American Farming: By the Numbers

Did you know that two million farms are operated in America’s rural landscape? According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, 98% are powered by families — individuals, family partnerships and family corporations.

Without their hard work and dedication, the grocery stores we’re used to would look much different. Fortunately, there are many ways to get involved with making your local farmers feel appreciated. You can strive to use more locally grown ingredients in your cooking. This can include local grass-fed beef or locally sourced fruits and vegetables.

You can also support your local farmers markets, where you can meet and greet farmers from your area to learn their story and support their businesses.

Sharing your love for local ingredients, farmers markets and farmers themselves is a great way to drive more attention to the farming businesses in your region. Use your voice and your platforms to make a difference for those who feed us.

If you haven’t thanked a farmer recently, check out these inspiring facts from the Farm Bureau to recognize their significance in the progression of our country.

• About 11% of United States farmers are serving or have previously served in the military.

• 25% of farmers are considered beginners, in business for less than 10 years.

• Only one acre of land can grow 50,000 pounds of strawberries and 2,784 pounds of wheat. In 2018, $139.6 billion worth of American agricultural products were exported across the world. Over half of America’s farm operations provide habitat for wildlife like deer, moose and fowl.

• Women make up 36% of U.S. farms; 56% of all farm operations have at least one female in charge of decision making.

• One U.S. farm feeds 166 people annually.

• The top three farm products in the country are cattle, corn and soybeans.

• 87% of U.S. agricultural products are produced on family-operated farms or ranches.

• About 1% of the U.S. gross domestic product is attributed to farming.

• Approximately 8% of U.S. farm markets operate locally, through direct-to-consumer or intermediate sales.

• One day of production for a quality dairy cow creates 4.8 pounds of butter, 8.7 gallons of ice cream or 10.5 pounds of cheese.