Family Farming in the 21st Century Various realities

International Conference

“Family Farming in the 21st Century: Various Realities”

Warsaw, Poland, September 26, 2014
Central Agricultural Library, Krakowskie Przedmieście Street 66

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has established the year of 2014 as a year of family farming treated as a special form of agricultural production. Such a decision seems to be very significant while at the same time the dominant attention among politicians, researchers as well as public opinion have been focused on globalization processes and their results for various societies and communities all over the world including also households and businesses rooted in particular local milieus. Among them one has to point out family farm still forming the, in the quantitative sense, the dominant form of agricultural production. The majority among 1.9 billion of people working in agriculture in contemporary world has been employed in various types of family farms that exist in various climate conditions, using less or more advanced technologies, functioning in various socio-economic environments and different types of cultural contexts and traditions. Such a differentiation of family farms results in major difficulties in precise defining of the phenomenon that usually includes only rather general remarks focused on family character of land ownership, capital and labor. One might add also some direct relations between farms and households as well as a marginal character or even a total lack of hired labor.
Bearing in mind the year 2014 as a year of family farming two academic institutions in Poland, namely: Institute of Rural and Agricultural Development at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw and Institute of Sociology at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow have decided to organize a one-day international conference focused on this particular topic. The conference will be held in Warsaw in the Central Agricultural Library located in the city center at the 66 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street. Participation in the conference is free of charge. The main goal of the conference has been framed as a presentation of family farming as a world-wide phenomenon with a specific stress on the situation of family farming in the European Union and United States and moreover with a more detailed stress on the situation in East-Central Europe and particularly in Poland. The latter discussion will bring peculiar issues of Polish family farms under processes of the so-called “cripple” modernization after the World War II as well as rapid and mostly spontaneous processes of accommodation to the frames of market economy after 1989 as well as current processes of multi-functional and more sustainable development in a globalizing and post-modern society. In our discussion we want to take into consideration not only the dynamics and direction of family farms changes in last twenty five years (after major political changes in 1989) and even in last ten years (after Poland`s accession to EU) but also some other issues, namely: the integration of family farming with national, European and even global economy, manifest and latent functions (and dysfunctions) of various types of family farms, their chances in the processes of market competition with large, corporate agribusiness firms, rural and agricultural policies and their results, etc. We assume that the conference will provide participants with a more detailed knowledge about contemporary family farms and main processes of their changes. We also assume that on the basis of presented papers as well as following discussion we will be able to formulate some policy recommendations that might be important for family farmers who play an important however sometimes underestimated roles in rural development.
There is no conference fee however the papers will be presented only by invited speakers. The papers and the discussion will be later published in the special issue of “Wieś i Rolnictwo” (Village and Agriculture), the quarterly of Institute of Rural and Agricultural Development. Contrary to dominant recent tendencies to gather as much as possible short presentations during organized conferences and/or workshops this one will be focused around a small number of rather longer presentations followed by larger amounts of time for their discussion. Therefore the organizers suggest that the following organization scheme for the conference will be divided into two major parts.
The first part will be entitled following the idea of the classic study by William Thomas and Florian Znaniecki as “Family Farming in Europe and America”. The main aim of this part of our conference will be to sketch out some basic issues of world-wide family farming with a special stress on two world regions, namely: the European Union and the United States. These particular parts of the world have been deliberately selected as the areas of the most technologically advanced form of agriculture in the contemporary world. The second session will be entitled “From repressive tolerance through oppressive freedom to what …?”, This session will be focused on some particular family farming problems in East-Central Europe with a special stress on Poland.



9:00-9:15 Rejestracja uczestników / Arrival and registration of the participants
9:15-9:45 Powitanie uczestników i wprowadzenie / Welcome and opening remarks
Mirosław Drygas, IRWiR PAN, Andrzej Hałasiewicz, MSZ / FAO
9:45-12:15 Część 1/ Part 1
Rolnictwo rodzinne w Europie i Ameryce / Family Farming in Europe and America
Moderator: Jerzy Wilkin, IRWiR PAN

„Rolnictwo rodzinne: wyzwania i stawki. Perspektywa światowa” / “Family farming in the World:  Challenges and Stakes”
Referent/Researcher: Jean Michel Sourisseau, CIRAD, Montpellier, Francja

slide presentation (pdf)


„Gospodarstwa rodzinne w UE: ich strukturalna i ekonomiczna różnorodność a możliwości rozwoju” / “Family Farms in the EU: their Structural and Economic Diversity in the Context of Development Possibilities”
Referent/Researcher: Walenty Poczta, Uniwersytet Rolniczy, Poznań, Polska

slide presentation (pdf)


„Rolnictwo rodzinne w USA: skala relacji społecznych  i regionalnych” / “Family Farming in US: Social Relations Scale and Region”
Referent/Researcher: Patrick H. Mooney, Uniwersytet Stanowy Kentucky w Lexington, USA

slide presentation (pdf)

11:30-12:15 Dyskusja / Discussion
12:15-13:00 Lunch
13:00-16:15 Część 2 / Part 2
Od represyjnej tolerancji przez opresyjną wolność do …? /
From repressive tolerance through oppressive freedom to what …?
Moderator: Andrzej Hałasiewicz, przedstawiciel Polski przy FAO

„Gospodarstwo rodzinne od zaniku do powrotu: analiza hipotetycznych ścieżek  zależności we Wschodniej i Środkowej Europie” / “Family farm from disappearance to recovery? Questioning the path dependency hypothesis in Central and Eastern Europe”
Referent/Researcher: Marie-Claude Maurel, EHESS, Paryż, Francja

slide presentation (pdf)


„Rolnictwo rodzinne w Polsce: specyficzna ewolucja i zmienne funkcje” / “Family farming in Poland: specific evolution vs variable functions ”
Referent/Researcher: Maria Halamska, IRWiR PAN & Uniwersytet Warszawski, Polska

slide presentation (pdf)


„Spółdzielczość rolnicza w Polsce: stary czy nowy ruch społeczny?” / “Agricultural cooperatives in Poland: Old or New Social Movement?”
Referenci/Researchers: Piotr Nowak i Krzysztof Gorlach, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Kraków, Polska

slide presentation (pdf)


„Społeczne funkcje drobnych gospodarstw rolnych” / “Social Functions of Smallholder Farms”
Referent/Researcher: Janusz Żmija, Uniwersytet Rolniczy w Krakowie, Polska

slide presentation (pdf)

15:15-16:00 Dyskusja / Discussion
16:00-16:15 Podsumowanie konferencji / Final reflections
Referent/Researcher: Jerzy Wilkin, IRWiR PAN & Uniwersytet Warszawski, Polska
Pożegnalna lampka wina / Farewell Refreshments


We provide simultaneous translation polish-english and english–polish.

Registration Form for participants

Conference venue:
The Central Agricultural Library
Krakowskie Przedmieście 66
Warsaw, Poland
Direction maps: ,

Organized by:
Jagiellonian University and
Institute of Rural and Agricultural Development Polish Academy of Sciences

Contact person:
Ilona Stańczyk
e-mail contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
phone no: +48 22 657 2772


Additional information