How Agricultural Policies and Practices Shape Each Other: A Case Study of Dairy Farming

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Sociology


This project will examine the relationship between the making policy and everyday practice
through a case study of dairy farming. The research will explore how everyday practices on
farms (e.g. milking) emerge/change and how policy & variously enacted through the
performance of those practices. The aim is to show how the history and layering of multiple
policies that inform work and life on farms as it emerges, changes, and shapes the issues and
space that policymakers need to respond to.

Dairy farming can be considered as a socio-technical system comprised of multiple
practitioners (2. dairy farmers and policymakers; practice: (milking, silaging, cattle herding
and cleaning, auctioning, as well as inspection, record keeping, debating, negotiating and
legislating technologies and infrastructures (e.g. milking machines, fertiliser spreaders, and
online systems and transport) which hang-together and effect each other. Sets of practices
comprising of policymaking, moreover, typically influence and shape everyday life on farms;
their infrastructures, ways of working, and business operations. The boundaries of practices
within dairy farming are informed by polices. For example, the Code of Practice for the
Welfare of Livestock: Cattle (WAG, 2010) establishes what counts as the acceptable.
standards for dry farming across a range of activities, inching: milking, rearing, breeding,
accommodation, and health. The code of practice is itself however, influenced by a raft of
contemporary policy, both at national and transnational levels, (the Animal Welfare Act
2006 the Government of Wales Act 2006, and the European Commission Directive 98/34/EC


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000665/1 30/09/2017 29/09/2027
2549532 Studentship ES/P000665/1 30/09/2021 29/09/2024 Robert Jones