After having looked critically at agricultural development during my master's International Development Studies at Wageningen University, I've grown an interest in creative farmers who, through their regenerative farming practices, are potentially able to sequester carbon, produce healthy food, replace agrochemicals, build soil health, etc. With a regenerative approach, agriculture can offer solutions to many of todays major challenges. Unfortunately, due to numerous and divergent lock-in mechanisms of the current system, it is proving difficult for farmers to transition to new farming practices.
In this PhD project, I will describe the various affective soil relations of farmers who are already using regenerative farming practices (and simultaneously make a good living). Their novel engagements with the soil are key to this type of farming. My ethnographic work looks at practical challenges around everyday soil care and I combine the empirical with highly philosophical processual-relational approaches. Insights into the emergent affective farmer-soil relations add to our understanding of how farmers become motivated for regenerative agriculture. For additional societal relevance, I will also co-create inspiring stories centred around the soil.