Globally the policy mantra about the survival, continuity and future prosperity of the agricultural sector, the traditional family farm model and broader sustainability of rural society seems ultimately to depend on an age-diverse farming population. Research carried out by the NRN team at NUI Galway, Dr Shane Conway and Dr Maura Farrell on the topic of ‘Generational Renewal in Agriculture’, specifically as it relates to the senior generation of the farming community, has recently been published in the International Journal of Agricultural Management.

The recommendations set forth in this paper are aimed at allowing older farmers to maintain and sustain existing activities and daily routines on their farms in later life, whilst also ‘releasing the reins’ to allow for the necessary delegation of managerial responsibilities and ownership of the family farm to their successors, in order for generational renewal to occur. The recent declaration by European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, that a priority for future CAP reforms must focus on the concept of generational renewal, highlights the significance of this field of research.

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