Assistant Professor, Dept. of Agricultural Extension and Education, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Iran.


Economic pressure caused production and efficiency has been considering as major goals in agriculture. Indeed agriculture is not merely a job to make money but it is a way of life which is important regards to its cultural, social and environmental functions. With structural changes in agriculture and moving towards big farms and industrial agriculture, the number of family farms is decreasing. These changes have raised questions about its social impact on rural development. This study aims to explain the importance of protecting family farms from social point of view of sustainable development. Furthermore, agricultural experts’ opinion on this matter has been examined. The method consisted of a library study with a survey research in which a statistical sample of 53 agricultural experts was selected randomly from agricultural experts of central organization of Jihad-e-Agriculture in Golestan province. Data collected through questionnaire which its validity and reliability confirmed through face validity and Cronbach’s alpha (α=.74) respectively. Findings indicated that family farming is not only a way for life but also could help to make sustainable occupation, establish social justice, improve food security, conserve environment, increase farmers’ choices, enhance value and ethical virtues and sustain rural communities. However, the survey results indicated that agricultural experts do not have a good attitude in this regard. Based on findings, it is suggested that preservation of family farms be carefully considered in the process of rural development in order to have the important functions of this way of life for rural communities.


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