Family Farms Comprise 96 Percent of all U.S. Farms
The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) just released the 2017 Census of Agriculture Farm Typology report. It seems many times you hear in news reports indicating that "cooperate farms" are the dominate force in the United States. According to the USDA NASS Agriculture Farm Typology report family farms comprise 96 percent of all U.S. farms!
"Classifying America's 2 million farms to better reflect their diversity is critical to evaluating and reporting on U.S Agriculture," said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. "Typology allows us to more meaningfully explore demographics of who is farming and ranching today as well as their impact on the economy and communities around the country."
It was surprising too that the report showed that family farms with a gross cash farm income of less than $350,000 per year account for 88 percent of all U.S. farms and 19 percent of the value of all agricultural products sold. That tells me we still need small family farms in the United States!
Many times people assume that small farms are family farms and large farms are cooperate farms. I am not sure farm size has anything to do with determining what is a family farm? I know of a pretty large dairy farm with 800 cows. Most would classify that as a large farm. However, it is 4 brothers and their children operating the farm. It is one large farm with brothers working together rather that 4 smaller farms. That sounds like a family farm to me!