Tracing the process of becoming a farm successor on Swiss family farms

Agriculture and Human Values 24 (4):435-443 (2007)
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A theoretical model for farm succession is developed in which identity-related variables such as preferences for working autonomously or with animals influence occupational choice at the outset of the process, while environmental factors such as farm size and income prospects gain in importance during the latter stages of succession. A survey of 14-to-34-year-old potential farm successors in Switzerland is carried out to test the model. While female respondents focus on identity-related factors when making occupational choices, the model can be verified for several influencing variables for male successors, such as continuing the family tradition and the potential conversion of farmland to building land. For both men and women, the prospect of working alongside their parents is an important factor in the decision to take over the family farm



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