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New generation farmers: Rediscovering the peasantry

Milone, Pierluigi, Ventura, Flaminia
Journal of rural studies 2019 v.65 pp. 43-52
entrepreneurship, farmers, farms, modernization, peasantry, Italy
This article examines the emergence of a new generation of innovative young farmers in Italy who are making a success of running farms (often very small) while contravening the basic tenets of the modernization script. We argue that the success of these farmers as entrepreneurs is due to their creativity, innovation, and ability to collaborate (often with agents from outside the agricultural sphere), together with their responsiveness to new societal demands and expectations regarding agriculture and food. These farmers, often with non-agrarian degrees, stand out in that they refuse to join the rural exodus, but instead want to make their mark on rural life by creating and developing land-based rural enterprises. Doing so requires tenacity, stubbornness and a belief in their own capacities and abilities. They form part of the vanguard of the ‘new peasantry’ because in many ways their business models conform to the strategies of peasants all over the world.