A monograph is an anthropological study designed as a follow-up to the previous survey on generations and gender relations on farms in Slovenia. The main focus of the research revolves around the experience of ambivalences and solidarity among adult members of selected six farm families (the beneficiaries and the non-beneficiaries of aid to young farmers and early retired farmers) from Prekmurje in the course of their life careers. These relationships refer to various working domains on the farm and in the house, negotiation in decision-making about the introduction of novelties on the farms, hereditary customs and practices of transfer and mutual assistance among relatives and neighbours, in sum, to domains identified as sources for sympathetic, ambivalent or conflict relationships. Since family farming embrace dimensions of both a family and a firm, the understanding of such relationships is necessary for a comprehensive consideration of development strategies of their activities.
The aging in farm population in Slovenia is accompanied by a diminishing interest of the younger generation in farming. Hence, measures for early retirement of farmers and assistance to young farmers were introduced in 2004 and 2005. Some results of two ensuing studies are presented here: the survey Generations and Gender Relations on Slovenian Farms and ethnographic study on intergenerational solidarity. The survey findings reveal that through intergenerational assistance farm population, especially the beneficiaries of both measures, shows specific characteristics compared to other observed groups (non-farmers): stronger reliance on their own family resources and weaker dependence on state resources. The survey findings are further upgraded by the ethnographic results, explaining more in-depth from a life-course perspective the complex dynamics and background of intergenerational assistance on family farms.
This article discusses the motivations that have prompted a selected group of dairy farmers to transition from conventional to organic farming. Two locations in (pre-)Alpine Slovenia, both exhibiting less-favoured condition for agriculture, were ethnographically studied. The article juxtaposes two different processes of conversion to organic farming: one taking place in the village of Čadrg, where farmers had taken up organic farming collectively before Slovenia entered the EU in 2004, and other in Škofja Loka Mountains, where farmers had individually gone into conversion after EU accession. The comparison points at diverse circumstances of conversion in the same national context and illustrates differences and similarities in personal motivations as well structural conditions for conversion. The authors agree that a complex entanglement of factors influence farmers’ adoption of organic farming. Nevertheless, the comparison suggests an essential difference between individual and collective conversion to the organic mode of agricultural production.
The article explores dairy and cheese production at family farms in Bohinj, their economical and organisational strategies and connection of cheese production with different modes of spatial movement. In the past decade, several family farms started producing cheese and milk products, thus revitalising certain traditional forms of cheese production and established new economical strategies, especially by plurality of their activities – work outside of the farm, tourism, marketing of their products etc. The article explores developmental strategies of family farms through two perspectives – pluriactivity and spatial practices, manifested in movement and meshwork of paths, tracks, roads and places that are fundamental to cheese economy.
The pursuit of a knowledge-based Slovenia has shaped a new mission of academic institutions which are expected to rapidly transfer their academic results to the users. Such reasoning is involved in the imagining of knowledge transfer to agricultural practice. The Slovenian strategy of agricultural development highlights knowledge and its transmission to practice as a key driver of increased competitiveness of farms. This article is limited to the understandings of the functioning of knowledge transfer among the knowledge providers from the faculties and secondary schools. The results show that the institutions reveal two cases at either end of the spectrum: a self-contained faculty educational system and the open consortium of agricultural secondary schools. While the faculties have adopted the working strategy ‘the more efficient you are as a researcher, the less concerned you are with the transfer of knowledge to practice’, the secondary schools for agriculture have cooperated on joint projects that have accelerated and improved knowledge transfer to the environment.