eCite Digital Repository

Communicating about climate change with farmers


Morrison, M and Hine, DW and D'Alessandro, S, Communicating about climate change with farmers, The Oxford Encylopedia of Climate Change Communication, Oxford University Press, Nisbet Matthew C., Ho Shirley S., Markowitz Ezra, O'Neill Saffron, Schafer Mike S., Thaker Jagdish , (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 2424. ISBN 978-0190498986 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

Official URL:

DOI: doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780190228620.013.415


Communication with farmers about climate change has proven to be difficult, with relatively low acceptance of anthropogenic climate change or the idea that climate change will negatively affect agriculture. Many farmers have been impervious to climate change communications because of the nature of farming, their worldviews, and the controversies about climate change in the media. Segmentation studies from the agriculture and natural resource management literatures provide evidence of homogeneous farmer groups internationally with respect to climate change attitudes and behaviors in a farming context. Understanding these segments—including their values, beliefs, and behaviors—is important for developing tailored and targeted communications approaches. Based on understanding of commonly observed farmer segments, it is possible to tailor communication strategies to better engage with segments of concern, including which message to use, appropriate sources, as well as alternative communication techniques based on participatory approaches and use of the arts. For certain segments, discussion about human-induced climate change should be avoided given that it is contentious and not critical for how farmers should respond to climate change. Theoretical frameworks from psychology and marketing—such as the theory of planned behavior, the attitude-to-behavior process model, the motivation and opportunity and determinants (MODE) model, motivation to avoid harm, and the elaboration likelihood model—can also be used to inform the design of communication strategies for engaging with farmers. However, a careful analysis of farmer segments, their worldviews, their beliefs, and their position in the consumer decision-making process suggests that the recommendations from these theoretical models should not be implemented uniformly across farmer segments. Rather, the various theoretical models provide a number of strategies that need to be selectively applied based on knowledge of the target segment. While use of theory and understanding of segments will help to improve communications with farmers, it is apparent that changing the beliefs of farmers in some segments about the need to respond to climate change will require more than simply increasing the quantity or quality of communications. Engaging farmers in these segments requires a much richer information set and a much greater effort to show farmers how they should be responding to climate variability and change using practical demonstrations and participatory approaches.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:farmers, climate change communications, target marketing, communication messages, communication channels, trusted sources, alternative communication methods, participatory approaches
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Marketing
Research Field:Consumer-oriented product or service development
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and productivity
Objective Field:Marketing
UTAS Author:D'Alessandro, S (Professor Steven D'Alessandro)
ID Code:138357
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Marketing
Deposited On:2020-04-03
Last Modified:2020-04-03

Repository Staff Only: item control page