Family run farms remain central to American farming. Photo Courtesy of the United States Department of Agriculture. Photo by Ken Hammond.
Who Farms in the United States?
Because of increased mechanization fewer farm workers are needed. The number of family members who work their own farms dropped from just under 8 million in 1950 to around 2 million in 2000. Most farms in the United States are family-owned. In 1997, individuals or families owned 86% of all farms. These farms were responsible for 52% of farm product sales. As throughout the world, the average age of farm operators has risen steadily over the years. Click on CHARTS and MAPS below for additional information about farming.