College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Environmental Science & Technology

Surveys and Communication of AMR: Human Dimensions Workshop

Sponsored by USDA-AFRI Foundational and Applied Science: Understanding Antimicrobial Resistance

Workshop Summary:

The workshop will bring together the researchers, students, and agricultural experts focused on surveying and communicating the human and economic dimensions of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in agriculture. On-going social science research and communication efforts in AMR are crucial components to wider efforts at AMR mitigation. Much of this work is in early stages, and, to date, there have been few efforts at coordinating and synthesizing these efforts. This workshop brings together researchers and students from various academic backgrounds working on antibiotic resistance in the farm setting to produce knowledge and coordinate our research efforts to create synergy between the various projects in this arena. Doing so will help build research networks around this topic while also creating a more comprehensive understanding of the human dimensions of AMR mitigation in the agricultural landscape. The workshop will consist of 30-35 participants including researchers, graduate students, post-docs, and industry experts in this arena. Participants will give brief presentations of their work and participate in discussion sessions and working groups in order to coordinate research efforts, cultivate long-term collaborations, and offer mentoring opportunities between students and professionals outside of their home institutions.

Workshop Goals

The workshop aims to bring together social science researchers and communication professionals (ie. extension agents, industry professionals), mentor graduate students and post-docs on best practices in conducting surveys on AMR, synthesize current social science research on this topic, identify holes in current published research, and create collaborative teams to address these areas for future work.  

This workshop will bring together national and regional experts and students to summarize the current knowledge base of social science research relating to AMR mitigation in agriculture, and identify knowledge gaps. This knowledge will be used to develop a consensus for quality control measures and assemble a database of current and historical AMR survey data.  The social science work will likely cover a range of information including farm-level economics and decision-making, producer values, consumer behavior, and stakeholder perceptions. The workshop goals are to understand analyses of current on-farm social and economic research of mitigation practices, perceptions of AMR risk and risk mitigation, and effective communication of AMR in the agricultural sector. By bringing the relevant social science and economic researchers together with agricultural experts, the workshop’s goal is to produce a synthesis of current research related to the human dimension of AMR in agriculture. The long-term goal of the workshop is to develop science-based surveys and strategic communication structures that can inform our understanding of the basic issues associated with naturally occurring and anthropogenic agricultural resistance. 

The short-term goals of the workshop are to produce: 1) two papers – one on AMR perceptions and surveys and another on AMR communication, with additional summary articles to be published on extension; 2) a collection of all the survey data and communication materials generated to date, and; 3) training of graduate students and post-doc on various survey techniques used in other researcher’s work. 

Workshop Format:

During the two-day workshop participants will be divided into two groups:

  1. Surveys and Interviews and
  2. Communication.

Each group will consist of a mix of students, researchers, and industry and extension personnel. Each group will have a group leader, a student leader, a lead scribe, and an assistant scribe. The leaders will steer the discussion, keep participants on topic, and present the material during the working lunch. The lead and assistant scribe will take notes of the discussions, work with the leaders to prepare the group outputs for the working lunch (as a flip chart or PPT), and help organize the discussion notes into a manuscript outline.

After the workshop, students and post-docs can apply for paid follow-up visits at research labs, Visits are encouraged to enhance networking and facilitate closer collaboration on developing manuscripts between experts and students that are not co-located.


Application Material:

Please fill out this online application by February 15th, 2019.


Lodging Information: 

Lied Lodge & Workshop Center

The meeting will occur at the Lied Lodge & Workshop Center in Nebraska City, NE (45-minute drive from Omaha, NE). The Lied Lodge was designed and built by the Arbor Day Foundation as a place to discuss conservation and environmental stewardship. They have 140 rooms on 260 acres. The Center is operated by the Arbor Day Foundation and specializes in team building activities in a green environment with indoor and outdoor meeting spaces, and various-sized workshop and meeting spaces to facilitate discussions and collaboration.

The Lied Lodge & Workshop Center won the American Hotel & Motel Association’s prestigious Enviro-Management Award for “developing a culture of integrating environmental management practices that improve everyday operations and the bottom line, while maintaining quality service and meeting guest expectations.”  They have a commitment to sustainability as part of their mission, with “sound, environmentally-conscious choices in our day-to-day practices and processes.” This includes commitments to locally grown food, and a unique biomass woodchip system for heating and cooling, which is a great fit for the theme of our workshop.  In addition, the Arbor Day Farm was originally owned by J. Sterling Morton, the first USDA Secretary of Agriculture, under Grover Cleveland. His mansion still stands at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park, and is available for tours and group events.

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