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Table 1 The idealized (weighted and normalized) Q-sorting within each family of farmers' perspectives.

From: A mixed methods inquiry: How dairy farmers perceive the value(s) of their involvement in an intensive dairy herd health management program

  Statements derived from the concourse1 Family 1: Team work Family 2: Animal welfare Family 3: Knowledge Family 4: Production
1 I make more money with the management program 2 0 2 0
2 Team spirit increases in the dairy setting 1 -1 -1 3
3 It makes antibiotics more available -1 4 -1 0
4 It is an insurance of the production level -1 -1 0 2
5 I like to be 'up front' -3 -1 4 -1
6 I can outsource the responsibility of herd health -3 -4 -4 -3
7 It gives the vet a chance to prove his worth -2 -3 -2 3
8 Future insurance: The vet knows me and the herd 0 0 2 0
9 I want to make a contribution to develop the advisory service -3 0 0 4
10 Reproduction increases 3 3 0 2
11 I get whole-farm consultancy 1 -2 2 1
12 A high management level in the stable vs. grazing -1 0 -5 -5
13 It is preferable to the image of dairy industry – and me -2 2 -3 2
14 Incidence of disease decreases 0 3 -3 -2
15 The vet and I share responsibility regarding herd health -2 -1 -3 0
16 The vet updates me on the newest knowledge -1 1 5 -2
17 More cows can be treated without paying the vet -2 4 -2 -5
18 I like that only one vet works with me and my herd 1 3 1 4
19 Yield increases 4 1 -1 1
20 I work more systematically, when someone checks up on me 0 -2 0 -4
21 The vet has more experience than me 0 0 1 0
22 My understanding of herd dynamics as a whole increases -1 -1 3 1
23 The vet and I work better together 4 2 1 3
24 My financial lenders requested it -5 -5 -4 -1
25 The vet made me an offer I could not refuse -5 -2 -5 -2
26 It is necessary for me to take in the herd size 2 -3 3 0
27 Incidence of mastitis decreases 0 3 -3 -1
28 Nothing is missed – and it increases joy in my work life 1 1 -2 -2
29 I need a loyal and independent advisor to spar with 1 -1 4 -4
30 It enhances the business aspect of my herd -4 -3 3 -1
31 It was recommended to me (by farmers, consultant) -4 -5 -4 -3
32 Incidence of dead animals decreases 2 -4 -2 -4
33 The vet said it was a good idea -3 2 3 -1
34 It is a current trend – and I like new ideas -4 -3 5 -1
35 The vet helps to educate my staff -1 -2 -2 1
36 The vet bill decreases in the long run 0 1 2 -3
37 It gives me an opportunity to evaluate the effect of interventions 1 2 2 2
38 My knowledge on cows and herd increases 3 -2 -1 5
39 The vet is more enthusiastic regarding my problems 4 -4 0 -2
40 The vet helps to put up relevant performance indicators 3 0 4 1
41 I prefer prevention to treatment 5 5 0 4
42 The vet gets deep insight into the herd – better advices 5 1 1 2
43 I can exploit the vets knowledge more systematically 3 2 1 3
44 Time is saved due to systematic work procedures 2 1 -1 5
45 Animal welfare and herd health increases 2 4 1 1
46 Extended HHM programs reduce the use of antibiotics -2 5 -1 -3
% variance attributable to each family of farmers' perspectives (unrotated factors(rotated factors)) 37/22 12/18 9/13 7/12
  1. 1 A concourse is a 'view of the world' constructed by the researcher from various sources of data. In Q-methodology the concourse is broken down by the researcher into a number of statements that respondents rank according to 'my point of view', i.e. how well the individual statement presents an answer to the research question
  2. i.e. how a hypothetical respondent with a 100% loading on that factor would rank all the statements according to the guide for ranking
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