Schall, Daniel, David Lansing, Paul Leisnham, Adel Shirmohammadi, Hubert Montas, & Tom Hutson (2018). Understanding stakeholder perspectives on agricultural best management practices and environmental change in the Chesapeake Bay: A Q methodology study. Journal of Rural Studies, 60, 21-31. (Link:

Abstract: This paper examines differences in environmental attitudes and awareness among stakeholders involved in implementing and promoting agricultural best management practices (BMPs) in the Chesapeake Bay. BMP adoption studies have often considered variables such as environmental attitudes and BMP awareness in examining why farmers do or do not adopt BMPs. Such studies, however, rarely consider the range of viewpoints on these issues across diverse stakeholders such as environmental professionals, scientists, regulators, and agriculturalists. Thus, there is little understanding of how and why knowledge about the environment and BMPs might be deeply contested and a source of political friction between multiple types of actors. In this paper, we take up this issue by examining the relationship between one’s subjective understanding of environmental changes and one’s attitude towards agricultural best management practices. Doing so, the paper examines the ways in which these two domains align within actors, and maps the variance of these views across a diverse set of stakeholders associated with BMPs. We find a close alignment between one’s view of environmental change and the value of BMPs as well as deep divisions between farmers and other non-farming stakeholders with regard to these views.

Daniel Schall <> is with Trees for the Future, USA <>.

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