farm.act Percentage of the annual farm income derived from extra farm activities multi.funct.farm Level of activities related to farm multi functionality implemented within the farming system enrolled.cons.pgm Enrollment in conservation programs part.farm.coop M part.volunt.orga Involvement (or not) in voluntary organization(s) ident.reg Importance of the identity of the geographical area
176 Table 4 2. codes and meanings Meaning contribidentreg Feeling of contributing to the regional identity interestcontributid Interest in increasing the contribution to the identity of the region proudpartreg Pride to be part of the region parteffortsenhanceident Interest in participating in efforts to enhance the identity of the region and to promote other unique characteristics of the region inflneighb activities doingmoreincrmultifunct Willingness to increase multi functionality in the production system Howwellenvissueshandled Thought about how existing environmental issues are being handled coopbtwfarmerscombatenvissues Thought about collaboration between farmers in the management of projects related to comb atting environmental pollution can lead to more efficient and effective results farmersimprolesolvingenvissues Opinion about the importance of the role of farmers in solving these environmental issues incrfarmerinvolvconspract Thought about increasing conservation practices feelgivensayfromauthorities Feeling about whether (not) given any or enough say (e.g. from Federal and State authorities) in the environmental policies that affect the farmer feelresponsibimplementconspractices As a farmer, feeling the need or the duty to adopt and implement environmental conservation and landscape management practices stricterenvpol Thought about stricter environmental policies from authorities moretargetenv po Thought about more targeted environmental policies (in terms of community characteristics and environmental issues specific to the area) implemnatlandsmngmtpersini Voluntarily implementation of nature and landscape management practices as part of daily farming operations? morenatlandsmngmtifmorefinanc More of nature and landscape management if it was to be rewarded?
177 Table 4 2. Continued Meaning conspgmsfulfilledgoals Thought about how well current and historical U S and Illinois conservation programs have fulfilled their objective to restore and preserve the environment and landscape shareknowledgeprofotherfarmers Sharing level of knowledge about faring profession with other farmers useextassistadvisemngmtfarm Use of external assistance/technical advice oriented to the farm management shareprofskillsextstak Sharing of professional skills with external stakeholders (non farmers) openworkcollfarmers Open to work collaboratively with other farmers Trust with o ther farmers workingneighfarmersenvprojects Feeling about working with neighboring farmers in environmentally oriented projects morecoopnatlandsbetterresults Thought about whether cooperation between farmers in nature and landscape management would help to achieve better results regarding environmental conservation workingnonfarmersenvprojects Feeling about working with non farmers within the territory in environmentally oriented conservation projects enjoyfarming Enjoy farming carepubimagefarm disconnectconsumersfarmsyst Feeling about how the existing farming system is disconnected from the local community/consumers degenvdepletnatR Feeling about the degradation of the environment and landscap e, and the exhaustion of some of the natural resources farmerrolemangmntr landscapes and natural resources
178 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS Results Interpretations From the results obtained in the C hapter 4 this section presents interpretations and possible answers to the hypothesis formulated at the beginning of the study. This is realized by considering the Illinois setting as a whole and with the support of the research objectives set in the general introductio n. Answer to the Research Objectives S As explained earlier, the present study focused on qualitative data as complementary to the quantitative data extracted from the sample. Both types of data were important in order to study the presentation, in the Illinois setting, of the variables seen in the Dutch setting. The presentation of these variables helped conceptualize m of environmental conservation. As Reimer stated in his study, in this study in the U S we sought to ere then crucial to improve quantitative measures. (R EIMER et al., 2011) The predominant variables extracted from the Dutch literature were analyzed in two phases: on the one hand we looked at the variables responsible of the creation of the structure of EC, and on the other hand we analyzed the variables defined as factors of success of the development and functioning of the environmental cooperative in the
179 Netherlands. This section of the study will focus on the variables whose presentation in Illinois is of significance and relevance to the present study. Representation of th e factors affecting the decision of Dutch farmers in deciding to create the environmental cooperative, in Illinois. The perception of and opinion about the governmental conservation programs and their impact on both farming practices and natural environmen t were the main reasons for Dutch farmers to initiate an EC. In Illinois, there was also a visible dissatisfaction concerning conservation programs offered by the government. This dissatisfaction was mainly linked to the heavy administration burden of the programs and their strict requirements, both of which both prevented some of the farmers from applying for them. This could be one of the main reasons why Illinois farmers might be interested in the model of EC. Additionally, Illinois farmers mentioned hig h transaction costs involved in the conservation programs (higher than the operational costs) and some farmers considered that it is not up to the government to take care of environmental regulations. The latter observation was very interesting because it strategies aimed at environmental conservation. Finally, there was similarity to the case in the Netherlands (although lower), in a certain lack of adaptation of governmental environmental pro grams and regulations to the farming system, and therefore a wish for more targeted environmental policies (in the case where changes in environmental policies are welcomed or requested). Moreover, many of the Illinois farmers perceived a gap between their desires/wishes and those of the authorities; they did not feel listened to by the authorities. In the Netherlands, farmers created the EC to form an entity and institutional framework which could be recognized by the government, but through
180 which they cou ld express their desires in terms of combination of conservation practices to the agriculture practices. There are similar environmental issues in Illinois as in the Netherlands, and some of them resulting from the agriculture practices. These environmenta l issues raise concern among the farmers. The main issues include soil erosion, prairie, biodiversity, and water quality degradation. The main agricultural factors enhancing this phenomenon are high levels of inputs, tillage practices, and non rotation of the crops. Through the launch of and participation in ECs, Dutch farmers wanted to benefit from opportunities that they were not previously able to. Similarly, the study observed that there are farmers in Illinois who produce specific products that they wo uld like to expand and market but are not able to do so in the current context. There is therefore a potential in this population to develop a structure such an EC, which would give them further opportunities and possibly allow them to fulfill their goals. Secondary factors extracted from the Dutch context can also be mentioned. Most of the farmers place importance on the identity and image of their territory. This is mainly reflected in this sample through doing something which is different from the other f armers, and something which can then contribute to the building of a territorial identity. The way the farmer is interested in a larger scale than his farm, in giving it an image, and even in participating to its contribution could also be a reason for Ill inois farmers to be interested in ECs. Furthermore, the Dutch farmers who originated ECs were risk takers because of the unknowns associated with their project and the high uncertainty of its success and future. The Illinois farmers contacted in this surve y are largely risk takers, and thus open to innovations in farming profession. Another positive attribute to
181 a launch an EC could be the certainty of the future of the farm because of the long term farms will either remain stable or expand significantly in the future decade, hence, there is a match of the ECs use of long Beside the variables which had been extracted fro m the Dutch setting, the research study revealed other factors more specific to the Illinois setting which could also push farmers to create or integrate an EC. Half of the farmers who practiced extra farm activities mentioned their willingness to improve the image of the agricultural sector, followed by the willingness to enhance social contacts. There could be an interest and motivation to change their current pattern of farming and the way farming is perceived from outside, and especially by consumers. A lso, the very largest part of the farmers affirmed that they had made changes in their farming system to stop or prevent further environmental degradation. These initiatives could be enhanced or pushed forward as part of an EC. Besides, most of the farmers in this study implemented either conservation practices or landscape and nature management under personal initiatives. Being part of an EC would enable them to be rewarded for it and to enhance their personal projects/ambitions. Those are factors which co ECs. However, more than half of the farmers said they did not observe any environmental degradation/pollution in their territory. This point seemed negatively correlated with the interest of farmers in an EC. Nevertheless, i t does not mean that farmers would not be interested in increasing the positive externalities from agriculture through the use of an EC.
182 Representation of the factor of success for the functioning and development of environmental cooperative in Illinois. F interested in investing in their region beyond the production function of their farm. They seemed willing to put efforts beyond the farm, towards the valorization and promotion of their territory. Therefore, they would ce rtainly be willing to invest in long term projects, and be likely to show perseverance and patience based on the visibility of the results. These features are indeed required for projects dealing with natural resources and landscape management. Secondly, to implement conservation practices and nature and landscape management, especially because of how they perceive their profession, are positive factors which could help lead to the cre ation of an EC. Indeed, farmers would thus feel at the right position and study who were already enrolled in conservation programs reported having done it due to their concern for the environment (extra revenue came in second place). Although the responses could be a bit biased due to the ethical character of the question, there seemed a real engagement by farmers in resource conservation and protection. This conviction has proved to be necessary to the successful functioning of an EC. As part of the functioning of the cooperative and like other businesses, the structure relies on monitoring, sanctioning and means of conflict resolution. However, the structure of EC is d istinct from the other forms of business due to the importance of mutual trust between farmers, which helps significantly reduce transaction costs, facilitates cooperation, prevents opportunism, and secures communication and dialogue
183 ( E SHUIS & V AN W OERKUM 2003). Trust is an important component of the EC, and it is beneficial for the members. However, trust cannot be the only basis element of functioning of the organization. The three levels of supervision (monitoring, sanctioning means) are necessary. Moreover, monitoring has been reported has playing an important role in the building of trust, even in the case of initial distrust between the different parties. It is due to the fact that parties agree on the monitoring because they view it as an important tool to realize mutual goals ( E SHUIS & V AN W OERKUM 2003). The present study looked at the notion of trust in persons, but there also exists dimensions of trust in organizations and trust in institutions. These other dimensions of trust could be further analyzed by involving the authorities to participate in the study. A significant percentage of farmers is open to work collaboratively and to share information with other farmers (e.g. professional skills), and in particular with t he farmers in the area. This feeling of confidence and non resistance to a situation which involved working with other farmers would be a determinant element to the successful functioning of an EC. Besides, more than half of the farmers put sharing knowled ge about their profession at a high level of importance. It is a positive component to the constitution of a learning system as part of the EC. Sharing experiences, knowledge, and skills with the other members (farmers and non farmers) proved to be in the short or long run very beneficial for both parties involved. Beside the variables for factors of success which had been extracted from the Dutch setting, the study revealed other variables, specific to the Illinois setting and likely to be also factors of success of an eventual Illinois EC. U S farmers are very much
184 involved into off farm activities through associations and other social involvement. To compare with the European case, it is important to note that the share of off farm income for EU agricul tural households is lower than for the U S because the European definition of an agricultural household excludes many households where off farm income is significant, whereas the U.S. definition includes all farms including the very smallest operations. T he official U.S. farm definition requires indeed only $1,000 of sales to be qualified as a farm, and over half of U.S. farm households operate farms with sales less than $10,000. In the U S the share of household income from farming tends to be related t o the economic size of the farm. By being part of voluntary stakeholders, participating in meetings, making decisions, and giving recommendations. Therefore they are very like ly to be skilled in sharing information, suggesting strategies, convincing other people, and discussing. Furthermore, the high participation into off farm activities give these farmers more opportunities to take leadership positions within a group. This po int which was highlighted as sometimes difficult in the Dutch case may not be qualified as such in the U S. This could really facilitate the functioning of an eventual EC. Conclusion S Most of the factors which had been extracted from the Dutch literature are presented in the Illinois sample, although differently and clearly in a different extent. Moreover, other factors, specific to the U S context, have been discovered and are also potential factors for the devel opment of an EC. The next section deals with refining the representation of these
185 From the results of the model, t typologies characterized by associations of specific variables. The associations were drawn depending on the typologies which seemed the most favorable to the implementation of an EC in the U S and especiall y in Illinois, and the typologies or correlations of variables/characteristics which seemed less favorable. Secondly, the interest or integration in EC. They are as fo llow: Typology 1 conviction about importance of the environment perception of the environment as an entire element of the functioning of the farming system, and as an element that require protection and conservation, is fundamental to ensur typology refers to farmers who are most likely to have a strong conviction about the importance of the environment. The current study showed that this typology is charact erized by a high level of education (farmers who feel highly responsible to implement conservation practices), and is grain producers (farmers strictly saying that their decision making process starts from the local and natural characteristics of the env ironment rather than from the future expected outcomes). The focus, interest and efforts on both multi functionality and protection of the resources as part of the farming responsibility are also related to this type. Theses motivations are very likely to increase by grains, but also fruits and vegetables producers, high average sales, high revenue from extra farm activities, high level of risk taking, high pride for the region, and a voluntary organizations enrollment. Grain producers were additionally the producers
186 who presented the highest rate of enrollment into the conservation programs compared to other categories of producers. From the results, multi functionali ty by Illinois farmers would mainly deal with activities and strategies related to landscape management, wildlife habitat creation, biodiversity maintenance; improvement of nutrient recycling and carbon sequestration; and water management, and improvement of water quality. This typology or group of farmers could be interested in EC, in particular because of the desire to be rewarded for their conviction about the importance and action towards the environment and landscape. Typology 2 engagement in the i dentity of the territory The farmers who are not afraid and interested in getting involved in the building of an identity of the territory are characterized by having higher than average sales, a high level of farm multi functionality, and high importance given to the territorial identity. The notion of territory is defined by the combination of the physical dimension of geometrical space to the social dimension of relational space. The space is then not only the scenario but the representation of human ac tion condensing the values of the culture produced in it. The territory corresponds to a delimited geographical space reflecting a given community and representing the community's individual and collective actions. The notion of the process of interaction between this community and the community and the act of territorialization values and expectations th P OLLICE 2006). Territorial identity holds an orientating function in the development of local scale endogenous
187 territorial identity is an impulsion to the design of objectives strategies and contributes to the development and the implementation of local scale innovation processes. Furthermore, Pollice explains that territorial innovation is successful when it is the result of the sense of belonging (social expression of territorial identity) can be very decided in P OLLICE 2006) An engagement into territorial ident ity can therefore be a determinant to the building of innovative community projects, such as the development of an EC. Typology 3 dissatisfaction conservation programs Farmers who ation programs were over 55 years old. These farmers would benefit from a better knowledge and information provision as part of an EC because they would be closer to the dynamic membership. The farmers of this typology are also characterized by having smal l farms (mentioned the lowest level of suitability of the conservation programs with their farming practices), higher than average sales, and high number of activities related to multi functionality (the less likely to think that conservation programs have fulfilled their goals). Typology 4 ambitions, wish for better opportunities The farmers who share ambitions matching with the concept of EC are characterized by the production of a specific farm product, and were especially fruit and vegetable growers or organic
188 producers (they have a positive opinion about cooperation regarding this ambition). These types of producers may be working on a share of the market which can offer more doors towards Marketing Niche Development. Also, given the fact that they r epresent a small part of the territorial production in Illinois, they could be more open to innovative forms of cooperation. Cooperation would allow them to be markedly stronger and have more weight concerning the development of a specific product or marke ting innovation (e.g. label, quality or traditional aggregation). Fruits and vegetables productions have indeed a strong economic potential in the Illinois market, regarding both the increasing demand for locally grown products in Illinois and the fact tha t Illinois wholesale buyers cannot currently meet their demand for fruits and vegetables from in state production. Fruit, vegetable, and organic producers are also characterized by engaging in a high number of non farm activities, usually carried out becau se they do not feel listened or encouraged by the authorities. They could find through the EC better offers than the ones given by the government, in which they could participate in their design. The wish of the farmers belonging to this typology is also t o be more independent, and maybe to be able to design their own plans and strategies. This explains why farmers carrying out non farms activities need less help from specialized organizations (lower use of external assistance) than the other ones. It is pr obably due to the opportunities hey have to get advises through their contact and entrepreneurship Typology 5 Interest in and willingness for collaborating and working together with other stakeholders From C hapt er 4 the study concluded that these farmers are characterized by the pride they feel or experience for their territory, the high
189 level of income from off farm activities, the high contribution to the regional identity, the high search for compatibility be tween farming practices and surrounding environment and natural resources, by their being livestock producers, and having high enrollment in conservation programs. Combined to these latter characteristics, farmer manager of relative small farms, preferri ng independence from the general regulations, and risk taker are furthermore open to co operate with neighboring farmers on environmentally oriented projects. Typology 6 common projects with the Dutch model. There is a very few number of dairy farms in I llinois, therefore an EC in this territory could be run with another type of farming, more so than in the Netherlands. Most of the projects implemented by the Dutch EC imply projects focusing on the efficiency of the cycle and recycle of the natural resour ces and farm products within the farming system, meaning limiting the supply of external inputs. The study assumes that Illinois farmers who limit these external inputs in their farming system could be a positive element. They are mainly livestock producer s. Typology 7 no primary conviction on conservation practices. They are mainly characterized by being young in age, grain producers, and medium or high crop strictly as a way to receive commodity payments. These could be farmers just taking over a farm, and so are more interested in running first the business and recover the eventual start up difficulties, than on focusing on environmental conservation aspects. This typol ogy brings also farms in which the impact of inputs is high.
190 Typology 8 no cooperation High average sales, high importance of inputs, not willing to work collaborati vely with other farmers. Second, grains producers with high experience, the most, low levels of cooperation with the other members of their cooperative. It refers then to far cooperative they are part of would be difficult because of the main focus on the economic purpose, rather than on cooperation. Conclusion Each of these typologies designed above is of an EC or not. Each typology has been designed according to a certain dimension either favorable (for the first 6 typologies) or not (for typologies 7 and 8) to the development of an EC. From the results, combinations of some characteristics have effectively been determined and were associated with a specific typology. Results Interpretations, Concept by Concept above analysis and interpretations, the general concepts which fundamentally characterize the EC were approached from a more general perspective. The purpose was to study the logic and appropriateness of these concepts in a U S Illinois setting. Self go vernance Individual freedom and an individualistic culture are at the core of the American S legislation. This explains why there is a relative high interest from farmers towards the attributes of self governance and self regulation of the EC. It is especially true concerning their desires to
191 be freer in what concerns the choice and implementatio n of conservation strategies. A study on the possible position of the U S authorities on the EC would facilitate refining how a self governance structure could be conceivable and supported in an Illinois context. It appeared from the research study that s elf governance would be very well accepted by the Illinois farmers. Self governance and self regulation in terms of environmental measures are monitored and conditioned by the interaction of the EC and its members with the authorities. Therefore the ways f armers perceive and interact with the authorities, especially the government is important. On one hand, very few of the farmers claimed that they wished for more advice from authorities or external advisors regarding the application of conservation practic es. In the case of any desire of change in the application of the environmental policies, it is mainly about more targeted ones, and not stricter ones. On the other hand, most of the farmers in this study showed a real desire for low intervention of the go vernment in the implementation of environmental conservation strategies. They wished for a higher level of flexibility and freedom from the authorities. In the U S there are more levels of government authority than there are in the Netherlands, certainly in part because of the larger size of the U S This higher number of authorities likely enables a larger number of programs and strategies for farmers, as well as a greater range of institutional frameworks for them to relate to. There might be potential for different kinds of support for innovative institutional frameworks, for example with a stronger focus on local levels in the implementation of conservation strategies. The support of the authorities is determinant for the development of an EC,
1 92 in parti cular during the starting up phase. The initiative could come from the local level, with identified issues and projects manageable by the members. According to Frantz & Gloin (2007), this is how the sustainability and success of such projects can be ensure d. Governmental financial support has only a role of autonomy maintenance. In the long term, the credibility and image of such initiatives is maintained if the EC starts and ( F RANKS & G LOIN 2007). Cooperation with non farmers and other farmers In the U S a main obstacle to the implementation of EC could be the reluctance in sharing with external stakeholders on matters concerning the farm and farming system. In general, high resistance from these Illinois farmers has been observed in sharing information. This is probably due to the fear for the government and other authorities, which is in the U S greater than in the European context. Regarding this point, the results of this study need to be looked at with caution because some of the responses might be biased in order to conform to society standards. In general, farmers want to be independent, however the influence of the other farmers seems significantly determinant of the way they handle their farm activities. The main conclusion on the cooperation dimension is that the higher the the surrounding environment and natural resources, the more likely the farmer shares and works with external stakeholders (non and desires make farming dynamic, requiring the farmer to mobilize other resources other than the ones related to just the farming p rofession. Besides, the high caution of farmers concerning the government, governmental policies and governmental
193 intervention could turn to be an advantage towards the creation of ECs by inducing the willingness to be more independent, the desire to elabo rate own strategies and to be empowered by the government. This would be conceivable in the frame of an EC. As the study showed, farmers who are member of cooperatives are in general satisfied about the functioning and the services of the cooperative they are members of, operation and sharing among members. Therefore, the study predicts that it would be difficult to reorient an existing agricultural cooperative towards the principles of an EC. New approach on the environment, and its integration into the farming system A certain portion of Illinois farmers (whom the characteristics have been described in the previous sections) focus on the integration of the environment into the farming system in a perspective of conservation and management. They are doing so through activities related to multi functionality, focusing on the efficiency of the use of the natural resources, and the implementation of environmental conservation practices and nature and l andscape management under personal initiatives. This research study concluded that farmers would especially be open to such initiative depending on the opportunities they would be offered in terms of financial rewards as a result of caring for the environm ent. The material and financial benefits they could get in exchange of positive actions towards the landscape and environment seem very important from the perspective of farmers in Illinois. It could be an element to convince them to launch an environmenta l conservation project.
194 Discussions General Outcomes Answer to research questions The study had two main objectives. On the one hand, the study sought to provide an analysis of the potential for initiatives related to nature, landscape and environment in the U S. On the other hand, the study tried to provide the analysis of the potential of cooperation between farmers and others actors at large to deal with this issue. These targets had been associated with three research questions as part of the U S. The study can at this point bring forth elements of answer to these research questions. It is very important to emphasize on the fact that the study did not aim at generalizing the results which have been found from this sample. The data collected resulting fr om a small sample of Illinois farmers for which randomized selection could be discussed, the results are therefore not representative and the interpretations and conclusions formulated from these results have a low value. The predominant variables which enabled the creation of environmental cooperatives in the Netherlands exist in the U S in the study area of Illinois. In particular, Illinois farmers often request for more freedom and independence in the conservation practices they have been proposed t o. It could match well with the principles of an EC which imply and require a certain level of autonomy from farmers in the elaboration and implementation of environmental strategies matching with their farming practices and surrounding environment. The mo del of EC is applicable in an U S setting considering the different typologies which have been designed above. However, those typologies reflect only a positive principle or possible element of functioning towards an EC. Extra factors would
195 need to be ass ociated with, or further investigations on these specific groups of farmers would be needed to help analyze their potential concerning the EC. As an alternative or complement to other agri environmental policy instruments or conservation programs, cooper ation among farmers and between farmers and other territorial stakeholders may also present advantages in a U S setting as far as the control of nonpoint source pollution and the focus on increasing the positive externalities of agriculture are concerned. Collective action may also be beneficial in the U S in reaching environmental objectives set at a regional level, because it is more cost efficient. Although, to be a valuable option, the costs generated by collective action still need to be less than th e benefits accruing to participants. However, this latter point cannot be answered in the framework of this study because of the long term view it implies. Regarding to the latter point, a survey on 321 members of marketing cooperatives specializing in fre sh fruits and vegetables, in Spain, highlighted the importance of the price paid to farmers as determinant of their satisfaction with the co operative and their intention to continue their membership. It also revealed that farmers perceived the transaction costs as high. The high transaction costs are generally due to the numerous and heterogeneous members which have, on top of this, diffuse goals, and invest large amounts of resources. The study concluded that, as compared with the price paid to farmers, t ransaction costs could play a more relevant role as it contributes to explaining both satisfaction and the desire to continue in the co operative. ( H ERNANDEZ E SPALLARDO 2011)
196 The structure of EC proved that it reduces the transaction costs for the farme r as far as the conservation practices are concerned. However, the level of reward the farmer will get from the EC in exchange of his/her actions on the landscape and the environment, and the nature and level of the transaction costs are fundamental criter ia to the long term partnership between the organization and the farmer. A significant number of farmers do not see or imagine the environmental issues present in their territory. A suggestion could be an EC as a vector for information diffusion and consci ousness raising about the territorial environmental features and issues. It could mainly be focused on strategies towards improving the territory, shaping the nature and landscape management and increasing the regional attractiveness. There may be an insti nctive feeling from farmers to hide environmental issues, as they want to portray the best image of their region, even in an anonymous questionnaire. An eventual feeling of shame due to environmental issues would lead the farmer to avoid mentioning them. F rom the nature of Illinois farmers (through the study sample), a form of EC from the perspective of promoting and valorizing the territory and its natural resources would be certainly welcomed and very much accepted. hypothesis Based on the hypothesis set in the general introduction, the research study can conclude that there are in the U S similar values and interests like the ones represented by the Dutch ECs. Second, some farmers (characterized by certain features) seem willing to implement this kind of structure as it responds to the current demands and contribute to environmental conservation issues. Third, an U S EC could indeed facilitate conservation practice implementation, which could likely reduce transacti on costs and administration burden for the farmers. Finally, the obstacles and
197 constraints to the implementation of such cooperative in Illinois are indeed linked to the types of farms, farming practices, perception of the environment by the farmers, and c urrent policies (currently there is a strong emphasis for solving environmental pollution and resource degradation rather than on the benefits from agriculture). Predictions of the implementation of an environmental cooperative in Illinois Predictions of implementation. The creation of a structure such an EC in a setting other than the initial one (e.g. Illinois U S ) requires analyzing the hypothetical process of implementation and its different issues which determine the impact of the cooperative on its surroundings and on the community. It was observed in this study that an EC in Illinois would hold different characteristics and criteria as compared to the ones found in the Dutch model, although they would share common features. A variation in some o f the characteristics between the Dutch EC and the hypothetical Illinois environmental cooperative implies differences in the institutional framework and differences in the rules and governing methods, which would impact differently on the farmer members a nd on the way they reflect on their community and territory. The consequences for consumers and on development of the area at large would then be different too. The structure of EC implies a degree of professionalism in order for the farmer to be able to d esign and project his own model of the future. That is why member farmers must have access to the knowledge and expertise they need to reorient themselves in the direction of this project (e.g. about the management of nature and landscape). The consultatio n with specialized organizations and experts enable them for instance to get updated information about new technologies and methods available. From the literature about the U S setting, it seems that the U.S. hold the means to disseminate knowledge
198 effici ently (e.g. information, innovations) over the farms and to the farmers. This is as a result of various organizations specialized in this field and to the presence of environmental organizations at the different levels (e.g. county, state, Federal Administ ration) and their network connections. Knowledge and skills diffusion is an important element of the successful development of an EC and it seems that this capacity exists in the U S. However, after information provision, the attention focuses on helping a nd supporting the farmers who are interested in implementing changes to succeeding in that direction and consequently offering long term means/assistance. It seems that this point is often realized at an individual level, but some farmers miss the continua tion of advice and assistance from external entities. This could be more effectively realized as part of collective action and common projects between farmers under the umbrella of an EC. The effectiveness of the farm changes in farming practices/innovatio ns/patterns could then be more effective in the long run. Through the EC, farmers would benefit from the collective action and the sharing with other farmers around a same desire and interest. It is very beneficial in the sense that the farmer could theref ore be a higher risk taker and pioneer in the elaboration of new strategies and the adoption of innovations of which he has been informed. Indeed, alone, he probably does not dare launching such new and uncertain plans. As part of an EC, he would be suppor ted by other farmers and the cooperative itself with which he would share the risks and costs involved. Challenges The questions and predictions about the extent to which an EC would be beneficial in the U S to the rural area and territory in the long te rm (in terms of economic rural development) might be delicate to answer. First of all, in the Netherlands
199 there is also a lack of answers and studies about the Dutch EC case. Moreover, it is important to note the difficulty of drawing conclusions and predi ctions from general dispositions observed on a certain population of individuals. The behavioral, attitude and perception observations and their analysis have a certain limit and are described as A JZEN 1991). The attitude concept might not be completely trustful and might lead to a reality which had not been expected from the results of the attitude analysis. ( A JZEN 1991) The present research study implied a relative large set of questions during which the farmer participant was put in various situations. The poor predictive validity of the across occasions, situations, and action simulations which have been suggest ed through the questionnaire. Behind, there is the idea that any single behavior reflects the aggregating the different behaviors, these other sources of influence tend to cancel each other, and the aggregate becomes more valid. More valid predictions can therefore be formulated. Suggestions and Further Recommendations First of all, a crucial poin t to increase the representativeness of the study would be to look for ways to enlarge the sample of farmers. One of the possibilities would be by increasing the number of known and reliable contacts on the field who could directly communicate with farmers Empirical study In the field An investigation on the field including meeting the potential actors of an EC, especially the farmers, from the results obtained from the questionnaire survey
200 and as a complement to it, would enable the collection of furth er information and qualitative data. It would refine the design of the model of the implementation of an environmental cooperative in a U S setting. The investigation of the field could be carried out in different places in Illinois and meet different typ es of production and farmers (e.g. different in terms of farm objectives, connection to the environment, and interactions with the other actors). It would enable the collection of information and data which are not expected or visible through the questionn aire, and certainly the collection of explanations to the results of the questionnaire. Focus groups. In addition of meeting the actors face to face and individually, the organization of focus groups, bringing together several actors, either from a same profession (e.g. farmers) or from different professions would enable the extraction of a different kind of information. The situation put participants in direct contact and interaction with each other. The information is provided more quickly than in the case of individual interviews. Also the group dynamics can directly give the direction of relevant issue s the actors are facing (as compared to a list of questions designed by the interviewer) which can speed up the process and generate new thinking about a topic, resulting in more in depth discussions. The moderator of the discussion gets then relevant info rmation quicker. Also, due to the dynamic environment the moderator can modify the topics previously prepared in order to make them more suitable for the purpose according to the types of participants present. The expression and attitudes of the participan ts is also to be taken into account.
201 Targeting other actors present in the functioning of the environmental cooperative Beside the research study with the farmers as the target population, further precision about the potential of implementation of an EC i n the U S could be studied U S setting. It would deal with leading a similar investigation like the one involving the farmers, but on organizations specialized in envi ronmental conservations and in nature management, on people from legislative bodies (authorities at the regional State and county and local level), networking actors (e.g. people helping in the process of connecting farmers and consumers, or in certain forms of farming education), consumers, and people from research institutes such as university. The main problematic which could be studied as part of these complementary inve stigations should be as follows. On the side of the authorities. Could the pote ntial and incentives towards the creation of ECs be enhanced? What would be the main impediments? How would the State and local authorities take part on the functioning of the EC? An important element to be considered is the way the government could suppor t the structure of EC. Some studies about the perception of the government for such innovative institutional generic rules at risky (loss of control) and as a blow to their in acknowledging the benefits of methods developed by pioneers in that field, and even distrust in the effects that could confirm the results. (D E R OOIJ 2006) On the si de of specialized organizations. Future studies can de al with on one hand specialized organization or agencies oriented towards the conservation of the
202 environment and landscape management, and on the other hand with specialized U S organizations which tend to own the same kind of structure/characteristics a s the EC (e.g. self governance). The research question would be stated as: Would these organizations be willing to design contracts with such cooperative and to share knowledge and work closely with the farmers and other actors? On the side of the consumer s/local population. Would consumers or local population be willing to welcome this structure? Would they have the desire to participate/contribute to its development? In reference to a precision from a Dutch study, the Dutch farmers are apparently not able to charge consumers environmental costs (cost linked to the environmental damages generated by the production process) because farmers are price takers and not price makers (distribution companies can easily import from other regions). Also, consumers wou ld not be willing to pay extra for an ecologically sound food product (the case of the successful niche of organic products is special and represents only a low percentage of the consumption), therefore the investigations on consumers must not be focused o n whether U S consumers would be willing to pay an extra amount for products from the EC. The response may very likely be negative. Model design With the suggested further analysis and with extra quantitative data in both areas Illinois and the Netherlan ds, it may be possible to construct a model which could predict the potential of implementation of an EC in a U S setting as well as its future. The design of a model would enable calculating certain predictions, which was not possible regarding as per the extent of the present research study (lack of resource availability). The potential effects of the EC on U S fa rmers and other actors, as compared to the
203 Netherlands case could be analyzed. By fitting the model to various variables important for a successful environmental cooperation, as extracted from the Dutch literature, it would give recommendations for the rig ht and feasible U S maximizing the possibility of successful ECs optimal alternative to the marketing mechanisms for the farmers. Quantitative variables such as U S costs in implanting the conservation pr actices guided by the conservation programs, current economic gains of conservation practices for U S farmers as part of their total Netherlands would be for example needed to ru n the model and obtain figured prediction of the likely development of an EC in the U S and figured comparison of the effects of such structure on the community as a whole in the U S versus the Netherlands. The model would test the following hypothesis: Would the negative pitfalls on the local community be positive with the implementation of the environmental cooperative in the U S ? Would the costs of the U S farmers be lower than in the current situation? Comparison of the predicted means with the one s of the Netherlands Secondly, the model would give long term predictions of the cooperative, includin g the analysis of the following. The extent to which a reduction in operational and transaction costs for the farmers in the U S is possible The benefit s of the environmental cooperative to the environment (considering the current environmental issues existing in the U S ) The economic and social gains for U S farmers The benefits for the communities and the rural development of the area (e.g. attractive ness, tourism, marketing image)
204 APPENDIX QUESTIONNAIRE Q1.1 Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Food and Resource Economics Dear Sir or Madam, The purpose of this research project is to compare the environmental conservation practices within the farming system between the Netherlands and the U S and the structures and functions of the agricultural cooperatives. This research pro ject is being conducted by Marie Ferr, a graduate student at the University of Florida. The purpose is to determine whether Dutch "Environmental Cooperatives" which have as one of their goals the promotion of positive environmental side benefits from far ming, might serve as a model for similar organizational structure in the U S. Since there have been no such studies on U S farmers' perceptions vis vis such structure in the past, I kindly welcome you to participate in order to understand this question and its implications. Your participation in this research study is voluntary, you may withdraw at any time, and your responses will be kept confidential and anonymous. The procedure involves filling a questionnaire that will take about 15 minutes. Your re sponses will be kept confidential and anonymous. The questions will refer to some general farm and geographical characteristics, extra farm activities, perceptions of conservation programs, attitude toward collaboration and cooperation with other farmers, and perception of the farmer profession. The results of this study will be used for scholarly purposes only, and will be shared with you once the research is concluded, or upon your request. If you have any question about the research study, please contact the investigator Marie Ferr (email@example.com). This research has been reviewed according to the University of Florida 's Institutional Review Board of the procedure for research involving human subjects. Once you start the survey, you are able to edit it during the following week, it will then be automatically recorded after that period of time. As both a farmer and a citizen, please check the answer(s) which characterize(s) your farm and yourself. I have read the above information and accept it. On my own will, I choose to take part to the study. Yes (1) No (2) Q2.1 Please check the box which includes your age: 20 30 (1) 30 40 (2) 40 50 (3) 50 60 (4) >60 Q2.2 What do you expect will happen to your farm in the next 10 years? Farm enterprises will remain relatively stable (1) Farm enterprises will expand significantly (2) Farm will be inherited by a family member or other relative (3) Farm will be sold/rented out for agricultural purposes (4) Farm will be sold for non agricultural purposes (5)
205 Q2.3 What is your highest level of education? Primary (1) Secondary (2) Post secondary (trade school, junior college) (3) University (4) Other: (5) ____________________ Q2.4 Where is your center of operations in Illinois (county and city/town enough)? Q2.5 Please check any of the following that fit your farming operation: Hog (1) Dairy (2) Grains (3) Fruits and Vegetables (4) Others: (5) ____________________ Q2.6 Please, describe your main farming enterprises: Crops (in acres) Q2.7 Livestock (annual total)? Q2.8 Average farming sales/year: < $100,000 (1) $100,000 $249,999 (2) $250,000 $499,999 (3) $500,000 $1M (4) >$1M (5) Q2.9 How do your production levels compare to the Illinois averages? 2 = Much lower than average (1) 1 (2) 0 = close to average (3) + 1 ( 4) +2 = much higher than average (5)
206 Q2.10 How much impact do you think the following factors have on your production levels? 1 = No impact (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = High impact (6) Level of inputs (e.g. fertilizers, genertic, labor) (1) Efficiency of the use of resources (e.g. through application of precision agriculture technologies (2) Q2.11 What is the status of your farm management? Family proprietorship (1) Family corporation (2) Family partnership (3) Other: (4) ___________ _________ Q2.12 How important is civic responsibility to you? 1 = Not important (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Very important (6) Q2.13 How frequently do you try new farming practices or technologies? More than 1 new practice/technology per year (1) About 1 new practice/technology per year (2) 1 new practice/technology every few year (3) Less than 1 new practice/technology every 5 years (4)
207 Q3.1 How important is the identity of your region to you? 1 = Not important (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Ve ry important (6) Q3.2 Do you feel you contribute to the identity of your region? 1 = Not at all (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Very significantly (6) Q3.3 If yes, could you explain how? (e.g. specific local type of farming and management practices adopted, local market contribution with specific products): Q3.4 Are you interested in increasing your contribution to the identity of your region? 1 = Not at all (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Very interested (6) Q3.5 Are you proud of being part of you r region? 1 = Not at all (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Very proud (6)
208 Q3.6 With the right opportunities and incentives, would you be interested in participating in efforts to enhance the identity of your region and to promote other unique characteristi cs of your region? 1 = Not at all (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Very interested(6) 1 = Not at all (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = A lot (6) Q4.1 Are you engaged in any of the following extra farming activities? None (1) Environmental and landscape management (2) On farm selling products (3) Agro tourism (4) Political involvement (7) Other: (6) ____________________ Q4.2 Which are the main reasons for your extra farming activities? Extra revenue (1) Spreading the risk of farm income (2) New employment opportunities for the area (3) Pleasure (4) Extra employment on the farm (e.g. for your partner) (5) Enhancing social contacts (6) Improving the image of the agricultural sector (7) Other: (8) ____________________
209 Q4.3 What percentage of your annual farm income is derived from extra farm activities (approximately)? Q4.4 Have you ever heard about the concept of multi functionality i n agriculture (non commercial benefits of agriculture)? Yes (1) No (2) Other: (3) ____________________ Q4.5 How are you increasing the multi functionality of your farm? Landscape management, wildlife habitat creation, biodiversity maintenance (1) Improvem ent of nutrient recycling and carbon sequestration (2) Water management, improvement of water quality (3) Contribution to rural cohesion, historical heritages, agro tourism activities (e.g. hunting spaces) (5) C ontribution to food security and food safety (6) Other: (7) ____________________ Not focusing on multi functionality on my farm (8) Q4.6 Are you interested in doing more to increase the multi functionality of your farm? 1 = Not interested (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Very interested (6) Q5.1 Have you observed environmental degradation/pollution in your community? Yes (1) No (2) Other: (3) ____________________ Q5.2 If yes, could you please briefly mention them:
210 Q5.3 How well do you think these environmental issues are being handled? 1 = Nothing is done for it (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Appropriate measures and plans have been implemented to address the issues (6) Q5.4 Do you think that cooperation between farmers i n the management of projects intended to combat environmental pollution can lead to more efficient and effective results? Yes (1) No (2) Other (3) Q5.5 Do you think farmers should have an important role in solving the environmental issues in your communit y? Yes (1) No (2) Other: (3) ____________________ Q6.1 Have you ever participated in carbon off set program? Yes (1) No (2) Other (3) ____________________ Q6.2 What do you think about increasing farmer involvement in conservation practices (e.g. 1 = Strongly disagree / no need for it/it would even get worse (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Strongly agree / urgen t need, more incentives needed (6) Q6.3 Are you enrolled in any conservation programs? Yes (1) No (2) Other: (3) ____________________
211 Q6.4 If yes, which ones? Q6.5 What are the main reason(s) why you enrolled in these conservation programs? Extra farm income (1) Requirement to get commodities payments (2) Conviction of its necessity in order to preserve the environment and natural resources (3) Further possibility of extra income though alternative activities (e.g. green tourism) (4) Improving the image of agriculture (social pressure) (5) Other: (6) ____________________ Q6.6 What are the main barriers to participation in conservation programs? Heavy administration burden (1) Lack of knowledge (2) Strong monitoring (3) Public perception (4) High require ments (5) Other: (6) ____________________ Q6.7 How would you characterize the transaction costs associated with enrolling in conservation programs (bureaucracy, administrative procedure, time, pre evaluation etc.)? 1 = Very low (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Very high (6) Q6.8 How would you characterize your investment costs, operational costs and time spent on conservation practices? 1 = Very low (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Very high (6)
212 Q6.9 Have you ever refused to enroll in a conservation program because of the investment costs involved? Yes (1) No (2) Other: (3) ____________________ Q6.10 How well do conservation programs apply/fit to your particular farming practices? 1 = Badly / inconsistency / even threat (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Very well / completely adapted (6) Yes (1) No (2) Other: (3) ____________________ Q6.12 Do you ever feel that you are not given any or enough say (e.g. from Federal and State authorities) in the environmental policies that affect you? 1 = Never (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Often (6) Q6.13 Have you ever wished for more advice from authorities or external advisors regarding the application of a specific conservation practice? Yes (1) No (2) Other: (3) ____________________
213 Q6.14 How much do the conservation programs that you currently participate in constrain the management of your farm? 1 = Very constraining (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Not constraining at all ( 6) Q6.15 Do you wish for more freedom in your choice of environmental practices to accomplish given environmental objectives? Yes (1) No (2) Neutral (3) Q6.16 Do you feel a responsibility or duty to implement conservation management practices? 1 = Not at all (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Yes, it is my duty (6) Q6.17 What do you think about stricter environmental policies? 1 = No /strongly disagree (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Necessary (6) Q6.18 What do you think about more targeted environmental p olicies (in terms of community characteristics and environmental issues specific to your area)? 1 = Not necessary (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Very desirable (6)
214 Q6.19 Have you implemented conservation practices because of personal initiative rather than incentives? Yes (1) No (2) Other: (3) ____________________ Q6.20 Have you implemented nature and landscape management because of personal initiative? Yes (1) No (2) Other: (3) ____________________ Q6.21 Would you implement more natural landscape management if there were more financial support? 1 = Not at all (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Yes completely (6) Q6.22 How well do you think current and historical U S and Illinois conservation programs have fulfil led their objective to restore and preserve the environment and landscape? 1 = Very badly (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Very well (6) Q7.1 Are you part of a farmers' cooperative? Yes (1) No (2) Other (3) Q7.2 Which kind of cooperative?
215 Q7.3 What are your benefits for being part of the cooperative? Cheaper prices of inputs (1) Better market opportunities (2) Easier to follow administrative and governmental requirements (3) Learning system (4) Better access to the information (5) Other (6) ________ ____________ Q7.4 As a member of a cooperative, do you experience a real environment of cooperation among the farmer members? 1 = No / nothing else other than economic benefit from the cooperative (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6= Completely / sharing of knowledge and experiences (6) Q7.5 In what extent do you feel tied to the goals and guidance of the cooperative? 1 = Low degree (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = High degree/constraining (6) Q7.6 Do the services/options offered by the cooperative correspond to the expectations of your Yes (1) No (2) Other (3) ____________________ Q7.7 Are there some services or options from the cooperative which you think are missing? Yes (1) No (2) Other: (3) ____________________
216 Q7.8 Do you wish for greater independence from the cooperative, in relation to the authorities Yes (1) No (2) Other: (3) ____________________ Q7.9 Note: From this point, the next questions are no longer related to any particular cooperative's membership. Do you share knowledge about your profession with other farmers? 1 = Not at all (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = A lot (6) Q7.10 Are you part of any other voluntary organizations? Yes (1) No (2) Other (3) ____________________ Q7.11 If yes, which ones? Q7.12 Are you part of a local food system initiative (e.g. CSAs)? Yes (1) No (2) Other (3) Q7.13 If yes, which one(s)? Q7.14 Can you mention your main benefit(s) of being part of local food system initiatives (relatively to the case you would not)? Q7.15 Are you using external assistance / technical advice to improve the management of your farm? 1 = Not at all (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = A lot (6)
217 Q7.16 To what extent do you share your profess ional skills with external stakeholders (non farmers)? 1 = Not at all (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = A lot (6) Q7.17 To what extent are you open to working collaboratively and sharing information with the farmers in your area? 1 = Not open at all (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Very open (6) Q7.18 Would you appreciate working with neighboring farmers on environmentally oriented projects? 1 = Not at all (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Yes, completely (6) Q7.19 Do you think more cooperation between farme rs in natural landscape management would help to achieve better results? 1 = Yes (1) No (2) Other (3)
218 Q7.20 Would you appreciate and feel comfortable working with non farmers within your region on environmentally oriented conservation projects (considering that these non farmers may have certain skills)? 1 = Not at all / incompatible (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Completely / beneficial (6) Q8.1 What is the main reason you are a farmer? Own choice / vocation (1) Economic opportunity (2) Family business (3) Other reason: (4) ____________________ Q8.2 Do you enjoy farming? 1 = Not at all (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Passionate about it (6) Q8.3 To what extent do you care about the public image of your farm? 1 = Not at all (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Completely (6) Q8.4 In the decision making process of your daily farm management, do you make decisions starting: Either from the expected outcomes (i.e. revenue) (1) Or from the local and natural characteristics of the environment (2) Other: (3) ____________________
219 Q8.5 Which level of dependence / independence do you prefer while working? 1 = Working alone and according to my own evaluation (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Following guidance / external goals (6) Q8.6 How do you perceive your profession? As a production job (1) As a provider of landscape and natural environment (2) As a user and manager of natural resources (3) As a protector of na tural resources (4) Other: (5) ____________________ Q8.7 How do you qualify the current food production system? collaboration among the various actors (1) As an integral system requiring collaboration between the various actors constituting it and the different levels of authorities (2) Other view: (3) ____________________ Q8.8 Do you feel that the existing farming system is disconnected from the local community/consumers? 1 = Not at all (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Yes, completely disconnected (6) Q8.9 To what extent do you seek compatibility between your farming practices and the surrounding natural environment/natural resources? 1 = No search for compatibily (1) 2 (2) 3 ( 3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = search for compatibility and synergy / a condition for higher yields and sustainable production (6)
220 Q8.10 How do you feel about the degradation of the environment and landscape, and the exhaustion of some of the natural resources (e.g. biodiversity, bees, water quality etc.)? 1 = No concerns at all (1) 2 (2) 3 (3) 4 (4) 5 (5) 6 = Very concerned/worried (6) Q8.11 As a farmer do you feel you play a key role in the management of regional landscapes? Yes (1) No (2) Other: (3) ____________________ Q8.12 Regarding environmental degradation partially resulting from agricultural practices, have you made changes in your farming system to stop or prevent further degradation? Yes (1) No (2) Other: (3) ____________________ Q8.13 If y es, could you briefly describe what you did? Q8.14 How do you perceive the increasing demand for more sustainable agricultural production and more environmentally sound products? An opportunity (1) A constraint on change (2) A threat (3) A potential for a daptation (4) Other: (5) ____________________ Q8.15 Is there a specific product from your farm you would like to expand and market (e.g. a specific quality product) but you are not able to do so? Yes (1) No (2) Other: (3) ____________________
221 Q8.16 Do you think that a higher cooperation with other farmers in your area would enable you to successfully expand and market your product related to the question above? Markedly stronger when joined (more weight and more credible to negotiate) (1) Constraining ( Other (3) ____________________ Q115 Do you have any additional comments / information / suggestion you would like to share?
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230 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Marie Ferr has grown up in the city of Bar sur Aube in France. After high school, interested in biology, she decided to biology, mathematic, c hemistry and p hysics for dominant s Three years later, she was admitted to the France. As part of this training she pursued an international m aster in agriculture economic and rural d evelopment (2011 2013) including one semester course in Gent (Belgium), one semester course i n Berlin (Germany), one month case study in Pisa (Italy) and finally one year at the University of Florida (U S ) which included courses and the master thesis research. Her interest for the management of natural resources and environment, the different forms of cooperation between territorial stakeholders, and the study of different perspectives and approaches among countries led her to choose this maste r thesis research.