Family farming has been in focus in Sweden as well as in all traditional European agricultural policy. However the concept appears in many different contexts, it can denote both a statistically defined size or institutional form of agricultural production, or an economically defined firm with certain advantages visavi other institutions, or it can be a norm for recipients of agricultural support or a norm in structural policy. Re-examining the evidence of the family farm model in Sweden illustrates what happens when the state tries to influence the structural development. The Swedish "rationalization policy" was implemented for several decades and the family farm model had a great role to play when deciding upon criteria concerning farm size for support to individual farms. The policy included both upper and lower limits to farm size. In the end economists have concluded that the family farm organizational form needs no political incitaments to grow or shrink for efficiency reasons. The lesson to learn from policy implementation is that the role of the local market for work or entrepreneurial opportunities beside traditional agriculture must be taken in consideration for the farmers.