Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International and Global Studies


Philips, Jared

Committee Member/Reader

Fitzpatrick, Kevin

Committee Member/Second Reader

Popp, Jennie

Committee Member/Third Reader

Plavcan, Joseph


Post-war agricultural transformations and the rise of Sustainability discourses have dictated the trajectory of sector industries. The implications of agriculture in lateral policy schemes have neglected the careful consideration of the social health of farmers in decision-making processes, creating a greater divide between the interests of the state and our once revered providers. This study aims to capture the complexity of social matters in agriculture within the specific context of sheep farming in the United Kingdom and the United States and how the concurrent systems have adapted considering the impacts of relevant contemporary historical contexts. The principles of Janker, Mann, and Rist's (2019) system-based framework for social sustainability in agriculture are applied to evaluate social health within each country's industry through the augmentation of the collective voice of its sheep farmers.

First, a historical review of each country's ovine agricultural sector examines how influential social dynamics have evolved. Insights from this review inform the application of the social sustainability framework and its subsequent analysis. A deductive self-assessment survey was disseminated through informal channels to gather qualitative data on social sustainability indicators. Survey questions were designed to receive participant input on the well-being of their lives as farmers, the vitality and longevity of their farm operation, and their views on the needs and priorities of the industry. Thematic analysis linking theory and qualitative data and rational induction are employed to identify the response data patterns.

The results of the social sustainability assessments reveal that UK and US farmers' interests primarily align under three main themes: security, equity and inclusion, and market engagement and accessibility. Deviations in reports of personal needs and industry priorities depict the influential effects of embedded culture within their changing systems.


Social Sustainability, Assessment, United Kingdom, United States, Sheep, Social Pillar, Agriculture