The aim of the study was to gain knowledge about perspectives for pig production in Twente and The Achterhoek as perceived by the pig producers in relation to society and to the production results of the farms. Pig production was studied through the production processes and the constructions that support production (stables, equipment, networks and indicators). The perspectives were differentiated according to styles of farming.
A method for computerised analysis of the diversity in styles of farming was developed. With this method farms were classified in styles of farming in relation to the dimensions Intensity and Scale (resulting in farm Productivity). With this method the differences among styles of farming could be quantified.
The study resulted in the identification of five styles of farming in the study area (Twente and The Achterhoek): entrepreneurs, craftsmen, stewards, stockmen and shifters. These names are metaphors. They reflect the specific capacities of the farms in the styles of farming.
The key quality of styles of farming is the coherence of a great number of characteristics, which form a logical range of farming practices, and which contrast with other farming practices because they are based on a different logic. In this study the concept of 'logic' is divided into 'foundation', 'ambition', and 'rationale'.
The concepts of 'foundation', 'ambition', and 'rationale' are further outlined in the thesis. The 'foundation' is the basis for the principal capacity of a style of farming: the goals of farmers in their orientation on technology and business. The 'ambition' and 'rationale' of farmers in their farming practices are estimated both in qualitative (with respect to capacity) and in quantitative terms (with respect to productivity).