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Dr Orla Shortall

I am an inter-disciplinary social scientist with an interest agricultural systems and farmer decision making. My work draws on agricultural sociology, science and technology studies and agricultural bioethics. My main research interest could be described as the philosophy of agriculture: what agriculture is for, why we value it and how we can understand change within agriculture. I’m particularly interested in dairy farming as this is a diverse and dynamic sector within the UK. I’ve used qualitative and quantitative methods to explore these research interests in the past. I’m working on Topic 2 (2.4.1 Understanding Attitudes to Biosecurity). I’m carrying out qualitative interviews and using video cameras on farm to explore beef and dairy farmers’ experiences of the Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) eradication program. The work will explore how farmers assess and respond to BVD and how the eradication program has changed their biosecurity practices, as well as exploring their views on the eradication program.

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