This article aims to analyze the trajectory of construction of public policies for family farming in Brazil, trying to emphasize the "generation" or public policy referentials strengthened in some key moments, the way these benchmarks were built and the relations between state and civil society. The analysis points to the emergence, in different periods and contexts, of three generations or public policy benchmarks for family farming, the first being guided by strengthening the agricultural and agrarian bias of these social group; the second focusing on social and welfare policies, and the third, by building market devices for food and nutritional security and enviromental sustainability. This analysis also highlights that the relations between state and civil society have changed and become more complex over time. From criticism and claiming positions, civil society actors came to be proactive and, more recently, also a partner in the implementation and management public policies. It is noteworthy that the three generations of public policies and various forms of relationship between civil society and state follow and coexist in public arenas till today.
Public policies; family farming; referential; civil society; and Sate