FarmSalus - Farmer wellbeing assessment

What are we doing for farmers?

The purpose of this research area, led by Katherine Dixon (Nature Positive) and Angela McFetridge (B+LNZ), is focused on identifying a clear vision for a resilient hill country future and developing guidance for farmers on how to work towards this vision at a farm and/or catchment scale. The basis for the vision originates directly from stakeholder consultation delivered through in-depth interviews with farmers and key stakeholders. 

The guidance will be presented in the form of a framework that outlines the priority areas that need to be focused on in order to move closer towards the resilient hill country futures vision. The human elements of the farm system are crucial to building resilience. Therefore, the framework will contribute toward filling this gap in social metrics, particularly those related to a comprehensive understanding of farmer wellbeing.

The 3 key achievements of this research to date are:

  1. The breadth and number of stakeholders who were interviewed in the HCF work have provided an in-depth and unique data set that will continue to be analysed. The in-depth interview process has built trust between the research team and hill country communities, and over 90% of the people interviewed are willing to provide further contribution and input.
  2. A draft vision has been produced, and the outline of a framework for hill country resilience developed. Both of these outputs have and will be tested in workshops and online surveys to further refine them including with the interviewees.
  3. This research uses collaborative research methods whereby farmers, other hill country stakeholders and the HCF research team are all working together to understand the challenges and pathways to resilient hill country futures.  The research process (using interviews, workshops and surveys) coupled with multiple presentations to various audiences (farmer and scientific) has facilitated conversations about resilience in the hill country sector between multiple stakeholders. These conversations are increasing the awareness of the HCF Programme and possible pathways towards hill country resilience.

Ongoing and planned research

  • Human-centred design concepts will be used to test, refine and validate the concept vision (developed from the interview work described above) with key stakeholders.
  • Financial and non-financial metrics will be identified and then used in the development of the ‘pathways’ framework.
  • The best pathways to achieve the resilient and sustainable HCF vision will be identified. At each step of the process, validation of the results and key insights will take place.
  • Strong partnerships (e.g. single innovating farmer, catchment groups, farmer led networks) that can promote the uptake of the ‘pathways’ framework will be formed through targeted engagements. Partners will test and validate the ‘pathways’ framework and support the roll out and adoption (buy-in) of the framework further afield by other partners/community groups.