Exploring the occupational experiences of livestock farmers during drought: A narrative inquiry

Healing, Kirsty, and Lowrie, Daniel (2023) Exploring the occupational experiences of livestock farmers during drought: A narrative inquiry. Australian Journal of Rural Health. (In Press)

PDF (Publisher Accepted Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (584kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1111/ajr.13009


Introduction: For much of the 21st century, Australia has endured the most prolonged and severe drought since records began. This drought has been found to have negative and long-lasting consequences upon both the physical and mental well-being of farmers and their families. To date, however, no research has examined the experience of drought from an occupational perspective.

Objective: This study aims to explore the way in which drought impacts upon the lived experience of the farming role and the way in which the occupational identity of farmers influences the meanings attributed, and response to, drought.

Methods: Narrative inquiry and thematic analysis were used to explore the experiences of drought among six farming men and four farming women from Northern Queensland.

Findings: Four inter-related themes were identified. These being: ‘Becoming a farmer – Rites of passage on entry to the farming role’; ‘Farmers as guardians over the land’; ‘Drought as siege’ and; ‘Leisure occupations as temporary bridges to a world beyond drought’. Each of these themes offer insights into the way in which drought comes to be understood by farmers and, in turn, experienced and responded to.

Conclusion: By better understanding the occupational experiences of farmers during drought, resources can be more effectively targeted towards promoting occupational balance and well-being. Interventions aimed at reframing the way in which the farming role is conceptualised from a young age and supporting occupations beyond farming as bridges to the outside world may be effective in achieving positive outcomes during drought.

Item ID: 79214
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1584
Keywords: allied health, resilience, rural health, rural mental health issues, suicide and ageing farmers
Copyright Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes. © 2023 The Authors. Australian Journal of Rural Health published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of National Rural Health Alliance Ltd.
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2023 03:00
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4201 Allied health and rehabilitation science > 420104 Occupational therapy @ 50%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441003 Rural sociology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1901 Adaptation to climate change > 190103 Social impacts of climate change and variability @ 50%
20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200301 Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services) @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 148
Last 12 Months: 117
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page