Majority Of America's Farms Still Family-Owned

Dec 12, 2016

While the average U.S. farm continues to grow larger, the vast majority are still family-owned. Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon reports on a new look at our farmers.

Contrary to what you may have heard, of all farms in the U.S., 99 percent are owned and operated by families.

Now, most of those farms are considered “small,” selling a limited amount of farmed goods--like eggs, wool or hay--and often they can’t financially support even two full-time employees. Those small family farms control about half of all farmland in the country, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Big farms are getting bigger in order to cut costs and compete in a global market for grain, milk and meat. That means medium-sized farms are disappearing.

Corporation-owned farms do exist, the USDA notes, but they’re far out-produced and outnumbered by the country’s family farms.