Purpose and Objectives
The purpose of this research is to explore how the adoption of agricultural management practices that capture carbon in the soil impacts relationships of farmers within the community and the supply chain, the retention of product identity in the marketplace, and the levels of profitability and optimism about the future by these farmers relative to others.
Importance of this Research
The degradation of soil quality through intensive agricultural practices is a global issue, and of immediate concern as farmers are faced with increasingly variable conditions associated with climate change. Supporting farmers to adopt carbon-capturing soil management practices is an outstanding priority for many jurisdictions, including British Columbia.
This research will baseline the adoption of different management practices for soil based crops grown across all regions of the province, and will complement this through direct testing of soil quality parameters (such as organic matter levels) that draw insights into how management practices affect soil quality and in turn affect farm/farmer health.
You are being asked to participate in this study because you are a farmer that grows soil-based crops in BC. Participants will be directly contacted if their contact details can be found online, or contacted through associations and organizations that support a membership composed of BC farmers.
What is involved
If you consent to voluntarily participate in this research, your participation will include the completion of this survey, a process that is expected to take approximately 25 minutes.
You will also have an opportunity within the survey to express your interest in participating in a more involved way, through the completion of on-site soil testing at your farm, and through sensory and physical testing of products grown on your farm to assess their qualities relative to marketplace alternatives. Up to 50 locations across all regions of BC will be selected for in depth soil and product testing.
Please be advised that unless you opt to participate in on-site soil and product testing, information about you that is gathered in the survey does not include identifiable information. The survey tool uses an online program located in Canada, and all information will be stored on Canadian servers.
There are no known or anticipated risks to you by participating in the online survey. There is no cost to participate, and your personal information will be held confidential and anonymized in the analysis and reporting of final project results.
As an individual participant in this research, you have an opportunity to receive free soil and product testing that provides personalized insights into the impacts of your current practices relative to conventional alternatives.
This research will build a baseline understanding of the practical multi-disciplinary benefits of adopting agricultural soil management practices that capture carbon on a provincial and regional scale. Results will yield actionable guidance for policy makers that is meaningful to farmers to promote carbon-sequestering practices that concurrently improve product quality, product identify, the health of farmers and the agriculture sector as a whole.
Your participation in this research must be completely voluntary. If you do decide to participate, you may withdraw at any time without any consequences or any explanation.
If you withdraw from the survey mid-way through completion, your data will be excluded from the study. Please note that if you fully complete and submit the survey it will be impossible to remove your information from the database.
Anonymity and Confidentiality
The survey will not include any personally identifiable information, and research results will be shared in an aggregated format that protects anonymity. Your confidentiality and the confidentiality of the data will be protected by limiting the collection of personal data, by storing all data on Canadian servers, and by encrypting and limiting access to data that includes personal information to the principal investigator and lead researcher.
Dissemination of Results
It is expected that aggregated, anonymized results of this study will be shared with others in the following ways:
- Online presentation of results to interested parties, recorded and posted to the project website;
- Published research article in a professional journal;
- Thesis defence and class presentations;
- Presentations at academic, informal, and professional meetings;
- Summary of findings will be documented in a short executive summary for distribution to participating organizations and interested parties, made available on the project website; and;
- Fully anonymized datasets will be made public on the project website for analysis by others.
Disposal of Data
In the case that other researchers wish to replicate this study and analyze results over time, consolidated, anonymized data from this study will be retained indefinitely on the project website (www.ecogastronomy.ca).
Individuals that may be contacted regarding this study include
Brooke Hayes, Graduate Student: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. John Volpe, Associate Professor: email@example.com
In addition, you may verify the ethical approval of this study, or raise any concerns you might have, by contacting the Human Research Ethics Office at the University of Victoria (250-472-4545 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
By completing and submitting the questionnaire, YOUR FREE AND INFORMED CONSENT IS IMPLIED and indicates that you understand the above conditions of participation in this study and that you have had the opportunity to have your questions answered by the researchers.