Intergenerational succession is understood as an integral facet of the family farm. The importance of the succession process and more specifically, successor identification, are critically discussed in the context of the widely propagated projections of global population growth and associated demands on the agricultural sector. Having established the merits of successor identification, the article then highlights the absence of the ‘potential successor’ from contemporary research and continues by offering a conceptual framework, capable of bringing this important research subject into focus as an autonomous and valuable actor, which, given the anticipated renaissance in agriculture, is perhaps now, more important than ever.