Title: Beyond the concept of 'getting big or getting out': entrepreneurship strategies to survive as a farm family

Authors: Bruno Hildenbrand, Charles B. Hennon

Addresses: Institut fur Soziologie, Friedrich-Schiller Universitat Jena, D 07740 Jena, Germany. ' Family Studies and Social Work, 101 McGuffey Hall, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056, USA

Abstract: Why do families value and maintain a family-farming ideology that goes against prevalent enlargement or exit trends and is subject to pressure from modernisation and burdened with risk? Two answers are suggested: the farm represents a lifestyle having advantages with regard to independence and the combination of working and living; and family tradition opposes giving up a farm. This paper inquires about entrepreneurial aptitude and action strategies of one farmer and his family. A case study demonstrates how pluriactivity and diversification strategies can advance the farm in the face of adversity, and that entrepreneurial strategies and the development of a rural business can be pursued while still retaining the identity of farmer.

Keywords: entrepreneurship; family farms; pluriactivity; qualitative methods; rural business; self-identity; rural entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial aptitudes; action strategies; diversification.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2008.019140

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2008 Vol.6 No.3, pp.479 - 495

Published online: 30 Jun 2008 *

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