Outstanding Young Farm Family — The goal of this contest is to recognize those who are doing an outstanding job on their farm and are serving in leadership positions in their communities and within the Federation. This contest is designed for those who have more than 50% of their income subject to normal production risk.
“I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world”
– George Washington
America was built upon agriculture. From the founding of the nation, in which we adapted methods used by the Native Americans, to the present day in which the United States ranks as the world’s largest agricultural exporter, farming continues to serve as the backbone of American society. A practice continued throughout the nation’s history is family farming. The oldest form of managing crops, a family farm is a farm owned by a family, whose operation is passed down to future generations. The family farm is typically viewed as its own culture and is beneficial to the preservation of the American land.
Statistically, the family farm makes up ninety-eight percent of all American farms, while farmers in general comprise 2% of the work force in the United States. 40% of the crop market is accounted for by 2.5% of nation’s total farms, while family farmers produce approximately twenty-seven percent of the American crop production.
Family farms are valued by communities in that they are viewed as a “cleaner quality of life.” Other than increasing family unity, promoting good morals and decreasing crime rates, these farms provide job opportunities. In rural communities a local market is greatly relied upon as a food source. The family farmer mentality is that individual farms should be the focus, rather than the farming industry as a whole.
However, family farming is a rapidly decreasing trade. While over half of family farms have an off-farm income, the private domestic product fell from 35% to 5.8%, with a GNP rising to 40 fold. There are seven hundred and fifty thousand less family farms since 1981, an equivalent to 1 million jobs lost. While the number of family farms decreases, acreage increases. In over 70 years, 7 million farms have become 2 million, causing the rate of self employment in agriculture to decrease as well.
What is the cause of these trends? Read more.