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

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

Family farms comprise 96 percent of all U.S. farms and 82 percent of the value of all agricultural products sold. The Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service 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 data shows that small family farms, those farms with a GCFI of less than $350,000 per year, account for 88 percent of all U.S. farms, 46 percent of total land in farms, and 19 percent of the value of all agricultural products sold. However, the number of family farms decreased by four percent since 2012.