98% of American Farms are Family Owned

USDA 2019 Report Finds 98% of Farms are Family Owned

Small Family Farms Make Up Almost 90%

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) has released their 2019 report based on a sample of 15,800 farms. They found that small family farms make up almost 90% of all-American farms. Midsize family farms make up 5.5 % and large family farms make up 2.8 %, totaling 98% of farms are family owned. That leaves only 2.0 % of the farms in the US to be non-family farms. Those small family farms use over 47.7% of our farmland, midsize family farms use 21% of the farmland, large-scale family farms use 19.6% of the land for a total of 88.3% of the farm land used in this country. In contrast, non-family farms only use 11.7 % of the land.

Difference in Size Related to Production

The different sizes of family farms is largely related to what the farmer is producing. Large family farms produce over two-thirds of our nation’s dairy commodities, high-value crops, such as fruits and vegetables, over half of the cotton, as well as hogs, beef, and cash grain/soybeans. Midsize family farms grow over 35% of the grains and 30% of the cotton and poultry. Small family farms have a huge hold on the hay industry with over 75% being grown by them and 60% of the poultry also coming from them.

This report included the income of those farmers from 2018 and cites that only 3% of our family farmers had household wealth lower than the median US income of $63,179. The total average household income of all family farms was $112,210. With such diversity in the sizes of farms and what they produce, it is easy to see how our country needs to protect all farmers to ensure they have the ability to feed their families and the world.

Link to full USDA Report: HERE

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