The attitudes and opinions toward sustainable agriculture of agricultural producers on the High Plains of Texas
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Several issues are facing agricultural producers, including water conservation, sustainability, legislation, and carbon sequestration. Understanding the issues facing farmers, as well as the attitudes and perceptions producers have regarding these issues, will provide a better understanding of how to help producers implement change within their operations. The attitudes and opinions producers have regarding key issues will have an effect on how they adopt new ideas and changes in their production methods. The researcher held four focus groups in the High Plains of Texas with 13 participants who were directly involved in agriculture production. Data were analyzed by grouping responses into common themes. Similar themes arose in the four focus groups. The producers face many issues daily, with the issues of water as the most significant. The participants were already engaging in practices that help promote sustainability in agriculture. The producers did not agree on a specific term or definition for sustainability, but each agreed that conservation and stewardship is of upmost importance in production agriculture. The producers were planning to implement some practices that would help them become more sustainable and profitable. Throughout all of the discussion, profitability and economics were heavily discussed. These participants also had insight on carbon sequestration and the cap and trade legislation. Most had a negative attitude toward the mention of cap and trade.