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Family Farm Maps


Farm Types Defined

The 2012 census of Agriculture farm typology report classifies all farms into unique categories based on three criteria: 1) who owns the operation, 2) whether farming is the principal operator's primary occupation, and 3) gross cash farm income (GCFI).

GCFI includes not just crop and livestock sales receipts, but also fees for delivering commodities under production contracts, government payments, and farm-related income.

Small Family Farms (GCFI < $350,000)

This category includes four subcategories:

  • Retirement. Farms whose principal operator is retired but continues to farm on a small scale.
  • Primary occupation off-farm. Farms whose principal operator has a primary occupation other than farming.
  • Primary occupation on-farm. Farms whose primary occupation is farming. These farms may be either low-sales farms (GCFI less than $150,000) or moderate-sales farms (GCFI $150,000 to $349,000).

Midsize Family Farms (GCFI $350,000 to $999,999)

Large-scale Family Farms (GCFI $1 million or more)

This category includes two subcategories:

  • Large family farms. GCFI is $1,000,000 to $4,999,999.
  • Very large family farms. GCFI is $5 million or more.

Nonfamily Farms

Principal operator and persons related to the operator do not own a majority of the business.

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Map: Family Farms as Percent of Total Farms

97 percent of all farms in the United States are family-owned.

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Map: Small Family Farms as Percent of Total Farms

Small farms have gross cash farm income less than $350,000. 88 percent of U.S. farms are small family farms.

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Map: Retirement Farms as Percent of Total Farms

A subcategory of small family farms, retirement farms have a principal operator who is retired but continues to farm on a small scale.

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Map: Principal Operator Works Primarily off the Farm

A subcategory of small family farms, the principal operator of these farms has a primary occupation other than farming.

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Map: Principal Operator Works Primarily on the Farm, Has Moderate Sales

A subcategory of small and family farms, these farms have gross cash farm income of $150,000 to $349,999 and a principal operator whose primary occupation is farming.

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Map: Midsize Family Farms as Percent of Total Farms

Midsize family farms have gross cash farm income of $350,000 to $999,999. Fewer than 6 percent of U.S. farms are midsize family farms.

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Map: Large Family Farms as Percent of Total Farms

Large family farms have gross cash farm income of $1 million to less than $5 million. Fewer than 3 percent of U.S. farms are large family farms.

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Last Modified: 10/12/2017