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Cultivating Narratives: Cultivating Successors
Thomas L. Steigera,*, Jeanette Eckertb, Jay Gatrellc, Neil Reidd, Paula Rosse
http://dx.doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2012.022.012, pp. 89–105
This paper analyzes oral histories of eight northwest Ohio farms on the theme of farm succession. We report several significant findings: a process of succession that is less orderly than some recent studies suggest; that farmers hope for, even expect succession but do not plan for it; the importance of wives to the adaptation and diversification of on-farm operations; and that contrary to some claims, the “farmer’s boy”–type successors can innovate and adapt, suggesting the future of family farms may be in sounder hands than some believe.
family farms, farm transfer, floriculture, intergenerational succession, Ohio, oral history
Note: This project was funded by grants from the Ohio Humanities Council and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (award 2010-38897-21205).
Banner photos include a Cape Cod cranberry bog; a cranberry “screen house” used to grade fresh cranberries; farmland near Lake Placid, NY, in the Adirondack Mountains; Montmorency cherry trees on the Mission Peninsula of northern Michigan; the historic Round Barn in the South Mountain Apple Belt of Adams County, Pennsylvania; the “Sea of Grapes” district of the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt, near Erie, Penn; a field of cabbages near Shortsville, NY, home to one of the world’s largest sauerkraut factories. All photos copyright by Duncan Hilchey.
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