Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station ART, CH-8356 Ettenhausen

Care Farming: Social Services in Agriculture

Around one per cent of Swiss family farms provide social services, making Switzerland one of the leading countries in Europe for care farming. Among the services offered, for example, are assisted living and supervised work on a farm for people with disabilities, the placement of children from difficult social backgrounds in farming foster families, and the care of the elderly on family farms. These activities are deliberately promoted and supported in various European countries, and different research plans deal with this subject. The forms, target groups and type of services provided are exceptionally varied. In Switzerland as in other places, social services offer family farms a possible diversification strategy with great potential. The diversity of supply and demand as well as the different manners in which family farms are supported in providing their services prompt a whole range of questions which are currently being examined in an Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART research project.

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