Summary: This study examines the impacts of and adaptive responses of producers in western Canada to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), which has adversely affected farmers and rural communities around the world. In particular, it explores how holistic management (HM), with its combined focus on environmental, social, and economic sustainability, might mitigate the effects of BSE. One survey, sent to 835 HM producers and another to 9,740 producers, found both groups experienced devastating impacts as a result of BSE. However, HM producers – because of support from the larger HM community – were much more optimistic about their ability to adapt to BSE and the future of agriculture than their non-HM counterparts. Agronomic responses, especially those associated with rotational grazing and increases in on-farm biodiversity were also important.
McLachlan, Stéphane M., and Melisa Yestrau. 2008. “From the Ground Up: Holistic Management and Grassroots Rural Adaptation to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy across Western Canada.” Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 14: 299.