In honor of National Ag Week, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has compiled data from the 2012 Census of Agriculture Farm Typology report profiling family farms in the United States.
The report shows that family-owned farms continue to form the core of American agriculture, with 97 percent of 2.1 million farms classified as family farms. Those farms vary widely of course, with some being large businesses employing many non-family members and some being very small in acreage and revenue.
Even so, NASS classifies 88 percent of U.S. family farms as small farms, defined as having gross cash farm cash income (GCFI) of less than $350,000 annually. While their contribution to total agricultural sales is small relative to their number, small family farms account for 58 percent of all direct farm sales to consumers.