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Abstract

For agricultural and rural development in Europe, multifunctionality is a leading concept that raises many questions. Care farming is a promising example of multifunctional agriculture that has so far received little attention. An issue that has not been examined thoroughly is the strategic mapping of different care farm organizations in this emerging field. The objective of this article is to develop a typology for care farms in the Netherlands and provide insight into the diversity of care farms. We have used different concepts from organization theory and information from regional organizations of care farmers to identify key dimensions and develop a typology of care farms. Key dimensions are the ratio between agriculture and care, the background of the initiators, and the degree of collaboration with formal care institutions. We found six main types of care farms with different identities, four of which were initiated by the farmers' families (mainly female partners). The other two types were started by new entrants in agriculture. On the basis of our findings, we confirmed, disputed, and supplemented insights to multifunctional farming literature. As a further contribution to that field, drawing from the organization theories underlying our typology, we have sought to understand how different types of care farms could emerge.