The storied nature of agriculture and evaluation: A conversation Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper is a report on a conversation held between the authors and centered on their shared interest in alternative methods of inquiry and evaluation in agriculture. The conversation was initiated at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and has evolved through a series of long distance conversations. Though not a verbatim transcript of our conversations, this paper represents a composite of both the face-to-face conversation and our stream of dialogue over the past year. Central to our discussion is an exploration of the parallels between the paradigm shift that occurred in evaluation in the early 1980s and the current agricultural paradigm shift being promoted by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. In the course of this conversational paper, we suggest not only that evaluators and researchers should cultivate their capacity to hear and tell stories, but also that agricultural programs and their long-term impacts could benefit from different kinds of evaluation efforts. From this perspective, the evaluation or research report is no longer an attempt to mirror reality, but rather it is an evocative story that asks the reader to engage the storyline morally, emotionally, aesthetically, and intellectually, as well as from a social impact perspective. It is our hope that this paper will serve as what Lather (1993) has called an "incitement to discourse" in the disciplinary fields of agriculture and evaluation. 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Lincoln, Y. S., Thorp, L. G., & Russon, C.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Lincoln, YS||Thorp, LG||Russon, C

publication date

  • September 2003