Cultivating Narratives: Cultivating Successors
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.
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