Farm exit intention and wellbeing: A study of Australian farmers

Dominic PEEL, Helen BERRY, Jacki SCHIRMER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


As the agricultural industries of developed countries undergo an extended period of change, increasing numbers of farmers are leaving farming. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between intention to exit farming and farmer wellbeing, drawing on and adapting the conservation of resources theory of stress. In a quantitative analysis of 674 Australian farmers, we show that the more likely a farmer is to leave farming, the poorer their wellbeing; but this is moderated by smaller farm size, greater profitability, earning a larger proportion of income off-farm and older age, all of which attenuate the relationship between exit intention and poorer wellbeing. We conclude that it is important for policy-makers to consider the wellbeing of farmers when designing strategies to assist exiting farmers, as poor wellbeing at exit may reduce capacity to adapt successfully to life after farming.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-51
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


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