Changing farm business structures & the sustainability of rural communities & regions: Issues for research

Document Type

Journal Article


Australian & New Zealand Regional Science Association


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


School of International, Cultural and Community Studies




Tonts, M., & Black, A. (2002). Changing farm business structures and the sustainability of rural communities and regions: issues for research. Sustaining Regions, 1(2), 17-23. Available here


This paper provides a summary of a workshop conducted with policy-makers on the impacts of changing farm business structures on rural communities and regions. The purpose of the workshop was to identify areas of policy-relevant research that would provide insights into the impacts of various farm business structures on the economic and social well-being and sustainability of communities and regions. The workshop, held in Canberra in January 2001, included 10 participants from a range of government and non-government organisations, including: The Department of Transport and Regional Services; Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Australia (AFFA); the Bureau of Rural Sciences; and the National Rural Advisory Council. The paper begins by providing a brief summary of some of the changing characteristics of farm business structures. Following this, and by drawing on a combination of overseas and Australian literature, it considers some of the likely impacts of changing farm business structures on rural communities. The paper concludes by outlining a number of areas for future research.