Simmonds, Philippa

Simmonds,  Philippa
Start date:
October 2020
Research Topic:
Climate change and livestock
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor Damian Maye and Professor Julie Ingram
Supervising school:
Countryside and Community Research Institute,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship
External Sponsor:
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Among increasing awareness of agricultural GHG emissions in addition to a policy landscape in flux, UK livestock farmers face significant changes to their craft and an uncertain future.

My research aims to explore how the issue of climate change and ruminant livestock is framed in the mainstream media and by farmers. How are farmers and their families making sense of emerging narratives? How does this impact their on-farm behaviours? How does emotion shape the discourse? What structures may lock farmers into existing production pathways?

At this stage I’m aiming to use a qualitative approach with content analysis of news media and semi-structured interviews as the major sources of data. However, I am also learning more about participatory methodologies and exploring alternatives to straightforward interviews.

My research is funded in collaboration with DEFRA, and I hope to draw on their expertise and networks to enhance the impact of the project. I aim for the research outcomes to shed light on the experiences of livestock farmers in this context and potential opportunities for sustainable agricultural policy.