Decoupling farm, farming and place: Recombinant attachments of globally engaged family farmers

Lynda Cheshire, Carla Meurk, Michael Woods

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Farmers have traditionally been perceived as having a deep attachment to land and place that contrasts with the mobility of modern society. In this paper, we use this work as a starting point for analysing new forms of attachments among a cohort of Australian farmers who are highly mobile in their business activities. In response, we devise a new way of thinking about farmer attachments that involves decoupling three elements: attachment to farming as an activity and source of agrarian identity; attachment to the farm as an economic and social unit; and attachment to place. Individual farmers recombine these different elements of attachment in different ways, depending on their specific context, promoting both mobility and stasis. We illustrate these recombinant attachments through examples of globally engaged Australian farmers who enact different configurations of attachment of place, farm business and farming identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-74
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Early online date01 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2013


  • family farmers
  • mobility
  • place attachment
  • entrepreneurship
  • farming identify


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