The ways in which farmers put their visions into action are indicative of their mental models of farming. This qualitative study explored the nature of mental models of farming and their role in farming practices among a sample of small farm operators. Three themes emerged in the data indicating that farmers' mental models of farming are influenced by prior values and knowledge, serve as guides in learning and decision-making, and are unique to each farmer. Educators who consider the mental models of farmers are more likely to succeed in supporting farmers' development of new knowledge and skills.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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