Bosworth, Gary R.F. and McElwee, Gerard (2014) Agri-tourism in Recession: Evidence from North East England. Journal of Rural and Community Development, 9 (3). pp. 62-77. ISSN 1712-8277

Farms are increasingly diverse business entities. The recent recession provides a stimulus to explore the strategies employed by farmers and farm households and the resilience of their farm businesses. Depth interviews with the owners and/or managers of five diversified farm businesses before and after the recession provide insights into their decision making processes and motivations. Approaches to different elements of entrepreneurial behaviour including risk-taking, opportunity evaluation, networking, innovation and strategies to attract new customers are examined. While the skills needs of diversified farmers have been widely explored in the literature, the longitudinal approach of this study across a period of economic recession enables the findings to add further to this body of literature.
The results identify specific strategies and entrepreneurial characteristics that have been employed to enhance the resilience of diversified farms. The research considers the implications of combining the production of necessity goods (conventional agriculture) with luxury goods (tourism and value-added food produce) to position a business that can perform well confronting diverse economic conditions. In particular, this allows decisions to focus resources in different areas of the business to be analysed in relation to the wider economic environment.

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