Factors contributing to Norwegian milk farmers intentions for future engagement in milk production are the main interest in the present study. An augmented version of the Theory of Planned Behaviour together with Hirschman s conceptualisation of exit, voice and loyalty provides the analytical and theoretical framework.
Results from logistic regression analysis show that three quarters of the farmers wish to continue with milk production in the future. It was found that psychological factors such as attitudes and subjective norms are the main contributor to these intentions. Moreover the farmers well-being and pride, and individual reasons for being a farmer in the first place was found to predict intention to the intention of continue milk production. Perception of agricultural organisations and their opinions, and in particular support from cooperatives, also has significant influences. Challenges connected to revenues and required, new technologies are also positive motivational factors for continued production.
Desires of winding down milk production are related to pessimistic views of future external conditions and negative perceptions of the farming work. Employments outside the farm contribute to exit. Political engagement produces also negative motivation.
Contrary to expectations, odd working hours, difficulties with taking holidays, low income and reduced perceived status and respect do not influence the intention formation significantly. The findings indicate that the farmers focus on sustainable agriculture with a potential of earning money in a potentially more liberalistic market with reduced economic transmissions.
Issues which should be of interest to investigate further are the effects of subsidies on farmers self-esteem, and also the discursive effect on the social construction of reality regarding intention formation.