Purdue farm research available for download

Farmers Advance

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – New research from Purdue University’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business on decision-making transitions for multigenerational farms is now available for download.

The Multigenerational Farm Study, led by Scott Downey, associate professor of agricultural economics and associate center director, and Justin Funk of Canada’s Agri Studies Inc., looked at the ways decision-making changes on these operations, the roles of each generation, and how it all affects agribusinesses. It was the featured research at the 2016 National Conference for Food and Agribusiness last November.

“As family farming operations grow, many are encompassing multiple generations, which affects the overall decision-making process in areas such as purchasing inputs and marketing,” Downey said. “Sometimes there can be a difference in methods across generations that can lead to conflict. With this study, we sought to understand the ways in which the generations interact on decisions, particularly when it comes to purchases.”

The study was conducted in two parts. First, a survey was distributed to U.S. and Canadian farmers. Those results were analyzed, and then follow-up interviews were conducted to dive more deeply into the meanings of the quantitative findings. The results were then summarized in a themes report, now available for download.

Topics covered include characteristics of multigenerational farms, transitions in making purchasing decisions, order of importance in making purchasing decisions, satisfaction and attitudinal differences and implications for manufacturers and suppliers.

In addition to Downey, other researchers included Research Project Manager Masi Keshavarz and students Chelsea Fullerton (Master of Science. 2016 Purdue University) and Grant Gardner (Bachelor of Science 2017 Purdue University). Associate professors Michael Gunderson and Nathan Thompson served as research advisers.

Each year, the National Conference for Food and Agribusiness features new research from the center. Every four years, the featured research is the center’s highly sought-after Large Commercial Producer Project, which explores how the fundamental attitudes of commercial agricultural producers impact their interactions with agribusiness professionals and producers’ buying behaviors. 

The Large Commercial Producer Project will be featured at the 2017 National Conference, which is Nov. 7-8 on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. Learn more and register at