A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that family farms are still the backbone of American agriculture. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service recently released the 2017 Census of Agriculture Farm Typology report which details family farming operations. Family farms are considered to be any farming operations where the majority of the business is owned by the producer and their relatives.
The report found that family farms make up 96 percent of all U.S. farms. Family farms account for 82 percent of the value of all ag products sold and produce on 87 percent of the land in agriculture. Small family farms with a gross cash farm income of less than $350,000 a year make up the majority of family farming operations, accounting for 88 percent of all U.S. farms. While family farms still make up the vast majority of American farming operations, the number of family farms declined by four percent between 2012 and 2017.
Listen to the radio report below.