Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2001


Published in Great Plains Research 11 (Fall 2001): 347-60. Copyright © 2001 Center for Great Plains Studies.


This phenomenological analysis concludes that the American family farmer is a steward of the environment in a way that the corporate farmer is not. As a study of consciousness, phenomenology recognizes that family farmers have more sensitive and less selective experience because of living in the farm environment. It draws from the first-hand accounts articulated by family farmers-accounts that reflect their firsthand and direct experiences of the farm environment. Although considered to be irrelevant by many scientists and statisticians, phenomenological accounts of direct experience are important starting points for the scientific study of farmers and their knowledge of environmental problems.