On Thursday 14th March the FIELD team descended on the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading to trial an exercise which aimed to capture how the public would perform in the role of a dairy farmer.
Capitalising on the 'More than huyman' event taking place as part of British Science Week, the team had put together a short decision making task for the public to make decisions they believe farmers are likely to make when encountering a sick animal. Armed with a cup of tokens, participants then had to trade off the costs of these decisions, versus individual cow and herd health.
Watching participants make their way through the decision making tasks not only gave us some great insights into how they viewed a 'good farmer', and how this varied between participants, but also how competitive people can by when completing the task with friends or partners!
Our decision making tasks ended with a wall of thoughts for participants to 'post' their reflections. This gave us an opportunity to gain further information into how our visitors thought about the exercise, and also provided us with an excellent opportunity to quiz our visitors about broader aspects of animal welfare and how these considerations affected their purchasing decisions. Not only did this give us some great insights, but it also gave us a lot of food for thought (excuse the pun) for the wider research being conducted as part of the FIELD project.
With feedback such as 'odd but entertaining', it's safe to say that the event was a success. We will be in Newcastle's Grainger Market on the 13th and 14th May with a slightly tweaked FIELD dairy farm, so if you're in the area pay us a visit!