We thank Drs. Jeff Sharp and Douglas Jackson-Smith for their support and guidance of this research. We acknowledge support from the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, USDA, Grant #2005-35401-15272, and the North Central Region SARE Graduate Student Award.
The Differing Values of Multigeneration and First-Generation Farmers: Their Influence on the Structure of Agriculture at the Rural-Urban Interface†
Article first published online: 19 JUN 2013
Copyright © 2013, by the Rural Sociological Society
Volume 78, Issue 3, pages 346–370, September 2013
How to Cite
Inwood, S., Clark, J. K. and Bean, M. (2013), The Differing Values of Multigeneration and First-Generation Farmers: Their Influence on the Structure of Agriculture at the Rural-Urban Interface. Rural Sociology, 78: 346–370. doi: 10.1111/ruso.12012
- Issue published online: 1 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 19 JUN 2013
- Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, USDA. Grant Number: #2005-35401-15272
- North Central Region SARE Graduate Student Award
Recognizing the inherent pressures on farm families and farmland, USDA has been developing policies and programs that simultaneously attempt to retain existing farm families on the landscape, recruit new farmers, and create lasting economic opportunities rooted in agriculture. In this article we argue that to date there has been an overemphasis on economic and structural approaches and a systematic discounting of the way individual farmer and farm household motivations can differ as they relate to the farm household life cycle, enterprise growth, adaptation, and reproduction. We use a sociological lens to qualitatively and quantitatively examine the social differences between multigeneration and first-generation farmers at the rural-urban interface by exploring how economic and noneconomic values influence succession plans and enterprise structure. We find that the answers to these questions are complex, layered, and not static, as farm households cycle through the life course. We describe how the differences between young and old multigeneration and first-generation farmers can influence the structure of agriculture at the rural-urban interface, and conclude with some practical policy recommendations.