Addresses the cultural gap between the agricultural industry and the agricultural health and safety community

Casper Bendixsen, PhD is a research scientist with his own research program in cultural anthropology. Dr. Bendixsen has recently joined the team at NFMC after earning his doctorate, where he studied the cultural values and ethics of US ranchers. Bendixsen also comes with the background of growing up on a farm and ranch in southeast Idaho. He is interested in preventing farm injuries through studying the culture of agriculture.

Agriculture and a Culture of Safety - One project focuses on understanding the relationship between agricultural bankers and dairy farmers. Through the understanding of this relationship, and others like it, agricultural health and safety professionals can design programs that are not only cost effective, but could increase a farmer’s profit. Dr. Bendixsen hopes to repeat this project and its benefits with other key players within the agricultural industry, including insurance agents, medical professionals, veterinarians, nutritionists, and agricultural extension agents.

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers - Dr. Bendixsen is interested in promoting the sustainability of new farmers and ranchers as they enter the agricultural industry, teaching them safe practices, and earning rapport. There is an increasing anxiety about the next group of farmers, as some who grew up in agriculture are not returning to the farm and many others do not have the capital to be in production agriculture. Those entering the agricultural industry are unable to afford prime land and new and safer machinery. In addition, they are finding high risk markets as they begin to learn the essentials to farming. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been assisting beginning and young farmers financially, including those who do not have agricultural background such as minority groups and returning veterans.

Completed Research

Doctoral Dissertation – Pastoralist Ethic and a “Spirit” of Traditionalism: Livestock, Land, and Kin in the US West - This research investigated the ethics of animal husbandry, land stewardship, and kinship in Western American cattle ranching families and rodeo contestants. Much of this research was based on Dr. Bendixsen’s background in horse and beef cattle ranching, as well as his eight years in rodeo as a bareback rider and judge.