Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

Working with Australian family farm businesses

Amabel Fulton1 and Frank Vanclay2

1 Rural Development Services, 2/111 Warwick St, West Hobart, Tas 7000. Email
Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research, University of Tasmania, Email


Family farming has been, and still is, the backbone of Australian agriculture. Understanding family farm businesses as a social and economic unit is critical to being effective in the facilitation of rural change. This paper examines the nature of family farm businesses in Australia’s advanced industrialized agricultural society, and how these family farm businesses respond to the economic, social and environmental pressures both external, and internal to the family farm business. Drawing on examples from a longitudinal study of 10 case study family farm businesses over 10 years, the paper explores the strategies used by family farm businesses to secure their future in farming. The results demonstrate that despite significant economic, social and environmental pressures, family farm businesses are able to adapt and manage to influence their sustainability as the dominant structure in advanced industrialised agriculture. The paper presents recommendations for extension policy and for extension professionals in both the NRM and production arenas to facilitate positive rural change.

Previous PageTop Of PageNext Page