Family-Owned Farms Account for 96% of U.S. Farms

Clint Thompson General

Family farms comprise 96% of all U.S. farms and 82% of the value of all agricultural products sold. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) recently released the data in the 2017 Census of Agriculture Farm Typology report.

The report focuses on the family farm, defined as any farm where the majority of the business is owned by the producer and individuals related to the producer. The report classifies all farms into unique categories based on two criteria, who owns the operation and GCFI, gross cash farm income. GCFI includes the producer’s sales of crops and livestock, fees for delivering commodities under production contracts, government payments and farm-related income.

The NASS data shows that small family farms, those farms with a GCFI of less than $350,000 per year, account for 88% of all U.S. farms, 46% of total land in farms, and 19% of the value of all agricultural products sold. However, the number of family farms decreased by 4% since 2012.

(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)