Strategies and drivers determining the incorporation of young farmers into the livestock sector

Rubén Darío Góngora Pérez, María José Milán Sendra, Feliu López-i-Gelats*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In view of the foremost concern about the generational renewal in livestock farming, the identification of both the drivers that determine the process of incorporating young farmers into the livestock sector, as well as the strategies young people implement to do so becomes of great interest. In order to examine this, the process of incorporating young farmers into the livestock sector was examined in the region of Catalonia. We conducted face-to-face semi-structured interviews of young farmers and used a combination of principal component analysis and cluster analysis. The results point to the existence of three main groups of strategies: (i) taking advantage of the family tradition; (ii) the adoption of agro-ecological management, and (iii) the vertical integration with a mother company. The implementation of different strategies seems to be determined by the differentiated exposure to the following drivers: (i) the existence of an agrarian tradition in the family; (ii) the existence of a desire to experience a change in lifestyle by the young farmer; (iii) the degree of agricultural professional training and knowledge available; (iv) the capacity and/or willingness to respond to the new demands emerging in society in rural areas and livestock farming in particular; (v) the capacity and/or willingness to implement innovative strategies; (vi) the presence and relevance of women in the livestock farm; (vii) the desired degree of self-management and autonomy in decision-making by the young farmer, and, finally (viii) the capacity and/or willingness to do the required paperwork to have access to the available aid programs. The three groups of strategies identified fit into two different farming models - the Industrial Production and the Re-peasantization models –each of them having very different implications and needs. In any case, the existence of this multiplicity of strategies and drivers indicate the complex nature of the process of incorporating young livestock farmers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-148
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Volume78
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Agro-ecology
  • Farm typology
  • Generational replacement
  • New peasantry
  • Pastoralism
  • Vertical integration

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