Farming and ranching in the United States is a family affair. As of 2022, 97% of farms are family farms accounting for 90% of total production – an 8.4% increase since 2021. That’s according to the latest edition of America’s Farms and Ranches at a Glance – an annual publication from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“USDA’s data on America’s farms and ranches challenges the view of U.S. agriculture held by many Europeans,” says Abby Rinne, sustainability director at the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and a member of the USSA Management Council.

“Far from being large corporate entities, the vast majority of farms in the United States are owned and operated by families. That is why sustainability is so important to them – it’s their way to preserve the family business and protect their legacy for the next generation.”

Alongside data on areas including production, financial performance, and the use of government assistance, this year’s edition explores differences in farm operations based on the operator’s race and ethnicity, giving unprecedented insight into America’s diverse farm sector.

Key findings include:

  • Large-scale family farms (with gross cash farm income greater than or equal to $1 million a year) were responsible for the largest share of the value of farm production (52%). However, small family farms (with gross cash farm income of less than $350,000 a year) accounted for 45% of the value of poultry and eggs and 53% of the value of hay production
  • Overall, Hispanic operations make up 4% of all operations, non-Hispanic American Indian operations make up 2%, and non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic Asian operations each make up 1% of all operations
  • On average, farm households are not considered low-income or low-wealth. In 2022, the median income for farm households (including both farm and off-farm income sources) was higher than the median income for all U.S. households but lower than the median income for all U.S. households with self-employment income

The report is compiled using data from the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS), an annual survey conducted by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and Economic Research Service (ERS).