Edited by Janice Langan-Fox and Cary Cooper
Chapter 19: Stress in Farm Entrepreneurs
Marja K. Kallioniemi, Ahti Simola, Birgitta Kinnunen and Hanna-Riitta Kymäläinen CURRENT FEATURES AND CHARACTERISTICS OF AGRICULTURE Agriculture is an old and traditional occupational sector that utilizes natural resources. The rural environment is sometimes characterized as a peaceful living environment. Today, the operational environment of farm entrepreneurs also includes economic and political decisions. The circumstances of farm enterprises can perhaps be explained by the historical background of society. On a farm, technological equipment and development, buildings and social relationships with other workers are also part of the farm entrepreneur’s everyday life. The operational environment of farmers with these diverse features may affect their well-being. Here, we briefly describe the current situation faced by farmers in this first section, since it enables an understanding of stress and stressors among this occupational group. In recent years, changes in the international agricultural product market have been rapid due to both random and structural causes (Niemi, 2009a). The most significant processes currently influencing the world economy are globalization processes (Becvarova, 2008; TNS Opinion & Social, 2010). Economic development, at least in the member countries of the European Union (EU), is significantly influenced by external factors and processes related to the changes in the world economy that also affect the agricultural sector (Becvarova, 2008). We use Finland in this chapter as an example, although international studies are additionally reviewed. Finland has experienced a rapid structural change in the agricultural sector since 1995, when the country joined the EU. According to Niemi (2009b), during 1995–2008...
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