Evan Mercer

Forest Economist

Southern Research Station

Photo of Evan Mercer.

One of my favorite science experiences was finding ways to help poor farmers in isolated mountain villages in the Philippines improve their farms. The villages were groups of 15-20 small grass shacks (one for each family). The shacks were all close together. We were interviewing the families to find out all about their farms and livestock. One question we asked was how many chickens each family owned, and each family gave a specific number. Since the chickens weren’t kept in pens, they were running wildly all over the village. So I asked one villager, “How do you know which chickens are yours if everybody’s chickens run all over the village?” The villager responded, “The chickens know.”

Additional Resources

  • USDA Forest Service: Evan Mercer

    Learn more about Evan Mercer's research at his Forest Service profile page.
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