Skjoldr Draugarson wrote:
This makes me remember the time I went to a certain feed & seed store to explore what options they had available - the old timers working their literally laughed in my face when I asked about non treated non GMO seed. I was blatantly told that I had no idea what I was doing, that I had to treat the land with this chemical and that, then till in another four additives plus some other garbage then plant treated seed or I would get no crop. They lost my business right quick!
Dan Grubbs wrote:
I think broadacre farmers are no different that any other people. If you've ever read the business book "Crossing the Chasm" by Geoffrey Moore you will see one creative way to think about the problem Cassie brings up. Farmers will not listen to permaculture advocates in general. But farmers do fit into the same categories that Moore identified (see graph). I believe we are at the innovator state of adoption. The fact that many of us are mentioning the same people as the shining examples is a key indicator that we have not reached the stage of moving to the early adopters. As Doherty, Shepard, Lawton, Salatin, Savory, Holtzer, Wheaton, etc., continue doing what they're doing and we continue to support and spread the news, we will make it across the small gap to create some momentum by numbers as early adopters. We will have powerful forces against this, as you know.
It's the jump from early adopters to early majority that is where we will see positive changes in the anthropocene take place. Early majority people won't blindly accept the word of someone who is a mouthpiece for the thing to be adopted, nor do they usually accept the testimony of the innovators. However, they will consider as valuable and trustworthy the testimony of the early adopters because they are people just like them. In order to cross this chasm, innovators must leverage the testimony of the early adopters to sway the early majority (industrial farmers). It will be the clients of Judy, Doherty, Shepard who are the neighbors down the road from another farmer who will convince this second farmer to adopt a new approach.
One could argue that Greg Judy and Joel Salatin are the first wave of the early adopters because their farming peers are seeing their operational success and are beginning to mimic their practices, or what Moore describes as adoption. But, it will be the unnamed, not famous everyday farmer that takes a leap of faith and lands on regenerative agriculture success that will sway others more effectively than a famous name. Here's an illustration: the names we are giving Cassie ... they are the equivalent to the people who camp out overnight on the sidewalk outside the Apple store to get the new iPhone (innovators). They have their own reasons for doing it. Then, the people who are willing to take a risk, do a bit of their own research on the right phone and read product reviews, these are the early adopters and will buy the iPhone based on that. They may or may not be influenced by an innovator. Now, as a bit of time and trial goes on, those who wait to see that others are using the latest iPhone with satisfaction and they know X number of people with them and see them around in use, only then they will buy the latest iPhone in mass quantities (these are the early majority).