Farming is Still a Family Business in the United States
The Farms and Ranches at a Glance Report shows U.S. farming is still a family business. Betty Resnick, an American Farm Bureau Federation economist, says the report is a project of USDA’s Economic Research Service and National Agricultural Statistics Service.
"The America’s farms and Ranches at a Glance Report is from ERS and NASS, and it describes the characteristics of U.S. farms and ranches," Resnick said. "They use data from the Agricultural Resource Management Survey, which is an annual survey of about 19,000 farms."
The report says a large number of U.S. farms are still owned by families.
"One of the biggest findings is that farming continues to be a family business. 97 percent of all U.S. farms are family-owned, and family farms account for 90 percent of all farm production by value," Resnick said. "In addition, 88 percent of all farms are classified as small family farms."
Resnick says the report underscores the financial conditions for U.S. farms.
"It puts high-risk farms as those operating at under a 10 percent profit margin, and low-risk farms operate with over 25 percent profit margin. It's important to note that every category of farms has at least a quarter of farms classified in that category as high risk, which is why the farm safety net provided by the farm bill is so critical to keeping our country's farms in business during volatile times," Resnick said. "In addition, the survey does classify farms into small farms, mid-size, and large, and classifies them as both family-owned and non-family-owned."
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